New Latin American Film Festival Opens in Cuba

Amidst an environment of uncertainty unleashed by the world economic crises and the wars led by the US government, young filmmakers convey the hope of a better world which Latin America is fighting for, noted Guevara.

During the opening ceremony the Coral of Honor award was given to moviemakers Paul Leduc (Mexico), and Miguel Littin (Chile), for having made valuable contributions to the aesthetics and ideology of the New Latin American Cinema.

The award was also granted to Brazilian Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Bolivian Jorge Sanjines, who could not attend the ceremony in Havana due to work commitments.

Special homage was paid to some of Cuba's greatest figures of the Cuban and Latin American cinema: Octavio Cortazar, Humberto Solas, Miguel Benavides and Sergio Corrieri, all of whom passed away in 2008.

The opening included a solo by Cuban leading dancer Carlos Acosta, and the screening of a short-feature film about the classic ballet Spartacus starring the dancer. The ceremony concluded with the showing of Argentinean film Leonera (Lion's Den), by Pablo Trapero.

More than five hundred films will be screened during the festival, of them, 114 will be competing for the Coral award in different categories that include fiction, documentary, cartoon and opera prima.

Other Venues of the Festival in the Country Cienfuegos: With more than 10 years as a co-venue, this city, in central Cuba, hosts this year's International Festival of New Latin American Cinema until December 12. It will open with the film Cyrano Fernandez, a co-production by Venezuela and Spain directed by Alberto Arvelo at the Luisa movie theater. Documentaries, cartoons, and full-feature films from Colombia, Argentina, and Venezuela will also be shown during the festival.

Movie lovers in other municipalities of the province, including those living in communities of the Escambray mountain range, will have the opportunity to enjoy the festival as well.

Among the Cuban films in competition to be shown in Cienfuegos are recent productions "El cuerno de la abundancia", by Juan Carlos Tabío; "Omertá", by Pavel Giroud; "Kangamba", by Rogelio París, and "El viajero inmóvil", by Tomás Piard. Ciego de Avila: Lovers of the seventh art in this province of centralCuba, 420 km east of Havana, will have the opportunity to enjoy the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema from their home town this year.

La mala (Spain- Puerto Rico), by Lilian Rosado Gonzalez and Riverside (Colombia), directed by Hanold H. Trompetero are among the films to be screened in local movie theaters of this city and other communities of the province.

Other materials in the Festival's program are VIP-La otra casa (VIP-The Other Home), by Elias N. Jiménez Trachtenberg (Guatemala), Por un polvo, by Carlos Daniel Malave (Venezuela), Emilio, by Kim Jorgesen (U.S) and El bosque, by Jose Siciliano and Eugenio Lasserre (Argentina).

The festival will also include a retrospective to Latin American cinema with the screening of films like Camila, Amarillo mango, Taxi para tres and La vendedora de rosas.

The Jury

The panel of judges to evaluate the long, medium and short feature films of fiction in the 30th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, is made up of Francisco J. Lombardi (Peru), Sergio Cabrera (Colombia), Jose Luis Castiñeira de Dios (Argentina) and Luis Alberto Garcia (Cuba).

The 23 materials opting for the opera prima Coral award were placed for the consideration to Matias Bize Garcia (Chile), Francisco Vargas Quevedo (Mexico) and Frank Padron (Cuba).

Casimiro Torreiro Gomez (Uruguay), Lorena Muñoz (Argentina), Javier Corcuera (Peru), Camila Guzman Urzua (Chile) and Cruz Gustavo Perez Fernandez (Cuba) make up the jury for the documentary, cartoons and poster category.

The panel of judges to grant the award to the best unpublished script includes Gonzalo Justiniano (Chile), Maria Lourdes Cortes Pacheco (Costa Rica), Diego Dubcovsky (Argentina), Hector Quintero Viera (Cuba) and Gustavo Ferrada Lavall (Spain). They will evaluate 28 scripts from 8 countries selected for the competition.

About the Festival

A selection of the most recently produced Latin American and Caribbean films is chosen to compete at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema for the Coral Awards. The event comprises of four categories: fiction, documentary and cartoons, unpublished scripts and cinematographic posters. The first long-feature movies made by Latin American and Caribbean filmmakers compete separately for the Coral award to Best Opera Prima.

The first of these festivals, originally named International Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana was held on December 10, 1979. It has been extended to other venues outside the Cuban capital.

The festival aims at acknowledging and promoting cinematographic materials that could contribute to the enrichment and reaffirmation of the Latin American and Caribbean cultural values.