From classics like the Rocky series to recent hits like Zendaya’s Challengers, film enthusiasts know that sports cinema is a potent way to tell a powerful story and explore familiar themes of triumph and camaraderie, offering not just action and drama, but also some lighthearted fun.

Shangri-La Plaza continues to support quality world cinema as it teams up with Instituto Cervantes de Manila to host this year’s Pelicula Spanish Film Festival happening at the Red Carpet Cinema from May 23 to 26. With the Paris Olympics firing up this July, the 2024 edition of the long-running film fest features four movies that showcase how sports transform lives and celebrate the human spirit.

Kick off the festival with a football frenzy courtesy of 2003’s Días de fútbol (Football Days), the debut film of David Serrano. The fast-paced comedy revolves around a gang of disillusioned 30-somethings who revive their childhood football team in a last-ditch effort to know what it feels like to win, even just one more time. A smash hit in the Spanish box office charts, the film is a poignant look at life in suburban Spain that addresses the fears of getting older.

Football fans will also want to check out La gran familia española (Family United) by acclaimed director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo.The 2013 comedy is a look at the chaos that ensues when five brothers reunite for a wedding at the family estate on the day that Spain wins the 2010 World Cup Final. It combines two things that rule in Spanish homes—family and football.

Get ready to hit the track with Campeonex (Championext), the movie that defeated Barbenheimer in the Spanish box office in 2023. It’s the sequel to the 2018 flick Campeones, Spain’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film for that year’s Oscars that also spawned an American remake starring Woody Harrelson. While the original followed a team of differently-abled athletes as they defied the odds to rise up through a basketball tournament, the recent film shows what happens when their coach accidentally enrolls them in a track and field competition. This Javier Fesser production continues to celebrate diversity and resilience with humor and heart.

Pelicula Spanish Film Festival completes its lineup with Futbolin (Underdogs) by award-winning Argentine director Juan José Campanella. Released in 2013, this animated feature follows Amadeo, a shy and unassuming foosball genius who’s unable to confess his love to his childhood friend, Lara. When their hometown is threatened by the football rival known as The Champ, who plans to turn it into a giant sports stadium, Amadeo, Lara, and a dismantled foosball team must unite to save their beloved village.

Whether you’re a die-hard football fan, a lover of family comedies, or someone who likes tales that celebrate humanity’s relentlessness, get inspired by Shang as it hosts the sportiest edition of Pelicula Spanish Film Festival from May 23 to 26.

For updates and inquiries, follow Shangri-La Plaza on Facebook at and on Instagram @shangrilaplazaofficial.

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