Your Guide to Malaga Film Festival 2021

One of the biggest events in Malaga later this week – Malaga Film Festival. Read our guide to find out what’s on and where.

The 8-day event celebrates the very best of Spanish cinema and provides a feast of films, some of the best on screen, as well as a lot of cinema-related activities. 2021 is the 23th anniversary of Malaga Film Festival, an event in the city that draws crowds in their thousands.

When is Malaga Film Festival?

Malaga Film Festival starts on Friday 4 June and finishes on Sunday 13 June 2021.

Note that the information below refers to the 2020 edition. We’ll be updating this piece as soon as we have the details so bookmark this page and keep checking back! 

Which films are shown?

There’s a wealth of films (152 in total, 16 in the running for the main prize, some of which feature big names in Spanish cinema such as David Trueba and Iciar Bollaín). This year, the Malaga Film Festival has continued its Latin American theme by including films made in Spain and in Central and South America.

You can view the full programme here as a downloadable pdf. You can also search by date and time, or search for the film category you’re interested in and then buy a ticket via this link.

As well as the official competitors, Malaga Film Festival is screening shorts, documentaries as well as films outside the official competition.

Where can I see the films?

You can watch the films at different locations in Malaga city centre including the Cervantes Theatre, Albéniz Cinema and the Echegaray Theatre. The Cervantes Theatre hosts the opening night of the Malaga Film Festival – probably the most glamourous night of them all, although this year’s edition is (obviously) low key. 

Where can I see the action?

This year, you can watch all the events at the Festival on a giant screen in Plaza de la Constitución. They include the opening and closing galas, photo calls and prize giving ceremonies. 

How much does it cost to see one of the films at Malaga Film Festival?

Prices start at €3.50 at the box office for most films (from €4.40 if you buy your ticket online). If you want to see any of the 17 films in the official section, a ticket costs €10. Discounts are available if you buy tickets in bulk, e.g. 15% off if you buy 5 or more.

Are the films only in Spanish?

Not all of them, but because the Malaga Film Festival celebrates cinema in the Spanish language, most of the films are in Spanish. Those that are original version (VOSE) say so on their details in the programme.

Where can I get tickets?

From the box offices at the different venues, the temporary box office in Plaza de la Merced and online.

Cerantes Theatre box office: 8.30am to 2pm & 6 to 8.30pm.

Albeniz Cinema (Calle Alcazabilla): 4.30 to 10pm.

Online via Uniticket 

Plaza de la Merced (from 14 March): 11am to 20.30pm.

Echegaray Theatre (from 14 March): 4 to 10.30pm.

What are the prizes?

The top prize at the Malaga Film Festival is the ‘Biznaga de Oro‘ (typical flower made of gold jasmine flowers) for the best film. There are also several silver biznaga prizes for best actor, actress, director, supporting actor/actress, music… you get the idea.

Malaga Film Festival
And the Gold Biznaga
goes to…


Are there honorary prizes?

Yes, every year the Festival awards prizes to actors and directors for their work in film. In 2020, the Malaga Prize (Premio Málaga, sponsored by Diario Sur newspaper) goes to Gael García Bernal, one of Mexico’s top actors and directors. The Biznaga de Honor is for the director Javier Fesser. The awarding of both these prizes has been postponed until 2021 so that the actors can receive them in person. The Biznagas Ciudad de Paraísmo (City in Paradise) awards go to local actress Kiti Mánver and Argentinian actor and director Oscar Martínez. They will both receive the awards in person

The Malaga Talent Prize for 2020, sponsored by La Opinión de Málaga newspaper, is for the young director, Carlos Marques-Marcet, who has already won several important awards for his films. 

Is the Malaga Film Festival just about films?

No, there are other events in Malaga too. These include:

Concerts with a cinema theme – to be announced for 2020. Watch this space!

Exhibitions – as usual Calle Larios will become a giant red carpet for the duration of the Malaga Film Festival. This year’s topic is Spanish and Latin America cinema with photographs by Oscar Fernández Orengo. The 78 black and white portraits of Spanish and Latin American film directors will line the street from 21 to 30 August. 

Malaga film festival
Red carpet in Larios

Will anyone famous be here for the festival?

The list of VIP guests hasn’t been confirmed yet, but tickets for the Gala Night presentation sold out ages ago so expect more than a few famous faces. We’ll keep you posted! The best places for celebrity spotting are the square in front of the Cervantes Theatre, the Albeniz Cinema and outside the AC Palacio Hotel where many of them stay. You can see them all via the giant screen on Plaza de la Constitución. 

Malaga Film Festival is just one of the events in Malaga during August. Get some inspiration for other things to do here.

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