Spanish filmmaker Paco León came across Josh Lawson’s The Little Death via the film’s European distributor Vertigo-Wild Bunch, who offered him the chance to make his own version. 

“They sent me a DVD to watch and I loved it,” León tells IF. 

“They promised me the freedom to transport the stories to my universe. Also, producing a film is so hard. In this case, the producers were making it easy for me so I had to do it.”

Moving the story to Spain, the director relied on his own sense of humour to guide how far to push the boundaries – “How far to go with the explicitness of the situations, how sassy situations could be, etcetera.” 

“Each person, depending on their education, culture and personalities has their own limits of what defines good taste,” the filmmaker says.

The result is Kiki, Love to Lovethe opening night film at this year’s Spanish Film Fest, screening at Palace cinemas in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart. 

León didn’t speak to the original film’s director, Josh Lawson, before making his own (liberal) adaptation.

“I wanted to but my English is as bad as a two-year-old’s and I thought that Josh might think that his film was in bad hands (laughs). I would love to know what he thinks of Kiki.”

Several festival screenings will conclude with a Q&A session with the film’s star, Natalia de Molina, who is in Oz as a festival guest.

The fest runs until May 7 in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, until May 14 in Adelaide and Brisbane, and until May 17 in Perth and Hobart.

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