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Little Ashes

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Morrison
Produced by Carlo Dusi
Jonny Persey
Jaume Vilalta
Written by Philippa Goslett
Starring Robert Pattinson
Javier Beltran
Matthew McNulty
Music by Miguel Mera
Cinematography Adam Suschitzky
Editing by Rachel Tunnard
Samantha Patterine
Studio PT Films
Aria Films
Factotum Barcelona S.L.
Met Film Production
Met Film
Distributed by Regent Releasing (USA)
SOROlla Films (Spain)
Kaleidoscope Entertainment (UK)
IPA Asia Pacific (Taiwan)
Release date(s) May 8, 2009 (US)
Running time 107 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $2.9 million
Gross revenue $452,558

Little Ashes is a 2009 Spanish-British drama film, set against the backdrop of Spain during the 20s and 30s, as three of the era's most creative young talents meet at university and set off on a course to change their world. Luis Buñuel watches helplessly as the friendship between Salvador Dalí and the poet Federico García Lorca develops into a steamy love affair.



In 1922, 18-year old Salvador Dalí (Robert Pattinson) arrives at university in Madrid. The Residencia de Estudiantes, or Students' Residence, is a modern environment which encourages Spain's brightest young minds. Salvador, who is determined to become a great artist, soon catches the attention of the Resi's social elite – poet Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltran) and aspiring filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Together they form the nucleus of the most modern group in Madrid.

Their private lives become increasingly complex as Federico ignores the advances of devoted friend and writer Magdalena (Marina Gatell), and Salvador himself feels the pull of García Lorca's magnetism. Luis, becoming increasingly isolated by the duo's closeness, decides to move to Paris to fulfil his own artistic ambitions. Meanwhile, Salvador and Federico leave Madrid to spend the summer at the seaside village of Cadaques, at the home of Dalí's family.

Federico finds himself accepted[1] into the Dalí family as he and Salvador grow closer until, one night, their friendship becomes more.[2] Even as they draw closer, their relationship appears doomed. Luis visits them at university and becomes more suspicious and appalled by their apparent closeness.

Dalí finds García Lorca's obsession with him more than he is prepared to handle and moves to Paris. Consumed by the high society and decadence, Dalí is soon entangled with Gala (Arly Jover) a married woman with a penchant for celebrities. When García Lorca visits, he finds his friend is a changed man, in his life and his politics.


  • Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dalí
  • Javier Beltrán as Federico García Lorca
  • Matthew McNulty as Luis Buñuel
  • Marina Gatell as Magdalena
  • Bruno Oro as Paco
  • Esther Nubiola as Adela
  • Marc Pujol as Carlos
  • Arly Jover as Gala Dalí
  • Simón Andreu as Fernando del Valle
  • Vicky Peña as Magdalena’s aunt
  • Rubén Arroyo as Rafael
  • Diana Gómez as Ana María
  • Pep Sais as Art Teacher
  • Joan Picó as Young Officer
  • Ferran Audí as Guard 1
  • Adría Allué as Guard 2
  • Ferran Lahoz as Señor Milagro
  • Cristian Rodrigo as Young Journalist
  • Sue Flack as Madam
  • Adrian Devant as Puppeteer
  • Ramón Enrich as Professor
  • Xavi Siles as Man 1
  • Philippa Goslett and Hannah Rũtzou as Federico’s Sisters
  • Paco Alonso as Gypsy Singer



The title is taken from Salvador Dalí's 1927-28 painting Cenicitas (Little Ashes)[3][4]. It was originally called The Birth of Venus, before being changed to Sterile Efforts and then finally Cenicitas.[5] It was first displayed on 20 March 1929 in a Madrid exhibition.[6] It was again displayed in his first solo exhibition in Paris in June 1931.[7] The painting is currently in the Dalí collection of the Queen Sofia Art Centre in Madrid.[8]


While it is widely acknowledged that Lorca was infatuated with Dali, for years the artist denied entering into a relationship with Lorca.

Dalí stated:

"He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me... He tried to screw me twice... I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn't homosexual, and I wasn't interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it."[9]

Writer Philippa Goslett has said:

"Having done a huge amount of research, it's clear something happened, no question… When you look at the letters it's clear something more was going on there….It began as a friendship, became more intimate and moved to a physical level but Dalí found it difficult and couldn't carry on. He said they tried to have sex but it hurt, so they couldn't consummate the relationship."[9]


Film festivals

Little Ashes premiered at the 16th annual Raindance Film Festival in London. The sold-out screening was scheduled on 7 October 2008 at 19:00. A second screening was also added for the 8th of October at 14:30.[10]. Little Ashes premiered in the U.S. at the Miami Gay & Lesbian film festival. Fans built in depth websites like The Little Ashes Promo Blitz and started grassroots efforts to get theaters to play the movie. On May 8th 2009 it premiered in only 11 US locations[1].


The UK DVD release date is July 13, 2009 and is rated 15.[11] The US DVD release date is January 26, 2010.



Little Ashes was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Film - Limited Release" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[12]


Further reading

External links

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