ALBUQUERQUE – The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) and Cervantes Institute are proud to announce the 2nd Annual Operas Primeras Film Series beginning Thursday, January 7th and running every Thursday through February 18th. All films take place in the NHCC’s Bank of America Film Theatre at 7 pm and admission is free. The films are presented in Spanish with English subtitles. The Óperas Primeras film series spotlights the first works of young directors that have not been widely distributed around the world. Some films have appeared at international film festivals and because of their high quality have experienced great success. Below are the films that will be presented this January and February at the NHCC.

January 7
Los nombres de Alicia (Pilar Ruiz Gutiérrez, 2004, Spain, 103 min.)
Mina arrives in a quiet provincial city to study languages and teach English to Marisa and Juan’s children, but things are not as they seem. Little by little every member of the family will fall for her strange charm.

January 14
Agua con sal (Pedro Pérez Rosado, 2005, Spain/Puerto Rico, 99 min.)
Olga is a young Cuban that arrived in Spain with a scholarship to start a new life. After a while, she becomes a marginalized illegal immigrant, unable to return home. Mari Jo, a Valencian, comes from a family with many problems. Both are undocumented workers in a furniture factory earning two Euros an hour. This is the story of women who fight for survival, desperately looking for what they have lost.

January 21
Amor en defensa propia (Rafa Russo, 2006, Spain, 108 min.)
Two people leading an aimless existence have the opportunity to become reconciled with life. Between them there have been three divorces; she is a painter who has a child who she doesn’t see; he is a retired soccer player. Both in their forties, neither has achieved much in life. Rubén and Adriana meet by chance in a bar. He lies. She hides the truth. It is love at first sight but it will be hard for them to explain their past, their mistakes and their lies.

January 28
La distancia (Iñaki Dorronsoro, 2006, Spain, 105 min.)
Daniel is a young boxer who has been close to winning a national title several times but his defensive and cautious style has held him back. He finds himself involved in a murder which leads him to Guillermo, a corrupt policeman tormented by his own homosexuality. Daniel is forced by Guillermo to kill Manuel, a prisoner with a shady past. He is racked with guilt after the murder but at the same time is deeply attracted to Raquel, the prisoner’s widow.

February 4
Estrellas de la línea (Chema Rodríguez, 2006, Spain, 98 min.)
Valeria, Vilma, Mercy and the rest of their friends dream of being treated with dignity. They are Guatemalan prostitutes who earn two dollars per service. They work in La Línea, next to the railway line that crosses the city to the Pacific Ocean. To bring their problems to everyone’s attention - police harassment and unpunished murders - they form a soccer team and enter a local tournament, but are banned on account of their profession. This causes great controversy in their country and the rejection and support they receive transform their lives overnight.

February 11
La línea recta (José María Orbe, 2006, Spain, 95 min.)
This urban story is about Noelia who is not yet thirty. She lives on the outskirts of Barcelona, working at a gas station by night and distributing leaflets door to door by day. Feeling as though she doesn’t have any free time she decides to leave her evening job. Her anonymity is very apparent – one more among the thousands. Her world consists of Rosa, Lucas, Nico and her boss, each of them with their own little conflicts and dreams and their fight for survival from day to day.

February 18
¿Por qué se frotan las patitas? (Álvaro Begines, 2006, Spain, 97 min.)
In one day, Luis is abandoned by all the women in his life. His wife decides to go to a Buddhist retreat because she is fed up with being ignored. His daughter goes after her lover only to discover that she loves another man. And his mother (his father-in-law’s secret lover) runs off with some “squatters”. Luis decides to hire shrewd Manolete to find them all.

The NHCC, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Hispanic art and culture at the local, state, national, and international levels.