Vasil is an intelligent and charismatic Bulgarian immigrant who has an amazing talent for chess and bridge. He is homeless until Alfredo, a retired architect, welcomes him into his home. The only thing the two men have in common is their passion for chess but despite all their differences, Vasil slowly breaks down the barriers put up by Alfredo – because Vasil has a gift; he makes a surprising difference to the lives of everyone he meets.
The screening will be preceded by an introduction by the director Avelina Prat and Marian A. Aréchaga.
Avelina Prat, graduated in architecture, has worked as a script supervisor on over 30 feature films with directors such as Fernando Trueba, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Javier Rebollo and Cesc Gay. She has directed and written short films that have received recognition at national and international festivals such as 3/105 (Venezia Orizzonti and Gijón IFF). Vasil, her first feature film, has been premiered at the Warsaw IFF, and competed in the Oficial Selection of Valladolid IFF. The film received international support by programs such as the Berlinale Script Station. The Portuguese House will be her second feature film.
Mrs Marian A. Aréchaga is a Lecturer in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies department where she teaches Spanish language courses at all levels. She was responsible of the development of all the Languages courses for Spanish 1st and 2nd Year, as well as Foundation courses, following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition, she has introduced a variety of cultural activities such as; organising workshops and conferences to promote Spanish Culture as well as academic courses. For several years she has directed the annual Spanish play, the most important cultural event in the department that staff and students undertake together.
Along with this, she has coordinated a Spanish film course for first year students, offering them more varied forms on learning how Spanish society has changed since 1960. Her most recent project was launching the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF), curating the films and offering an educational programme for schools around Scotland, the III edition of the festival has also expanded to Glasgow and Stirling. Through the festival, Marian has collaborated with a number of associations including Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Dance Base, Food and drink Scotland and Slow food Scotland. This June, Marian will be cooperating with the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The aim is to now create further connections between Scotland and Spain in preparation for the X edition for October 2023.