Every year in spring, Málaga becomes the Spanish capital of film, courtesy of the Film Festival. Actors, directors and distributors in the film industry get together in town to show their work and compete for one of the coveted awards. The festival is not just a cultural event; it is also a tourist attraction that draws more than 100,000 people.
The Málaga Film Festival was first held in 1998 and soon became a must-attend. Established as a way to celebrate Spanish and Latin American film, today it is a country-wide cultural event. The staunch support from government agencies and companies, together with the many attractions of the Costa del Sol, moved the event to the same category as the big European festivals.
In March and April, Málaga rolls out the red carpet for celebrities, famous actors and filmmakers, like Antonio Banderas,Álex de la Iglesia or Isabel Coixet, to walk along. The historic district becomes the stage that holds a number of cultural events while the Cervantes Theatre rises as the festival’s main venue. The nineteenth-century building, named an Asset of Cultural Interest, holds the opening and closing galas, the tributes and screenings of films in the official selection.
The magic of cinema takes over Málaga for over a week. The Albéniz cinema theatre, the Echegaray Theatre and the University Chancellor’s Building all screen feature films, documentaries, TV movies, video creations and short films. Even the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen Museums hold film-related exhibitions, retrospectives, panels, talks, meetings and master classes.
Biznaga de Oro
The most-awaited moment at the festival is when the winner of the Biznaga de Oro is announced. The prizes awarded at the Málaga Film Festival represent a bunch of jasmine flowers (in Spanish, biznaga), so popular in our town. The award-giving ceremony turns the Cervantes Theatre into a magnet attracting a crowd of onlookers and fans who want to watch the celebrities walk down the red carpet. On this star-studded night, Málaga gets the glitz that characterises the world of movies.
The Málaga Film Festival has added glamour to the image of Costa del Sol, especially the capital, as a destination for cultural travellers. The event has grown to become an exceptional attraction within the province’s travel offer, boosting hotel occupancy rates filling restaurant seats to a record level.
Last but not least, the economic impact of the festival exceeds €1 million. The event doubles as a good reason to explore Málaga – a show of a city before, during and after the festival.