35th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema
Cuba, December 5 - December 15 2013
Cuba’s Havana Film Festival was marked by the loss of its founder Alfredo Guevara, who died in April 2013. Through the many accolades he received, his importance to the festival since its founding its clear. The festival was also marked by an intense discussion about the revival of cinema from new technologies. In this edition, the FIPRESCI Prize for best feature-length fiction went to Uruguayan film “The Militant” (El lugar del hijo) a co-production with Argentina directed by Manolo Nieto.
The FIPRESCI jury focused on 21 films in the main competition, all features from Latin America. Of these, the highlights were the productions of Argentina and Mexico, countries with the highest number of titles. The official jury, which judged the same 21 films, gave the Grand Coral to Mexico’s “Heli”, by Amat Escalante. If in “Heli” explicit violence is the trademark aesthetic, the movie chosen by FIPRESCI shows another point of view about Latin America: a place of disoriented characters, displaced, and having to deal with a legacy of lost fortunes. Each point of view does not exclude the other.
Under the new direction of Iván Giroud, the Havana festival remains one of the largest and most important in Latin America by revealing new Latino filmmakers and also including panoramas of other continents. In this edition, the Cuban audience – whose access to the movies is facilitated by the low price of the ticket (it’s quite difficult to calculate in other currencies, but a package to 20 films can cost around two US dollars) – had special screenings from the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival and other films promoted by countries such as South Korea, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil, besides the International Panorama section, and an interesting section called North American Experimental Cinema. In a slow but visible political opening of the country under the command of President Raúl Castro, American movies are no longer foreign bodies in Cuba. (Ivonete Pinto)
International Festival of New Latin American Cinema: