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news item

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Youth voices film project of Gibara

by: Cuban News Agency ACN

The children and youth project ‘Voces del Audiovisual' (video voices) in Gibara in Holguin province honored with his work the continuity of the legacy of Humberto Solás in the recently concluded International Film Festival of Gibara this July.

Lázaro García, director of ‘Voces del Audiovisual', explained that the project came about on the initiative of the museologist Bárbara López, who in 2010 managed to realise the dream of filmmaker Solás, who died in 2008, to encourage filmmaking from an early age.

Garcia said that in the last eight years his main objective has been to create a pathway combining leisure and learning, where children enter the audiovisual world but always in terms of learning through play so as not to neglect the essence of childhood.

About 20 children and adolescents between nine and 19 years of age make up this filmmaking group with more than 10 films presented this year including documentaries, fiction shorts and promotional spots.

Amongst these films the documentary "Children of now" stands out, said Lázaro. The documentary brings together the testimonies of several children from Gibara who tell from their perspective the experiences of them and their families when the town was hit badly by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and what they did to keep positive and cheer each other up.

Garcia added that the work was dedicated especially to the children of Haiti, as a message of support to those who frequently suffer from natural disasters and epidemics such as cholera.
He explained that the filmmaking workshops run by the project coordinators are a way of involving any young people who are interested and want to learn skills, and are mainly carried out in conjunction with the Museum of Natural Sciences.

However, he clarified, for the actual filmmaking they always involve the wider local population, the protagonists par excellence, and for this local people are invited to auditions where the children and young people in their roles as producers, cameramen, directors or scriptwriters direct the selection process.

Isac García, a 15-year-old project founder, gave thanks for the chance to have been involved in this initiative since he was seven years old and said he has grown not only in knowledge but also as a human being from the interaction with so many other people.

The digital portal ‘Liba Jibá' is another of the achievements of ‘Voces del Audiovisual', which is managed by members of the project to inform people of its activities, and promotes videos related to cleaning beaches in favour of environmental protection.

The Yumurí festivals in Matanzas, Cámara Chica in Pinar del Río, ‘Rondando tu fantasia' in Villa Clara, the ‘Fotoface' space in the Romerías de Mayo and the Gibara International Film Festival in Holguín are some of the annual events that welcome these restless youth who, camera in hand, give free rein to their creations.

Link to original report in Spanish

Translated by Google translate and Cuba50

Who was Humberto Solas?

Humberto Solás Borrego was born to a poor family in Havana Vieja (the capital's Old Town) on 4 December, 1941. While still at school, aged 14, he joined the urban guerrillas of the 26 of July Movement against the dictator Fulgencio Batista, supporting the band of rebels, including Castro and Ernesto Ché Guevara.

After the revolution was successful in January 1959, the first cultural body set up was the Cuban Institute of Cinematography Arts and Industry (ICAIC), into which Solás was accepted the following year. In 1966, he made the film, Manuela, influenced by the nouvelle vague, or new wave, of French directors and Italian cinema's neo-realism, and stamped his signature on Cuban film. It was the first of many films in which Solás told his story through the eyes of a woman, because "women reflect society more deeply, the effects of social transformation on a woman's life are more transparent. Women have suffered more from society's contradictions and are thus more sensitive to them and more hungry for change."

Two years later, aged 26, Solás wrote and directed Lucia, a masterpiece some critics believe he never matched in his later work. It tells three different stories, in varying cinematic styles, about three women called Lucia during three distinct epochs of Cuban history: the war of independence against Spain in the late 19th century, the 1930s revolution against the dictator Gerardo Machado, and the new confidence of women, confronting machismo, in Castro's revolutionary Cuba.

Among Solás's other best-known works were Simparele (1974), a stylish film of song and dance about the struggles against slavery and dictatorships in Cuba's Caribbean neighbour, Haiti; Cantata de Chile (1975), a tribute to the victims of Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup in that country; Cecilia (1981), based on Cirilo Villaverde's classic 19th century novel Cecilia Valdes; Un Hombre de Exito [A Successful Man], 1986); and El Siglo de las Luces (1991, from the novel about the French revolution by the Cuban Alejo Carpentier; Miel para Oshun [Honey for Oshun] in 2001, the deeply-moving tale of an exiled Cuban who returns from Florida to look for his long-lost mother.In 2005, Solás made Barrio Cuba, the story of three Havana families' efforts to survive the island's economic grief, retain their spiritual faith, overcome homophobia and still find time for love and laughter.

In 2003, he founded Gibara's Poor Cinema Festival, "open to filmmakers with limited funds", now known as Gibara Film festival, now presided by top Cuban actor Jorge Perrugorria, which takes place in July . Solás was awarded Cuba's National Film Prize in 2005.
Humberto Solás died of cancer on September 18, 2008, at the age of 66.

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