Barcelona hosts an impressive spectrum of film festivals, cinemas and events which are sure to satisfy every celluloid thirst. Perhaps you’re just longing to hear a film in a familiar tongue, or maybe you want to transcend your ordinary film-watching experience, or broaden your filmic horizons: whatever you need, this city has you sorted.
The L’Alternativa, Festival de Cinema Independent de Barcelonais run in collaboration with the CCCB and funded by the Catalonian government. Like most independent film festivals, you are unlikely to be familiar with the line-up, and the screenings can be a little hit or miss. But such is the pleasure of smaller festivals and there’s an unrivalled amount of satisfaction to be found in the small screens of the CCCB when you stumble across a gem. One for winter, it runs from the 16th-22nd November
CCCB, Carrer de Montalegre, 5, Barcelona, Spain, +34 933 06 41 00
Unlike many other festivals, Mecal spans across just over three weeks, allowing you to be leisurely with your festival schedule. The lineup is international and varied; with an array of kids pictures, music videos, animations and shorts, the programme is sure to satisfy all needs and doesn’t cater exclusively to a solely cinephile elite (as many smaller festivals do). It has its very own competition categories, so be sure to check out the contenders and pick your favorite! Runs March 10 until April 3.
Carrer del Clot, 33, Barcelona, Spain, +34 932 47 03 53
In Barcelona, it can be hard to find original language movies, which makes the Renoir Floridablanca a welcome sight to expat eyes. Its programming is good and it’s a perfect go-to cinema for new releases as well as slightly lesser known titles. Located in the residential area San Antoni district, the cinema is central, but off-the-beaten-track enough to dodge the crowds and tourists of Las Ramblas.
Renoir Floridablanca, C/Floridablanca, 135, Barcelona, Spain +34 932 28 93 93
Sometimes on those sun-drenched days, you don’t want to sit inside a dark cinema. So why not take a tour of the locations of your favorite movies in Barcelona? This one is for the self-motivated as it’s not run by an organization or company. Instead the aptly named website, Barcelona de Pelicula, conveniently pins various locations on Google Maps from films shot in Barcelona. Want to see the hotspots of Barcelona which feature in Almodovar‘s movies, or maybe you want to find the wine gardens of Woody Allen‘s Barcelona? Click on the the movie title, mark your route and grab your sunglasses.
Can you think of anything more dreamy than watching a perfectly selected movie, enjoyed al-fresco, accompanied by a live orchestra, all whilst overlooking the city of Barcelona? No? We didn’t think so! The indoor festivals are perfect for those chillier days but in summer, Sala Montjuic is where it’s at. The festival runs on July 1st to August 5th but tickets tend to sell out quickly so don’t hang around. Check out their website here to see this year’s screenings.
Polaroid Bar, tucked away in Bario Gotic is a bit of a gem, frozen in time. Expect friendly locals and tourists alike, watching movies on the overhead projector to the soundtrack of familiar 80s rock and feel-good classics. The bar is lively and even if you don’t fancy watching what’s on display, the inexpensive but well mixed drinks and plethora of free popcorn is sure to keep you happy. The bar is decorated with movie posters from across the spectrum as well as kitsch trinkets and it leaves the distinct impression that 2015 has been firmly left behind at the door. This is Hollywood in the 80s, baby, and we like it!