Havana invites you to watch great cinema from the 6th to the 16th of December
These days there is a recurring topic in every conversation taking place in the Cuban capital: The 40th Edition of the Havana Film Festival. As one of the most important cultural events in the country nears its starting date the expectations of movie enthusiasts start to build up; even more so when the Organizing Committee has assured that this year’s selection gathers the best current proposals of the cinema produced in Latin America and abroad.
The Havana Film Festival certainly constitutes an opportunity to get to watch on the big screen the best films of the area produced this year, it also enables the airing of films that have had a successful trajectory in other prestigious festivals or to discover new filmmakers that bring interesting propositions. It’s a way to encounter that old Latin-American cinema that in spite of all has kept itself critical and testimonial over the course of four decades.
This year, 118 films will wage battle in order to take home the Coral prizes: 20 fiction full-length films, 22 medium-length and short films, 18 premieres, 25 documentaries, 26 animated and 7 post produced films. Also in competition there will be 19 unpublished scripts and 24 posters. In total, counting the competing films and those that form part of other sections outside of the contest there are 373 productions from 40 countries.
Just a few days short of the event voices of specialists begin to recommend films like “Rojo”, an Argentinian production by Benjamín Naishtat; “Insumisas” by the Cuban filmmaker Fernando Peréz, who has authored important titles of the national cinematography or “Museo” by Alonso Ruizpalacios starring the Mexican actor Gael García Bernal.
Regarding documentaries recognised authors like Tristán Bauer are participating, this time he proposes a reflection on the disappearance of the 28 year old Santiago Maldonado. As an awaited production is the feature film debut of Cuban producer Arturo Infante who for this opportunity has decided to release a particular story: the monotonous life of a guide at a planetarium takes an unexpected turn when the earthlings receive an invitation from aliens to visit their mysterious planet.
Do not miss out on these
Outside of the competition much awaited films will be showcased such as “Roma” by Alfonso Cuarón winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, this production has been selected to represent Mexico in the category of -Best Foreign Language Film- at the 91st Edition of the Oscars. “Blackkklansman” by the American director Spike Lee, winner of the Great Jury Prize of the Cannes Film Festival will also be aired.
Other important titles that feature in the programme is the Japanese film “Family matters”, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, which has been sent by this country to compete in the Oscars in the category of -Best Foreign Language Film- and is a winner of the Palme d’Or as -Best Feature Film- in the Cannes Film Festival. Others include “Yuli” by the Spanish director Icíar Bollaín which tells the life story of the Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, the first black artist that has been able to interpret some of the most important ballet roles in companies such as the Royal Ballet based in London where he was principal dancer for more than 15 years. The film hits Havana after a successful participation at the San Sebastián Film Festival.
The programme also includes pieces of German and Spanish films as well as a selection of the best produced cinema in that region; on top of that a new segment has been created conformed by productions that touch very closely on family matters. Vanguard and experimental films will most definitely be shown and the rerun of Latin-American classics coming back to the big screen after a rigorous process of restoration is assured. On that note films like “El lado oscuro del corazón” (Eliseo Subiela, 1992) and “La hora de los hornos” (Pino Solanas, 1968) will be projected.
This December outstanding international film figures will wander the streets and movie theatres of the Cuban Capital. One of them is the Serbian director Emir Kusturika who on the inaugural evening will present his documentary “El Pepe, una vida suprema”, which is the result of 3 years of filming the life of the Uruguayan ex-president Pepe Mujica, this film was largely applauded in the last Venice Film Festival where it was awarded by the International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (ICFT) of UNESCO.
The American filmmaker Michael Moore will also participate and will premiere in Cuba “Fahrenheit 11⁄9”, as he will do with his recent production on the electoral campaign and presidency of Donald Trump; other acclaimed names of worldwide cinematography include the American actor Matt Dillon, the Puerto Rican Benicio del Toro and the actress Geraldine Chaplin.
Credit where credit’s due
In this 40th Edition homage will be paid in a special manner to the late Cuban filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, author of “Memorias del subdesarrollo” and “Fresa y Chocolate”, to whom this festival is dedicated in commemoration of his 90th anniversary. Equally the Argentinian filmmaker and father to the New Latin American Cinema, Fernando Birri who passed away last year will be remembered.
Besides the Havana Film Festival will hand out an Honorary Coral prize to Berta Navarro, a producer who holds in her curriculum films like “El laberinto del fauno” (2006) and “La delgada línea amarilla” (2015). A special Coral prize will be awarded to the Sundance Institute in recognition of the more than 20 years of collaboration with the event.
Don’t miss out on the proposals of this new edition of the International New Latin-American Film Festival, come and fully experience every moment of one of the most relevant cultural events on the Island. From the 6th to the 16th of December Havana invites you to come and see a type of cinema that without a doubt will make you grow.