No matter which month you choose to come to Malaga, there will be definitely plenty of things to do and see. Spain is famous for its vibrant culture therefore it always has a packed calendar full of cultural events and festivals you can enjoy.
Why is March a special month in the city this year? Well, because one of the biggest events of Malaga takes place, the Malaga Film Festival (Festival de Cine de Málaga). It celebrates the very best of Spanish cinema drawing huge crowds to the city. This time of the year Malaga fills up with curious people eager to indulge in the varied programs of the 11-day festival and the air is full of the excitement of spotting some famous movie stars. So, if you want to know more about Malaga Festival 2022, why it is celebrated and what to expect, keep on reading!
Malaga Festival 2022: Details and Program
# When is Malaga Film Festival?
2022 marked the 25th anniversary of Malaga Film Festival starting on Friday 18 March and finishing on Sunday 27 March. Note that the festival can be held anytime from March until June.
# What did the program include?
One thing is for sure, there was no shortage of programs and activities. There were 186 films and 216 sessions programmed, to which we have to add concerts, exhibitions, meetings, presentations, etc. In addition, the festival hosts planned panel discussions and round-tables on topics of current interest regarding the Spanish cinema.
There definitely was a wealth of films featured: short films, documentaries and feature length films. Overall, 300 screened movies were displayed from which 19 ran for the main prize. The main prize is the Golden Biznaga (Biznaga de Oro) for best picture (awarded to the Best Spanish picture, and also, in a different category, to the Best Latin-American picture). The Golden Biznaga is a beautiful golden trophy having the shape of a jasmine flower. If you are wondering why the trophy was jasmine shaped, just keep on reading because I will write about it later on.
We can say that the festival has never been bigger. It returned to pre-pandemic figures and we cannot forget about the fact either that due to the pandemic many industry attendees saw each other in person for the first time in two years. So no wonder there was a lot of anticipation and it attracted huge crowds. The contest had more than 80,000 spectators and participants and the events took place in Cervantes Theatre, Albéniz Cinema, and the Echegaray Theatre.
# Malaga Festival 2022: Who took the main prize?
After the red carpet and many long-awaited nominated films, we can finally talk about the honours and winners of the Spanish film competition. The great protagonists of the night were undoubtedly the award-winning teams. The two hugely favoured competition frontrunners were Spain’s motherhood-focused Cicno Lobitos (Lullaby) and Utama.
Alauda Rúiz de Azúa, director of Cinco Lobitos, collected the Golden Biznaga for the best Spanish film. She was very emotional and enormously grateful to both the jury and her team. She said she had no idea how far she could go with her feature film. Moreover, Cinco Lobitos also received the Golden Biznaga for the best female performance.
The second great winner in the list was Utama which depicts the struggle to survive in the Bolivian highlands. Producers Marcos Loayza, Santiago Loayza and Federico Moreira collected the Biznaga de Oro for best Ibero-American film.
# Let’s have a look at the schedule of the awarded movies
The festival started on Friday 18 and ended on Sunday 27 when the winning works of the festival were screened at the ‘Festival Marathon’ held at Albéniz Cinema. It would be extremely long to include a complete schedule of the movies so we will only have a look at the awarded ones:
Festival Marathon (Sunday March 27)
Biznaga de Oro – Best Spanish Film: ‘Cinco Lobitos’ (‘Lullaby’)
Albeniz Cinema, Room 1, 10:00 p.m.
Biznaga de Oro – Best Ibero-American Film: ‘Utama’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 1, 4:00 p.m.
Official Section – Special Jury Award: ‘Mi vacío y yo’ (‘My Emptiness and I’)
Albeniz Cinema. Room 1, 7:00 p.m.
Zonazine – Best Spanish Film: ‘Lugares A Los Que Nunca Hemos Ido’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 3, 7:15 p.m.
Zonazine – Best Ibero-American Film: ‘Mostro’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 3, 9:30 p.m.
Zonazine – Audience Award: ‘Libélulas’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 3, 4:30 p.m.
Documentaries – Best Documentary: ‘El Silencio del Topo’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 2, 4:45 p.m.
Documentaries – Audience Award: ‘La visita y un jardín secreto’
Albeniz Cinema. Room 2, 9:30 p.m.
The story of the biznaga – Malaga Festival
Well, there is obviously a reason why the golden trophy resembled a jasmine flower, the biznaga and this reason is the fact that biznagas are one of the emblems of the city. They are also called the “Malaga flower”. The word itself biznaga means “a gift of God”. The flower is white and has a very pleasant sweet aroma. As a fun fact, it also serves perfectly as a natural mosquito repellent.
However, not only do biznagas play an important role in Malaga Spanish Film Festival, there is another very important event when biznagas are sold. It is the Malaga Fair which is held in August. At this time of the year, Calle Larios (one of the main streets of Malaga) fills with sellers offering fragrant little bouquets of biznaga.
If you fancy biznaga you can buy several objects like jewellery, brooches and many other handmade souvenirs featuring this beautiful and elegant flower.
Whom could we see on the red carpet?
Being one of the most important film festivals in the country, we could rightfully expect big actors and directors parade on the red carpet rolled out on the streets of Malaga. And the event did not let us down. We could indeed see prominent faces from the filmmaking industry such as Cayetana Guillén-Cuervo, María León or Pilar Castro. There were so many familiar faces from the television that it is hard to only mention a few. Paula Usero, Ana Fernández, Melanie Olivares, Carmen Sánchez, Loreto Mauleón, Natalia Sánchez, Pilar López de Ayala, Antonio Velázquez or Blanca Suárez were shining bright on the event. The list of amazing and talented actors, actresses and directors is endless so I do not even attempt to mention everybody. But let me say that Malaga truly became the Spanish version of Cannes.
Malaga Festival: When will be the next celebration?
The 26th celebration – 2023
And finally, the festival has already set its dates for the next, 26th celebration which will take place from 10 to 19 March, 2023.
In order to reach the complete program of the festival, click here!
Do you want to read about more festivals in Malaga? Make sure to also read our ‘Best time to visit Malaga: 6 must-see annual festivities’ article HERE!