Indy Film Festival in Marbella

The first iFilmmaker International Film Festival ended on Tuesday night with the awards ceremony at the Cine Goya Marbella in Puerto Banus.

Filmmakers  from 75 countries were present, among them the Goya panel member  Andrés Pajares, Jesus Lloveras who has a total of 16 nominations for the Goya awards as well as Marbella mayor Jose Bernal and  the Russian Ambassador.
The big winners of the night were two contrasting films "Battalion" with a budget of 10 million euros and produced by Sony and Columbia and  "Third Degree", an independent film made with a very tight budget that gained its creator and main actor Jesús Lloveras a standing ovation from the audience.

In the short film section the undisputed winners were "The Trench" Javier Llamazares and "Zero" by David Victori.

The organisers of the festival MakingNoizeFilms (Mari Cielo Pajares and Gary Stennette) and distributors of the films (Golden Mile Productions), were delighted at the fantastic reception by the  industry internationally, and are looking forward an even more successful festival next year.

Photo.  Festival chairman Gary Anthony Stennette and winners Jesus Lloveras and Javier Llamazares

The Kids wanna Rock!!!

If you like your gigs live and loud, then head over to  Bar Roka in Elviria tonight.

That's the venue for a Christmas concert with a difference, with a variety of talent from children aged 9-18 from different schools along the coast.

The children are performing in bands together and will play a variety of styles ranging from Folk to Funk to Pop to Punk.

The musical mayhem kicks off at 7.30pm with 12 different acts! Don't be late!

Marbellisima - Bettina Campolucci-Bordi

Health and nutrition expert Bettina Campolucci-Bordi,  picks out her favourite Marbella places.

Best View:  Sun-downers in any of the many beach bars scattered around the Marbella area. Autumn sunsets are magical turning the sky into hues of pinks and purples.
Best Place for Coffee: Marbella in general is good for coffee especially small ventas in the middle of nowhere. But my favourite place and my “daytime office” is Dezentral just by the H10 hotel.


Best for Eating: I always end up eating in Dezentral because I spend mornings or lunch times there. If I am in San Pedro or Marbella I go to Tomate Freshco, great for juices, gluten free options, salads at really affordable prices. If we are going somewhere fancy Serafina is a good choice. Lovely staff, good food and very forthcoming with dietary needs ( which is always an issue for me).

Best for showing visitors the real Marbella: I like to venture out of Marbella. Malaga has really become funky with lots of organic and trendy places popping up. For a bit of city buzz and a third of the price Malaga is a great place to spend the day or even a night.

Best for quiet moments: Walking along the beach during sunrise is amazing. Listening to the sound of the waves the sea washing up on the shore with a few enthusiastic early risers is pretty special.

Best for lively ones: Depends on what you are looking for. There are plenty of places to get lively. I have been going to Terra Blues in Puerto Banus for 10 years now and although I am not as frequent as I used to be you can't beat the music and the vibe that Russell (the owner) brings to that place!

I couldn’t live without: All the markets and the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits that is available to us here. After travelling a lot this past year I appreciate what we have and how affordable fresh produce is compared to big cities like London.

Best Shopping: I love Nina B and Gunnels Fashion on Central Plaza. Both shops have a great selection of brands that you cant find anywhere else. The older and wiser I get, I prefer to go for quality versus quantity which is exactly what you get with these two shops.

Personal Best: Honestly that is a really hard question. I think we all go through this love affair with Marbella. We go through love and hate and sometimes we float in the grey zone not really knowing what to feel!

I must say that over this last year I have fallen back in love with our bubble Marbella. I really appreciate and am grateful for what this place has to offer. Everything from amazing weather, beautiful surroundings and if you look hard enough you aren’t short of anything really. Lots of moments, lots of favourites and at this moment Marbella for me is at its Personal Best!

For more information and to sign up to Bettini's newsletter go to

Laughing out loud at the Costa Comedy Club

Stand up comedy is to make a welcome return to Marbella with the inaugural Costa Comedy Club on December 17.

Held at the Cine Teatro Goya, Puerto Banus, the evening features some of the hottest acts in the UK who are flying in from the UK.  The night will be compered by Aideen McQueen, one of Ireland's top female stand ups.

Opening act on the night is Geoff Whiting. Geoff (pictured) has done more than 4,500 stand-up gigs playing all the UK’s leading clubs including, The Comedy Store, Jongleurs and Komedia (Brighton and Bath) as well as gigging in Times Square NYC. His TV work includes ‘Shooting Stars’ with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, ‘Ponderland’ with Russell Brand, Mitchell and Webb, Armstrong and Miller and with Mark Dolan on ‘Balls of Steel’.

Also on the bill is Scouse stand up Steve Gribbin. Steve is a diminutive guitar-wielding satirist from Liverpool whose scabrous comedy songs and off the wall observations have made him one of the firm favourites of the comedy circuit.

Steve's original comedy songs combine razor sharp lyrics with tunes that put their foot in the door of your mind and refuse to leave. Firmly based in rock 'n' roll and refusing to pull no punches, these are not the 'oh so witty' ditties of penguin-suited plink plonk piano playing posh gobs. They are that rarity - comedy songs which are actually funny.

With a fully stocked bar all night with drinks able to be enjoyed in your seat, we are looking forward to a great night of comedy!

Costa Comedy Clubs
Cines Teatro Goya Puerto Banus - Cinema
17th December 17,  2015
Doors - 7:30
Show starts at 9pm and finishes around 12pm

For more information call 603 755 611 or email

Tickets at €30

We wish you an alternative Christmas - Festival Arte Sano!

The Christmas market season is well and truly upon us and starts today with the Festival Arte Sano XI Invierno in San Pedro.

Held the the municipal pavilion at the old feria ground, the two day event has a diverse market of alternative products and services, artisans, therapists, natural and organic products, natural health, complementary medicine, social collectives and the arts.

This is the eleventh Festival Arte Sano in San Pedro (the summer festival takes place on the paseo and this year attracted over 6,000 people). The event aims to promote organic food, healthy living, alternative therapies, art and other sectors  as well as showcase health and fitness through a variety of classes and performances. Finally Festival Arte Sano hopes to raise awareness among the visitors for a better way of living based on understanding, health, sustainability and integration.

The festival programme includes free  exhibitions, talks, concerts, dance, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, childrens’ activities and performances, as well as an exchange of ideas and experiences in the field of art, health and ecology.

In addition there is a dedicated children’s area with activities and games providing a safe and fun place for them during the weekend.

Entrance to the festival is  1€ entrance charge and all  proceeds will go directly to the festival's chosen charities.

Festival Arte Sano XI
La Carpa, Recinto Ferial, San Pedro Alcántara, Málaga

10.30 am - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday December 5-6


Are you a Size HH?

Weight loss, poor body image, obesity and eating disorders are something a large proportion of young girls and women are struggling with every day.

Marbella-based author Eva George believes she has discovered a range of simple and practical ways for women to improve body confidence and become the healthiest possible version of themselves, without dieting or disrupting their lifestyles. She has put everything she has learned into a book, designed for busy women and mums like herself.

The result is Size HH. The title simply means to be size happy and healthy and it’s an easy to read, practical guide to making the most of your unique shape without dieting, or extreme exercise, plus how to make life-long healthier habit changes.

The book is primarily focused on health rather than weight-loss and focuses on the four key areas needed to become Size Happy & Healthy; the mind, lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. It's written in a funny, accessible and honest style with even the busiest or least motivated people in mind and aims to encourage achievable, sustainable changes. To give readers the most up to date, factual information in the book, Eva consulted experts in sleep, mind training, psychology and nutrition, as well as getting inspirational stories from real women. The ebook and paperback are  supported by a website offering challenges, tips and regular information t

Marbella's Michelin Magic

It's a fabulous time to  be a foodie in Marbella.
The days when the town had little to offer over menu del dias (don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of ventas, but there are times when you need something a little more exciting than carne con tomate) or overpriced, pretentious restaurants that were gone before you could say gold flecked duck egg with caviar (step forward the incredibly short lived Huerta in Banus).
Marbella has become something of a Michelin hotspot since then. Marbella mayor José Bernalnc formally congratulated Dani Garcia (pictured), Skina, Messina and El Lago, who were awarded the Michelin Star at a gala in Santiago de Compostela.
Bernal commented that the four restaurants played a big part in Marbella's image "They are the best ambassadors for our town, with values ​​that convey quality, effort and improvement."The mayor went on to day that Dani García at the Hotel Puente Romano with two Michelin stars, and Skina and El Lago with a star each "were benchmarks of haute cuisine which is a real asset to tourism in Marbella".
There were also special congratulations for Mauricio Giovanini at Restaurante Messina, which joins the Michelin 2016 guide with its first star, "a well-deserved reward for constancy and professionalism and confirms that Marbella is already a premier dining destination ".
It's all a far cry from the old days, when dining in Marbella used to be somewhat akin to Russell Crowe's famous quote in Gladiator.
“Whatever comes through those doors, we stand a better chance of making it out alive if we all stick together!”

Bertie at BDFAS is magic in Marbella!

A little bit of magic and a lot of that's the way to do it will accompany Bertie Pearce on his two-day trip to Marbella and Benahavis.

Bertie is not only a  magician but also a Professer of Punch and will delivering lecture on the history of Punch and Judy and how it inspired opera, cocked a snook at authority and even had a say in Punk Rock!

The lecture takes place at Benahavis Town Hall at 6.30pm tonight, Tuesday November 24 and is orgainised by The Benahavis Decorative & Fine Arts Society (BDFAS). The society was  been established to serve those with an interest in the fine arts in the Marbella to Estepona area.

Bertie is also is a Gold Member of the Magic Circle and was awarded the Carlton Comedy Award in 2003, and on Wednesday November 24 he will be performing a close upm agic show at 1.30 pm for 2.00pm at  Los Arqueros Golf Club. Entrance is  €25  for BDFAS members (Non Members €30) and includes lunch and welcome drink.

BDFAS offers a programme of eight lectures from October – May encompassing a broad range of topics which include: Old Masters, sculpture, music and photography.

For further information visit

Costa Christmas Collections

The Costa Christmas Collections are back!

After the huge success of last year’s event Kara and  Gary Robertson and Charley Caradas of The Boardwalk Restaurant in Marbella and Slainte Restaurant in Puerto Banus have teamed up with Karen Carter Southall to make Christmas a happy one for the children of Cuidad de Los Niños, the Alora Orphanage and the Amusivig (Houses of Domestic Violence.)

The children in these houses range from 1-18 years, both boys and girls as well as teenagers. Toiletries, clothes, gadgets, sports equipment, schools bags, books and DVDs in Spanish are the most sought after gifts for the 12-18 year olds, while toys, learning activities, clothing, books and DVDs are the gifts for the younger ones. For exact clothing sizes please contact Kara Robertson on 672 575 644.

If you want to make a child's Christmas this year simply  purchase a present, wrap it up and label it with the sex and the age of the child, then deliver it to one of the many drop off points along the coast. These include:

The Boardwalk Restaurant, Marbella
The Boardwalk Creperie at Ambrosia Gourmet Mercado, Puerto Banus
Slainte Restaurant, Puerto Banus
The Barber Club, Puerto Banus
Golden Tarts, La Cala and Puerto Banus
The Playwright Restaurant, Elviria
Streets of London, La Cala
Bar Marie, La Cala Hills
Dynamic Gym, Marbella
Bling Boutique, Diana Park
Olivias, La Cala
Joanne Marie Furniture, Coin
Halo Spa Salon, Alhaurin el Grande
Sunlands International School, Nueva Aljaima
Club La Costa World, Mijas
Yoyuba, Mijas Costa
Martins Hair & Beauty Lounge, Benalmadena
The Vintage Café, Benalmadena
Central FM (by Tivoli World)
Neli G’s, Benavista
Funky Forest, Estepona
Galaxia Play Centre, San Pedro
Wonderland Playskool, San Pedro
La Tasca, Torre del Mar

All the presents will be collected and distributed before Christmas. So go on, donate a gift and put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

It's Clasico Time!

Spain will grind to a halt this afternoon as El Clasico, the huge clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, gets underway at 6.15pm.

It doesn't matter that we are down in southern Spain. For this match everyone is either a merengue or cule. When I was living in a tiny pueblo near Antequera, the bars were packed for this match, even though most of the locals had never been down to the coast, never mind Madrid.

When the teams meet tonight a win for Barcelona will send them six points clear and leave them on track to defend their Liga title, while success for Real Madrid would even things up.

Both teams face the issue of accommodating superstars and  Barcelona manager Luis Enrique seems to have cracked it. Neymar, Suarez and Messi form a well-drilled, selfless, efficient front trio.

Real Madrid's Benitez, meanwhile, is struggling with his players, and not just because injuries to Karim Benzema and Bale slowed the chemistry-building process. Bale and Ronaldo rank first and second as the most expensive players in history, but fitting them into the same lineup isn't always straightforward.

Bale's camp has complained in the past that he doesn't see enough of the ball, and Ronaldo seems genuinely unhappy and pained when he doesn't get it. Neither stands out defensively, and that's a problem for a manager like Benitez who craves balance. Rumours are rife that the club may need to choose one or the other come the summer transfer window, a choice dictated by the bottom line as well as by playing considerations.

The biggest uncertainty lies in who will make it off the sick list. Sergio Ramos shot his injured shoulder up with painkillers to play in Madrid's last league games and aggravated the injury when he landed on it after scoring a spectacular overhead kick for the opener. Benzema hasn't played since the beginning of October though he's back in training. For Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic suffered a calf injury in early November, and while he's back in training, he wasn't due back until next month.

And there's the big one: Messi. He has been sidelined because of injury since late September and, in his absence, Neymar and Suarezhave taken on the scoring burden. Going back to the moment the Argentine limped off against Las Palmas, the pair have scored 19 of Barcelona's 22 goals.

And while this is not the game for which you call in sick, Benitez and Enrique will have tough calls to make because the last thing you need is a star reinjuring himself.

No matter who plays though,  no single game offers it as much as the Clasico. So head to the nearest bar at around 6pm tonight, grab a cold one, and enjoy the biggest match in the world!