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news item

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Cuban young filmmakers showcase projects to the future with big theme of sexuality

by: Susana Mendez Munoz,

The 16th ICAIC Muestra Joven will take place 4-9 April in Havana. The showcase opens with the documentary film Severe Secret, by Oneyda González and Gustavo Pérez, dedicated to the Cuban intellectual Severo Sarduy, which was presented at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in December in Havana.

At a press conference held at the ‘Strawberry and Chocolate' Cinematographic Cultural Centre, the showcase's board of directors announced that 42 young filmmakers from Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Granma, Havana, Pinar del Río, Santiago de Cuba and Villa Clara In the main competition in which 87 works were registered, of which 40 were selected; In fiction 25, in documentary 10 and 5 animations.

The diversity of visions especially in the fiction section was emphasized; the maturity, depth and solidity in the cinematographic language of the documentary pieces, and the narrative weakness of the animations, a difficulty echoing previous festivals.

Among the most important themes of the films was sexuality in all its aspects; Childhood and its relation to violence; spirituality; the historical memory of Cuba and the family with a centre that manages human conflicts and marginalization, axes that will be discussed in the ‘Moving Ideas' events for dialogue between specialists, filmmakers and the public about the films.

Mijail Rodríguez emphasized the aesthetic diversity of the entries in the festival "the aesthetic explorations have been trying to move away from the conventional narrative, to dispense with the dialogue, to use the voice off and this year in particular there are several works cut in a very experimental way, shooting on 16 millimetre film".

Juan Carlos Calahorra, explained why a chrysalis is being used as the identifying logo for this year's festival, referring to the general concept of gestation, "The chrysalis is the perfect metaphor for the project and the films we are making," he said.

He then commented: "We see in that chrysalis a rare being ... we feel that we are somehow representing something strange, uncomfortable, often undocumented, hidden, omitted, censored, but we claim our right to participate, claim the right of all filmmakers and all Cuban cinema films to be appreciated by the public. "

As for the slogan, ‘Estar' (‘to be'), he explained that it is a positive gesture; "Although young cinema can look to the past and at the complexity of the present we wanted somehow to project ourselves towards the future," he declared.

It was also announced that this festival will include a new section called ‘Bonus' which includes 15 works that were not chosen for the main competition but chosen by the selection committee for their theme.

Another new idea is the creation of the Public Prize in coordination with the entuMovil Group, dedicated to the development of computer applications and the provision of services through text messaging - belonging to the Territorial Division Desoft La Habana.

In this sense explained that the cinema audiences will have the possibility to send a sms to 8888, with the text EVENT SAMPLE and the number of the work that they prefer. This numbering will be from 01 to 40 on the billboard of the cinemas, on the web pages, and and prior to the projection of the movies.

As for the jury, it is composed of the renowned director Lester Hamlet, the filmmaker Maryulis Alfonso Yero, the prestigious actor Mario Guerra, the director of photography Denise Guerra and the art director Maykel Martínez Gutiérrez.

In addition to the prizes for the best entries in fiction, documentary, animation, 12 institutions award prizes to young filmmakers, including for the first time, the National Council of Plastic Arts and the Sundance Institute, United States.

In the Mirada section, 11 short films by foreign filmmakers will be presented. They are made about contemporary Cuba with pieces characterized by the critical distance of their origins, six of which are female stories.

As for the international guests, Maria Clement, assistant to the Sundance Documentary program and Paul Federbush, coordinator of the fiction program of this institute, as well as Carlota Coronado and Giovanni Maccelli, directors of Zampano Producciones, from Spain.

Alongside the film program are three Visual Arts exhibitions: New Poster Designers, which is a set of unpublished posters made for the films in competition, which will be in the lobby of the cinema 23 and 12; Tierra Nueva, a personal exhibition by José Antonio Hernández Martínez (Pepe), at the Strawberry and Chocolate Gallery, and Contaminations, a collective video art show being screened in the Charles Chaplin Cinema Lobby.

As each year the festival pays tribute to a filmmaker little known by young people: this year it is the documentary filmmaker Bernabé Hernández (Cabaiguán, 1938 - Havana, 2011), with a roundtable discussion "Something of light. Mesa (Mass) for Bernabé Hernández ", in which filmmakers, colleagues and other intellectuals will reflect on the life and work of this singular and little-studied creator, to be held on Thursday 6 at 10:00 AM in Strawberry and Chocolate; Also 12 of his documentaries will be screened.

Link to original report in Spanish

Translated by Google Translate & Cuba50

Full details of Muestra Joven young filmmakers festival in spanish here

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