The 40th edition of Havana Film Festival has kicked off on Thursday at the Cuban Capital’s Karl Marx Theater, showcasing the best of the new Latin American cinema and other international productions.
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The festival was inaugurated with ‘El Pepe,’ a documentary film about Uruguayan ex-President Jose Mujica, directed by renowned director Emir Kusturica. According to the film’s summary, Mujica “became president while keeping his ideals and accepting change.”
Since its first edition on December 3, 1979, the festival has been a pioneer in Latin America, contributing to the filmmaking scene in the region in the aesthetic and political realms. This year’s edition honors Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea, or ‘Tito,’ and will screen 373 films, of which 333 are Latin American, until December 16.
The inauguration ceremony is also honoring the founders and masterminds that have contributed to the festival, such as the Mexican producer Berta Navarro and the Sundance Institute of the U.S., which will be granted the ‘Honor Coral’ award. The ceremony will conclude with a performance by Cuban singer Haydee Milanes, who is including songs from all across Latin America in her repertoire.
In interview with Sputnik, the festival’s spokesperson Lea Pintado highlighted the participation of Argentina, with nine films, followed by Brazil, Cuba and Mexico.
There are 20 films taking part in the ‘Fiction’ section, one of the most expected of the festival, including Argentine Carlos Sorin’s ‘Joel’ and Gonzalo Tobal’s ‘Acusada,’ Brazilian film ‘Domingo’ by Clara Linar and Felipe Barbosa, ‘Niña Errante’ by Ruben Mendoza and ‘Birds of Passage’ by Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego. Also, Cuba is participating with ‘Inocencia’ by Alejandro Gil, ‘Nido de Amantes by Arturo Soto and ‘Insumisas’ by Fernando Perez and Laura Cazador.
Mexico will participate with its renowned film ‘Las Niñas Bien,’ by Alejandra Marquez and ‘Museo,’ which was already awarded the German “Silver Bear” for best script, made by Alonso Ruizpalacios.
According to Pintado, the Dominican Republican also has been “establishing a trend with interesting cinematography.”
Besides fiction feature films, the festival also includes contests for short and medium length films, debuts, documentaries, animated films, unreleased scripts, cartels and films in post-production.
Pintado also highlighted the increasing number of animated films participating in this edition, with six films from Argentina, six from Mexico, four from Brazil, three from Chile, three from Colombia, two from Cuba, one from Peru and another from the Dominican Republic.
The public and interested people, in general, will be able to download the official ‘Festival DCine’ app to consult the festival’s program and activities, using the 3G network available since Thursday.