Flamenco dancer Luisa Palicio is featured in one of eight original short films to premiere April 23 and 24 in Flamenco on Film.

Flamenco dancer Luisa Palicio is featured in one of eight original short films to premiere April 23 and 24 in Flamenco on Film. (Felix Vazquez)

A year in the making, and nearly three years since its last event in 2019, the Flamenco Arts Festival (FAF) will launch its first Flamenco on Film virtual festival in April showcasing three countries, eight short films, and 16 world-renowned artists performing in beautiful spaces in and around Sevilla. Spain, and Santa Barbara with highlights of flamenco festivals in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) and Querétaro (Mexico).

“While facing daunting challenges, arts organizations, artists and promoters have found innovative ways to adapt and survive during the pandemic,” said Vibiana, president and co-founder of the Flamenco Arts Festival. “Returning to the arts scene with a virtual festival has given us a creative outlet and a renewed vision to continue presenting and supporting flamenco.”

All eight films, original productions for the Flamenco Arts Festival, were shot during 2021 at locations in Spain, Mexico, and Santa Barbara, overcoming the many challenges of constantly shifting pandemic precautions and restrictions.

The films will be added to the Flamenco Arts Festival film library and serve as a historical look at creating art during this unprecedented time. Films run between five and 50 minutes.

Flamenco on Film also features a special film, “Sevillanas,” performed by Santa Barbara dancers and includes friends of Old Spanish Days Fiesta and the world premiere of Loco Por Ti (music for the film). The film is an interpretation of the popular music and dance tradition of Spain.

“Sevillanas” showcases more than 30 dancers of all ages and dance levels filmed at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and includes musicians and composers of Loco Por Ti, guitarist Andres Vadin and singer José Cortes

Flamenco Arts Festival worked closely with Seville-based filmmaker Felix Vazquez in the making of Flamenco on Film, and in the process created new ways to partner and collaborate with other flamenco organizations and individuals in Spain and in Mexico to showcase the shared flamenco traditions deeply rooted in these countries and the people who devote their lives to flamenco onstage, behind the scenes, and in the audience.

“Through Flamenco on Film, we welcome an expanded global audience to spend a few hours in the diverse world of flamenco, with the many talented people, beautiful places, spaces, and events that warm our hearts and souls,” said Vibiana.

“And when it is safe, we hope Flamenco on Film will inspire everyone to seek out live flamenco in their cities. It is the most important way for artists to present their work and for communities to experience and support this beautiful art form,” she said.

The virtual festival premieres April 23 and April 24 but can be viewed through April 29. Tickets are per household and are available for each day or a package price for all eight films.

Flamenco on Film at a glance:

Program 1 —  noon, Saturday, April 23

Makarines (contemporary flamenco vocal duo – 29 minutes)
Ibérica Contemporánea (highlights of a festival in México -13 minutes)
Volver (special documentary presentation -11 minutes)
María Moreno (experimental flamenco dance performance – 29 minutes)

Program 2 / noon, Sunday, April 24

Sevillanas (traditional folk dance and music performance with world premiere soundtrack – 5 minutes)
Luisa Palicio (classic flamenco dance performance – 33 minutes)
Festival de Jerez (highlights of a flamenco festival in Spain – 13 minutes)
Pedro Ricardo Miño (flamenco music performance – 50 minutes)

For more information, visit www.flamencoarts.org.

Based in Santa Barbara, the Flamenco Arts Festival is an international cultural arts organization devoted to the ancient art form of flamenco. In normal times, FAF has produced its live in-person event presenting world-renowned flamenco artists from Spain and the U.S. Up to 2,000 local, national and international attendees come to Santa Barbara to participate in four days of live concerts, workshops, film events, and tributes.

Founded in 1999 by Vibiana and her father Alberto Pizano, the festival was established with the goal of celebrating cultural diversity in the arts and introducing Santa Barbara and the South Coast to a caliber of flamenco artists and performances never before seen in the area and to increase the interest, knowledge and understanding of the art form.

“We are grateful for the extensive show of support from our local and international partners and sponsors for this year’s Flamenco on Film, who are strengthening local culture and education, while helping to build a global community around the Flamenco Arts Festival’s artistic and educational initiatives and celebrate cultural diversity in the arts,” said Vibiana.

FAF thanks the following organizations and businesses for their support of the 2022 Flamenco on Film, A Virtual Experience.

Featured Sponsors: California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles, City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, Santa Barbara Bowl Outreach Foundation, Jackson Browne, Schlinger Family Foundation, Léni Fé Bland Performing Arts Partnership, Mosher Foundation, La Rubia Productions-Carol and Homer Garten, Montecito Bank and Trust, Anne & Hale Milgrim.

The project is funded in part by the Events and Festivals Grant Program using funds provided by the city of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

Partners are: Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Festival Internacional de Danza Ibérica Contemporánea, Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco, Fundación Proart, Latin Percussion, Lobero Theatre, Museo del Baile Flamenco Cristina Hoyos, Santa Barbara Airport, Festival de Jerez.