Cuba Opens 40th Festival of New Latin American Cinema
The 40th Festival of the New Latin American Cinema is opening in Havana, with a program of 373 films from 40 countries that also include workshops, discussions and presentations until December 16.
The event will open with the screening of the documentary 'El Pepe, una vida suprema', or 'El Pepe, a supreme life', by Serbian moviemaker Emir Kusturica, about a humble Uruguayan who became the president of his country, Jose 'Pepe' Mujica, without changing his ideals. But before, at the inaugural gala itself, to be held at the Karl Marx Theater, a Coral of Honor will be presented to Mexican producer Bertha Navarro and a Special Coral to the Sundance Institute, from the United States. Cuban singer Haydee Milanes, who will perform a repertoire of Latin American songs, will star the musical section of the show. The list of film personalities in Havana includes besides Kusturica names like Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Moore, Matt Dillon from the US, Spanish Iciar Bollain and Scot Paul Laverty. Moore will show in Cuba his new documentary Fahrenheit 11/9, in which he accuses the president of his country, Donald Trump, of destroying the American Dream. While Dillon will present the most current creation of director Lars von Trier, The House that Jack Built, around a serial killer embodied by the actor himself. Of the total works in the Festival, 333 belong to Latin American countries, led by Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Cuba. This year, 20 feature films, 18 first films, 25 documentaries, 22 short/medium-length films, 26 animated films, 19 unpublished scripts, 24 posters and seven post-production films compete for the Coral Prize. Fiction films are from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba, and most of the works are produced in collaboration by more than one country, including nations from other geographical areas. Within the 40th edition of the event several seminars take place, including one on its four decades of history to reflect on what has been and what is happening with Latin American cinema, and another dedicated to outstanding Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea ( 1928-1996), known as Titon. Several academics will exchange views on Titon's creations, recognized for his cinematographic work in films such as 'Las 12 Sillas' (1962), or 'The 12 Chairs', Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) and Death of a Bureaucrat (1966). At the same time, the House of the Americas will host a theoretical event that seeks to engage young filmmakers from the continent. Likewise, the 40th edition will pay tribute to Argentine film director Fernando Birri, who died in December 2017. The Galas sections will offer feature films already awarded at several international events such as Yuli, from Bollaín, and Roma, by Mexican Alfonso Cuarón, winner this year of the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival with that piece.