Informative plattform of International Federation of Film Societies- Féderation Internationalle des Ciné-clubs- Federación Internacional de Cine Clubes
“Ojos que ven” … is the leitmotif of the visual campaign for the 41st International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana. An idea, a phrase, a slogan that shows the Cubans’ passion for cinema and to see what has been filmed in Latin America and the world over the last year.
The Festival was created in 1979 with the aim of recognizing and disseminating cinematographic works that helped to reaffirm Latin American and Caribbean cultural identity. One of its main goals is to serve as a platform for productions that suffer from international anonymity for the Hollywood industry.
The Festival’s program comprises the annual competition for the Coral awards showcases a selection of the most recent production of Latin America and the Caribbean. Each year the Festival calls for entries to the Competitions in Fiction, Opera Prima, Documentary, Animation, Unproduced Script, Poster and Postproduction.
The panorama of Latin American production, complements the selection of films screening in Competition. It consists of a series of thematic programs dealing with historical memory, social struggles, the politics of diversity and Latin American art, among others. From other latitudes we can see also the contemporary world panorama, that is a showcase of some of the most outstanding and representative titles in recent cinema.
Besides that, the program includes the Industry Sector initiatives, a showcase of contemporary world cinema, as well as meetings and seminars on issues of cultural interest, especially cinema.
This year 21 fiction films, 18 premium operas, 21 documentaries, 10 short and medium films, 23 animated films, 25 unpublished scripts and 30 posters had competed for the Coral Prize. Fiction films are from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay and Cuba, and most of the movies are co-productions, including countries from other geographical areas. Of the total movies, 210 belonged to countries of the continent, led by Argentina and Brazil.
Havana has a special light and more this year as the city celebrates its 500th anniversary. If we add to that the heat, the music, the rum, the syncretism of the cubans and the number of cars of the 50’s driving on the street, it should not surprise us the feeling of living situations of magical realism, not only in the screen but also for the city.
The cinema in Havana has a great popularity among its people by its history, its fame and its repercussion over several decades. Before the advent of television, cinema was the most popular social entertainment in Cuban society, and today during the Festival cinemas are filled.
In 1955 there were about 147 movie theaters in Havana, more than Paris and New York together. The Vedado area concentrates most cinemas that look like a book from the architecture of the 50’s. Places like the Yara, Acapulco, Riviera, Rampa or 23 and 12 are still active and remember a time in the which Havana was the city with more cinemas of America.
60 years of history of the Cuban Institute of Film Art and Industry (ICAIC).
The Cuban Institute of Art and Film Industry (ICAIC), is responsible for the production of cinema in Cuba and manager of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana. The institution has a movie theater that every week presents classic films of all time.
This 41st edition was dedicated to the centennial of Santiago Álvarez, a renowned Cuban documentary filmmaker, and to the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC). Also was presented the documentary “Retrato de un artista siempre adolescente”, directed by Manuel Herrera, which covers the life of Julio García Espinosa and the history of the Cuban Institute of the Art and Film Industry (ICAIC).
Choral and Collateral awards
The award given by the Festival is the Coral, a symbol taken from the large coral reefs that populate the Caribbean Sea. In addition, there are also the Collaterals awards, among which the Don Quixote Award, which is a recognition of the International Federation of Cineclubs (FICC).
In this edition, in the fiction section, the film Los sonámbulos, an Argentine-Uruguayan co-production by Paula Hernández, was awarded with the Coral for the best Fiction Feature, this tape was also awarded with the Script Choral and the female performance, for the actress Erica Rivas.
Los Sonámbulos is a story told from a mother’s point of view. According to Paula Hernández, the film is about: “a family gathering in a ritualistic and endogamous way to celebrate a New Year’s Eve. They all work in the same publishing house that belongs to the family. Everything works internally and the enemy is out of the family, but never inside, as it finally happens. ” “The film is built on small, everyday situations filled with micro violence, with many things muted or distorted. This build-up causes a final outburst where the mother and daughter find their way out together.”
The Special Jury’s Chorale was shared between Algunas bestias, Chilean film by the director Jorge Riquelme Serrano, which also obtained the director’s Chorale, and the Franco-Guatemalan co-production La Llorona, by Jayro Bustamante, one of the Don Quixote jury’s favorites, which also received the Coral of sound, for the work of Eduardo Cáceres.
* Coral Awards 41 International Latin American Film Festival of Havana.
As for the collateral awards. The International Federation of Cineclubs (FICC), with a jury composed of Ramon Cabrera, Concepción Cala and Jesús Galindo, granted a Mention to the fictional film Divino amor, by the Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro and the Don Quixote Prize, unanimously, to the film of fiction Bacurau, by the Brazilian directors Kleber Medoza Filho and Juliano Dornelles.
Bacurau, is a futurist western disconnected from reality and with clear references to the situation that Brazil is currently experiencing. The film, with touches of magical realism, is an allegory of the resistance of the united people. Outstanding cast include Udo Kier, a horror film myth, and Sonia Braga, one of the best Brazilian actresses of recent decades. The play exhibits a mix of tones and genres, jumping from rural customism to carpenterian-style terror or psychedelic travel, all linked with a sense of humor and great formal freedom.
Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles sign this deeply ironic, brutal and critical dystopia with the times. Juliano Dornelles at a press conference said: “Brazil is a fertile ground for imagining absurd situations like those in the film and they are more and more like real situations. These are also historical mistakes that are repeated and observed again. We talk about things we know.”
Divino amor, by Gabriel Mascaro, received a mention by the Don Quijote Award Jury. Mascaro speculates about the near future through an allegory, despite the fact that present-day Brazil is showing increasing signs of this reality. The conservative evangelical line has gained much ground in society and in public institutions. Bolsonaro just created the ministry for women, family and human rights. Brazil is led by very conservative and religious forces.
* Collateral Awards of the 41st International Latin American Film Festival of Havana.
Jesus Galindo (Catalunya)
Cineclub La Seu d’Urgell, Catalan Federation of Film Societies.