Barcelona, 16 de February de 2023

Isabel Coixet will receive the Brain Film Fest 2023 Special Award

The documentary Walls Can Talk, Carlos Saura’s latest work, will be seen at the festival.

Several films awarded in the last Goya will be in the programming.

You can also enjoy round tables and workshops on various topics such as smell, yoga or gospel.

The Brain Film Fest Special Award, which is awarded for the second consecutive year to relevant figures who through their work contribute to the visibility of issues related to the brain, will go this year to the filmmaker Isabel Coixet. The Catalan director, with a career that began in the late 1980s and is still going strong, has dealt precisely, delicately, and respectfully with the issue of trauma and post-trauma in many of her films, including Things I Never Told You (1996), My Life Without Me (2003), the documentary Journey to the Heart of Torture (2003) or The Secret Life of Words (2005), and more recently the documentary The Yellow Ceiling and the miniseries Cuidarnos entre nosotros nos hace humanos (2022). 

Isabel Coixet stands out not only for her personal style when it comes to telling stories, but also for her commitment and ability to immerse the viewer in empathy towards her characters, accompanying them through their emotions, anguish and conflicts. Her works motivate the debate about who we are, both individually and collectively, as can be seen in her latest work, The Yellow Ceiling -winner of a Gaudí Award and nominated for a Goya- which elegantly and forcefully delves into the problem of sexual abuse, trauma and gender inequality. The documentary will be screened at the festival.


The Brain Film Fest, which is promoted by the Pasqual Maragall Foundation and co-organized with Minimal Films, with the collaboration of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology-Ministry of Science and Innovation, announces the new titles that will be part of its 6th edition , which will be held from March 15 to 19 at the CCCB and which are added to the latest preview reported.

The festival will screen the latest work by Carlos Saura, Walls Can Talk, a peculiar perspective on the origin of art. Through his personal and unique perspective, and together with his brother, Pedro Saura, an expert in Paleolithic art, and the artist Miquel Barceló, Saura portrays the evolution and relationship of art with the wall as a blank canvas on which to create. Traveling through time, the first graphic revolutions in prehistoric caves are explored until reaching the most avant-garde expressions of urban art by renowned artists such as Musa 71 or Suso 33.

The screening of Walls Can Talk will be completed with the round table Neuroart: creativity from the first neural spark, on what happens in the brain when a creative process begins and how it reacts to a work of art. It will feature Mara Dierssen, PhD in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Cantabria and director of the Cellular and Systems Neurobiology laboratory at the Center for Genomic Regulation, Carles Guerra, artist, university professor, art critic and curator, and will be moderated by the journalist Elisenda Roca.

Other titles that will be present in this edition are:

  • Bigger than Trauma, by Vedrana Pribačić, the story of three women who, more than 20 years after the Balkan War, still live with the trauma and humiliation that this conflict left them.
  • Lisa, la webserie, by Ingrid Santos and Raquel Barrera, about relationships, friendships, successes and failures in the university life of a girl on the autism spectrum.
  • Una escuela en cerro hueso, by Betania Cappato, which explores how the environment can support people on the autism spectrum. After the projection, the round table “Autism and the environment” will take place, with Carol Amat, technical director of the Catalan Federation of Autism, and Dr. Laura Gisbert, coordinator of the autism program of the Psychiatry Service of the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron. Moderated by journalist Rosa Badia.
  • La esencia de Ernesto by Àlex Remadaker, a journey through the life of the famous perfumer Ernesto Ventós.
  • Imad’s Childhood, by Zahavi Sanjavi, which explores the consequences of captivity by the Islamic state of a Yazidi boy and his family.
  • Bailar la locura, by Marta Espar and Maiol Virgili, a documentary that aims to represent madness through dance and the experiences of three women diagnosed with a mental disorder. The show will be accompanied by the round table “Dance and the Brain“, with Susana Pérez, PhD in Psychology and researcher on the benefits of dance in different groups, the dancer and director of the Mercat de les Flors, Àngels Margarit, and moderated by Teresa Pérez, a psychiatrist from the Vidal Barraquer Foundation.
  • Loca por la vida, by Raphaël Balboni and Ann Sirot, a film full of heart and joy that puts a couple to the test with a mother who suffers from “semantic dementia”.
  • In the session ¡Sumérgete en la lengua de signos!, coordinated with the Inclús Festival, you will be able to see a careful selection of short films made in sign language and that try to avoid themes focused on disability.


The 6th edition of the Brain Film Fest will offer a program of round tables, conferences and workshops around this year’s leitmotiv: art, creativity and the brain.


La 6ª edición del Brain Film Fest ofrecerá un programa de mesas redondas, conferencias y talleres alrededor del leitmotiv de este año: arte, creatividad y cerebro.

  • In the conference Santiago Ramón y Cajal: the scientist and the artist, the FECYT scientific researcher, Juan de Carlos, will highlight the fusion between the scientific self and the artist self of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.
  • Lecture The art of smelling, by Laura López-Mascaraque, neuroscientist, CSIC Scientific Researcher at the Cajal Institute and president of the Spanish Olfactory Network.
  • Workshops What does this smell remind you of? in which the olfactory memory will be worked through different essences; Brain keys to creativity, where you can discover the neurological keys to creative processes and how to apply them to daily activity; Yoga and neuroplasticity, in which it will be discovered how the different techniques and tools of yoga can help us to stop habits that cause mental automatism and numb the brain; and Gospel, a balm for our synapses with Sonia Moreno, director of gospel choirs such as Gospel Sistémicoof the Asociación Superar l’Ictus Barcelona.


For yet another year, the Brain Film Fest will have parallel activities that complete the programme, such as CCCB’s Alzheimer Program, a proposal that brings cinema and culture closer to people living with Alzheimer’s and that has demonstrated throughout its 10 years the positive impact it has on the well-being of the participants, caregivers and family members. This edition will program The Jungle Book (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967).

In a theatrical key, the company La Sinàptica will represent from March 15 at the El Maldà theater in Barcelona 3 desitjos, which portrays a young couple whose daily life is altered when he is diagnosed with an unknown and minority genetic variety of the disease of the Alzheimer’s.

The Brain Film Fest will also travel to Madrid with a new collaboration between the festival and the Espacio Fundación Telefónica. It will be on March 24 with a meeting session between cinema and science with the programming of one of the most exciting documentaries of the edition, Theater of Thought by the prolific director Werner Herzog. After the screening, there will be a colloquium that will feature an online presentation by the neurobiologist Rafael Yuste, a participant in the documentary, and with the presence of the doctor of medicine and general director of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park Jordi Camí. The event will be moderated by the artistic director of the Brain Film Fest, Albert Solé.


All Brain Film Fest activities require mandatory pre-registration on Eventbrite. The BFF sessions are free except for the workshops that are priced at €8.

In addition to the face-to-face celebration, at FILMIN you will be able to enjoy a selection of films and short films from the festival. For the price of €15, access to these films will be provided from March 15 to 21, in addition to a two-month subscription to the platform.