On November 18, the 29th edition of the Barcelona Independent Film Festival, l’Alternativa, opens with the screening of Suro, Mikel Gurrea’s debut film. Barcelona’s long-standing celebration of film remains faithful to its motto of “offering citizens and professionals a unique opportunity to discover and enjoy screenings and activities that promote creative independence, diversity, innovation, freedom, commitment and reflection.”

From the wide array of screenings and activities on the programme this year, here are our top ten picks:

1. The festival opener, Suro, Mikel Gurrea’s debut film, starring Vicky Luengo (Chavalas) and Pol López (The Long Way Home). This reflection on relationships, rural work, labor relations and racism is among the favorites in all the awards this year.

2. The screenings of Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO and Alice Diop’s Saint Omer, the respective Polish and French Oscar submissions for 2023.

3. The masterclasses of director Albert Serra (Pacifiction), Bolivian cinematographer Daniela Cajías (Alcarràs) and Venezuelan filmmaker Andrés Duque, whose latest film, Monte Tropic, will be screened at l’Alternativa.

4. The talkFinding the Right Teenagers: Casting for ‘La maternal’”, with Irene Roqué, casting director of Pilar Palomero’s second film, along with her assistant on that project, Karmen López-Franco. Also participating will be two of the actors from La maternal, Carla Quílez and Claudia Dalmau.

5. The three full-length documentaries that are part of the Spanish section: A los libros y a las mujeres canto(To Books and Women I Sing)” by María Elorza, La visita y un jardín secreto (The Visit and a Secret Garden) by Irene M. Borrego, and Los saldos (Remainders) by Raúl Capdevila Murillo.

6. The relaxed session of Little Experiments, tailored for people with autism, in collaboration with the Inclús Association and My First Film Festival. Seven short films for ages 5 and up.

7. The CCCB Hall will host many activities every day. One of them is the projection of four films from the ESCAC film school, with the teams behind them present.

8. The International Short Films section, consisting of 17 international short films, grouped under three different themes, to discover the latest and most intriguing international fiction, non-fiction, essay, animation and experimental short films.

9. The panel discussion “Ways of Looking”, linked to the She Shoots section, links together three feature and three short films by women cinematographers.

10. The dramatic Matadero (Slaughterhouse), by Santiago Fillol, about the persecution of the left-wing political movements in Argentina in the mid-1970s.

The CCCB, the MACBA, the Filmoteca de Catalunya and the Maldà and Zumzeig cinemas will be the venues for the festival’s onsite programme, complemented by the online platform, Filmin. L’Alternativa ends December 4.

The programme is available at https://alternativa.cccb.org/2022/en/

Pere Vall
Pere Vall. Journalist covering the world of cultural and entertainment in general, specialized in cinema. Pere is a regular contributor to Time Out, Ara, RNE and Catalunya Ràdio, and was editor-in-chief of the magazine Fotogramas in Barcelona for more than 20 years. A fan of Fellini, of good, regular and bad horror movies, and of humor and comedy in general. As a child, he wanted to look like Alain Delon, and has ended with a certain resemblance to Chicho Ibáñez Serrador. Not that he’s complaining though.