Cubans will soon enjoy digital projection in a third cinema, thanks to a grant agreement signed Thursday between Cuba and France.
The president of the Cuban ICAIC cinema institute, Roberto Smith, highlighted that the agreement will extend the already-existing collaboration between both countries in the areas of “co production, preservation of heritage, and the digitization of the theater (La Rampa).”
Cine La Rampa in Havana will go digital thanks to the funding; Cine Yara and Cine Charlie Chaplin were the first Cuban cinemas to get digital projection earlier this year.
This is not the first time the two countries have cooperated to enhance Cuba’s renowned film industry. Smith recalled that one of the major treasures of Cuban cinema - the ICAIC newsreel collection, was digitized in Paris with the support of the French INA audiovisual institute. Furthermore, for over 10 years, Cuba has held a French film festival.
At the signing, French Ambassador Jean-Marie Bruno honored Smith with the medal of “Knight of Arts and Letters,” a distinction handed out by the French Ministry of Culture since 1957 to "persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.”
“We would not have deserved this distinction without the Cuban Revolution, without the ICAIC and without their founders Alfredo Guevara and Julio Garcia Espinosa,” Smith said, adding that “cultural diversity in cinema would not have been promoted as an essential condition for the education of creators and audiences.”
The ICAIC was founded less than three months after the Revolution's victory in 1959, and since then has had a major role in supporting and promoting Cuban cinema, which has been internationally recognized.