Fact or Fiction
SFF's Straight up Sevillian

Carmina champions the screen as a loveable bully whilst also baring her own insecurities to audiences

Chain-smoking, crass and charismatic, Carmina Barrios stars in Carmina o Revienta (Carmina or Blow Up) an honest, refreshing and offbeat portrayal - of herself. A debut feature directed and written by her son, Paco León co-starring his sister, María León, an established actress (La Voz Dormida), the film combines true stories, improvisation, exaggerated scenes led by a mixed cast of professional actors and real life characters.

The raw depiction of an idiosyncratic family led by a ballsy matriarch is accentuated by combining elements of documentary filmmaking as the main players introduce themself directly to the camera. Set in Andalusia providing the quintessential environment to justify these fiercely passionate misfits, Carmina champions the screen as a loveable bully whilst also baring her own insecurities to audiences.

Winning several Biznaga de Plata Awards at the Festival de Málaga (Audience Award, Best Actress, Special Jury Award), it is undoubtable that the film's strength lies in its quirky depictions and authenticity drawing on Carmina's eccentric personality that produces such a dynamic performance impossible for other actresses to compete against. Potentially an unfair contest, this actually fits perfectly with Carmina's approach to life in general as she cuts corners,scheming and struggling to keep her family business afloat.

Her bizarre detailed monologues -including describing her attitude towards her body image and how she would prefer to be presented at her funeral are hilarious due to her random ideas and impeccable comic timing. Again, it is difficult to grasp that Carmina's entertaining delivery is not staged as Paco cast his own mother in this role due to her incredible natural presence - although not a trained actress.

Screening as part of the Spanish Film Festival occurring over various dates from 12 June – 3 July throughout the country, Carmina or Blow Up is definitely a rare gem in Spanish cinema that has proved so successful it has already sparked a sequel in the making. Infectious, outrageous and resilient, Carmina is unusually charming as an abusive mother and citizen but is bound to capture your imagination - as you constantly question where the reality ends and fabrication begins.

We have 15 double passes to give away to the festival!
Email us with the subject 'Spanish Film Festival' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and your postal address in the body subject (winners will be picked at drawn on Tuesday 18th of June at 2pm)

By Sophia Sourris

The Spanish Film Festival is on now at Palace Cinemas nationally. Visit www.spanishfilmfestival.com for more information on how to book tickets.


Spanish Australia on Flickr

Spanish Australia cultural magazine has now a Flickr account where to see the photos we take from different events. You can also be one of our photographers capturing the action

catalan-footprint spanishaustralia

This is the story of a group of Catalans who decided to cross the world and start a new life… in Australia. But did they know where they were going? The Catalan Footprint in Australia


The Young Chefs Culinary Scholarship in Spain was created in 2007 by ICEX in response to the growing international influence of Spanish cuisine. Awaiting for the 2013 edition here


Spain is more than paella, sangría and San Fermines for some Aussies, particularly for those who lived in the country. Stories of how they keep alive their piece of Spain back at home