Following the revolution in 1959, Cuban film emerged as a unique phenomenon, as directors attempted to create a cinema which reflected their revolutionary ideals, and one that was intrinsically and stylistically innovative. The Barbican's 2009 season will combine gems brought to the UK from the Havana archives with new feature films and shorts.
Cuba may be famous for the old American cars that are still on the roads 50 years after the revolution, but there are also hundreds of motorbikes from that era too.
Michael Voss for the BBC website reports from Havana.
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This year's event will be held December 2nd through the 12th.
During a press conference in Havana, Alfredo Guevara, president of the annual film festival, stressed: "We want to have young filmmakers, new faces participating in the festival, contributing to the invigorating tradition."
BEIJING, Aug 21 (Reuters) – World record-holder Dayron Robles of Cuba swept to victory in the Olympic 110 metres hurdles on Thursday to take the athletics gold medal hosts China had been craving for one of their own.
The bespectacled 21-year-old combined pace and sublime technique to cross the line a metre clear of the field in 12.93 seconds and win the title China's injured Liu Xiang claimed in Athens four years ago.
The confident Robles was the only runner to go under 13 seconds and celebrated by striking a strongman pose before summoning a Cuban flag from the crowd.
World champion Liu departed the Olympics that were supposed to define his career after being unable to start his first-round heat because of an Achilles injury on Monday.
"I love China and Liu Xiang is my friend," said Robles.
"I'm happy, I'm champion. I'm ecstatic. It's always been my dream," said the Cuban, who had matched compatriot Anier Garcia's feat in the event at the 2000 Sydney Games.
"I felt calm before before going into the race. I was confident about how things would go."
American David Payne won silver in 13.17, just edging his compatriot David Oliver, who claimed bronze in 13.18.
"(Robles) is amazing and could not be stopped," said 26-year-old Payne. "He's a phenomenon. One day very soon, I'm going to go with him and hopefully beat him."
Frenchman Ladji Doucoure, whose career has been blighted by injury since he beat Liu to the 2005 world title, finished fourth in 13.24.
Robles, who bettered Liu's world mark with a time of 12.87 in June, received a rousing reception at the start from the crowd, some of whom had queued for days to get what had been one of the hottest tickets of the Games.
From the moment he got out of the blocks and over the first hurdle with his huge gold crucifix bouncing up and down on his chest, his victory never looked in doubt.
Blessed with the same smooth hurdling technique as Liu combined with the quick feet of the more powerful Americans, Robles grazed just one hurdle on his way to an emphatic victory.
"I've learned a lot over the past couple of years, and my technique has improved significantly this year," he said.
Robles also won praise from his country's greatest track Olympian.
"It was a difficult race, but technically, from the beginning to the end, it was fantastic technically," said Alberto Juantorena, Olympic champion in 400m and 800m in 1976. (Additional reporting by Catherine Bremer, Liu Zhen and Jason Subler; editing by Keith Weir)
Cuban Dayron Robles got the gold today after scoring 12:93 in the 110-meter hurdles men at Beijing Olympic Games and gave Cuba its second Olympic title.
Yoanka Gonzalez achieved the best result ever of Cuban cycling this Monday when she won the silver medal in a tough race by points in the Laoshan Velodrome.
Yarelis Barrios won the silver medal in discus this Monday with a 63.64 meter shot, the first medal for Cuba in the Athletics championships of the XXIX Olympic Games.
By 16 August Cuba had achieved 8 medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing – a gold in wrestling, three silvers in judo, three bronze medals in judo and one in shooting. Cuba stands 25th in the medals table and 14th on the basis of total medals, which for a population of 12 million is a huge achievement although there have been disappointments in boxing in particular. More medals are hoped for in baseball, volleyball, boxing and for world record holding athlete Dayron Roble. Pedro Roque, Cuba's boxing squad head trainer, said to the press this Friday in Beijing that they came not to gain experience but to win.
For details of medals see http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/GL/92A/CUB_T.shtml
Bamboleo, one of Cuba's most popular bands right now will be bringing their Salsa, Timba and Reggaeton sound to The Forum, Kentish Town, London on Saturday 18 October. This is their first time in the UK, having toured worldwide and will be supported by Leo Duany y su Tumbao Tivoli.
Cuba's communist rebirth gave Tomas Gutiérrez Alea the freedom to make the films he wanted – then he started to show the cracks in Castro's dream. Alice O'Keeffe on a true iconoclast
See The Guardian Peter Bradshaw's 5 star review of Tomas Gutierrez Alea's masterpiece of Cuban cinema.
Cuban Yargelis Savigne, World indoor and outdoor Triple Jump champion, leapt 15.20m to win the gold medal at the Vardinoyiannia 2008 athletics meeting held this Monday in Rethymno, Greece.
The Cuban master film-maker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea trod a fine line, supporting the revolution but insisting that artists should maintain their distance from those in power
Climate change and peak oil are on many people's minds today. The big question is how do we make the transition to a low energy society, and what would such a society be like? The way Cuba adapted to the Special Period when oil was in short supply is a model that many people are trying to learn and take inspiration from.
The recent finding in eastern Holguin province of decorated and rustic clay pottery, fish bones, remains of crustaceans, land and marine chelonians have enriched Cuban archeological heritage.