Updated: Friday, 3rd April 2020 @ 8:54am

Spanish and Latin American film festival ¡Viva! makes triumphant return to Cornerhouse with Paper Birds as Opening Gala screening

Spanish and Latin American film festival ¡Viva! makes triumphant return to Cornerhouse with Paper Birds as Opening Gala screening

By David Keane

The acclaimed Spanish and Latin American film festival ¡Viva! made an impressive return to Manchester’s favourite international cinema venue, Cornerhouse, last night.

A packed and eager audience saw Emilio Aragón introduce his directing debut Pajaros De Papel, also known as Paper Birds, for the Opening Gala screening.

The festival, now in its 18th year, was introduced by the Cultural Director of Manchester’s Instituto Cervantes, Kepa Gonzalez, as well as Cornerhouse’s own Rachel Hayward, ¡Viva!’s Programme Manager.

Ms Hayward said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Viva back again for its 18th year, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a great number of people – too many to name them all – and we would just like to say thank you.”

Aragón spoke passionately about the making of his film and its origins. The moving drama, with flashes of touching humour and emotion, was inspired by those performers Aragón had known and heard talking about what life was like to be an actor or artist in Spain in the aftermath of the Civil War. It also deals with the pain a parent suffers upon the loss of a child and how they deal with life following this.

“The title is a metaphor really,” Aragón said. “We are all like paper birds. We can soar high at times, but sometimes it only takes a little drop of rain for us to come crashing down – we are so delicate.”

The film, which ended to rapturous applause, is being screened again today at 18:00 and will be followed by a Q&A with Aragón. Tickets can be bought here.

The fesitval is supported by Estrella Damm, the beer of Barcelona, and those who kept their tickets were able to enjoy free beer following the screening in Cornerhouse's cafe bar.

For complete coverage of Viva festival, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter @MM_newsonline, and you can find all the latest information and listing for the festival from Cornerhouse @CornerhouseMCR