This week ACMI will launch the fifth annual La Mirada Film Festival. Introducing Melbourne audiences to the very best of Spanish and Latin American cinema, this year’s program will include new releases, classics and documentaries as picked by some of the finest talent working in film today.

La Mirada’s co-curator, legendary Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, is this year joined by directors Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), Ken Loach (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) and actor Antonio Banderas (Desperado) in selecting the festival’s eclectic program.

Highlights to look out for include a screening of the 1953 Spanish classic, Welcome Mr Marshall, featuring a video introduction filmed especially for the festival by Antonio Banderas, and Mexico Bizarro—a retrospective of Mexican cult films from the 1950s to the 1990s compiled by Guillermo Del Toro.

La Mirada kicks off with an Opening Night Gala on Thursday. A screening of the stunning film Medianeras at ACMI will be followed by a party at the La Mirada Lounge (at Beer Deluxe) featuring Spanish cuisine and wines, Argentine beer and tunes from DJ Mohair Slim.

La Mirada Film Festival runs at ACMI from April 14-26.

Get our pick of the best news, features and events delivered twice a week