In addition, this Saturday they offered “necessary clarifications” about what happened in the assembly held at Cinema 23 and 12. In them they apologized to the director Ian Padron due to an event that happened with him at the meeting, they called the unity of all the filmmakers in the country and confirmed that they will only meet with the authorities if this meeting includes all the filmmakers who wish to participate.
After add to recognized figures like Silvio Rodríguez and José María Vitier a few hours after the publication of the text, in the last two days another important group of artists and intellectuals from the island have joined, both based in Cuba and abroad.
Names such as actresses Isabel Santos, Luisa María Jiménez and María Isabel Díaz, actor Luis Silva, musician and film composer Edesio Alejandro, and fellow musicians Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdés, founders of the Síntesis group.
In addition, the singers Liuba María Hevia and Anabell López, the poet and filmmaker Victor Casaus, the choreographer Rosario Cárdenas, the pianist Ulises Hernández, the researcher Natalia Bolívar, the journalist Joaquín Borges-Triana, the filmmakers Rudy Mora and Patricia Ramos also joined. , and the diplomat and writer Carlos Alzugaray.
In total, until the cut this Sunday there were already 466 signatories among filmmakers, intellectuals, artists, creators and professionals close to the cinema.
In addition, the filmmakers clarified that there are other people who “have been writing, expressing their support and whose names still do not appear” on the list, so the actual number at this time must be higher.
As reported, in the manifesto, the filmmakers and other signatory artists consider that the decisions made by cultural institutions and officials about the documentary Fito’s Havanaby Juan Pin Vilar, “have revealed the irresponsible way in which the officials involved in these acts act.”
Along with listing what they consider “successive errors” regarding the work that is the subject of the controversy, they affirm that “the actions of these cultural authorities have violated time and again ethical principles that should be the support of any respectful and constructive dialogue ” and they assure that they will start “a set of work actions to try to solve these problems”.
The “necessary clarifications”
In a post published this Saturday on the Facebook profile Assembly of Cuban Filmmakers —the same one where the declaration was published and the list of signatories has been updated—, the filmmakers participating in the meeting on Thursday at Cinema 23 and 12 narrated part of what happened that day and explained why they did not record the discussion professionally.
“Some wonder why, being filmmakers, we didn’t record it. Almost no one brought appropriate equipment or technical means, only our cell phones, because it was not known how we would be treated during or after that meeting. Our history has collected other sad experiences. Nothing that was said there is a secret. If they insisted on making the broadcast, it was to be as participatory as possible,” they said.
Similarly, they offered “a formal and public apology” to the filmmaker Ian Padrón, who intervened from outside Cuba and to whom they apologized for “the way in which the events occurred”.
“The request that was made to you not to talk about personal things was not fair and correct. This has to be a collective process and we all have to be part of it, we have to listen to what everyone has to say, that’s why you had the right to speak again, to finish the idea”, they expressed to him.
“We do not want to reproduce or perpetuate the lynching of filmmakers. We cannot play the game of those who want to divide usthey added.
They also noticed a “unfortunate technological error” occurred, for which a personal opinion on what happened was issued from the Facebook page of the Assembly.
In addition, they notified that an ICAIC official communicated that the entity wanted to meet with the filmmakers by summons.. They also reported that some signatories had been called individually by the meeting and expressed their “collective disagreement.”
“If there is a real will to meet, it must be with each and every filmmaker, under the same format with which we called the meeting on June 15, including colleagues from other provinces and those who are not in Cuba.”, they pointed out.
The filmmakers asked to know “who wants to meet with the Assembly of Filmmakers, name, surname and the position they hold within the relevant institution”, before committing to the meeting.
“In the event that this meeting with the Assembly is held next Tuesday, because it has not yet been agreed, it must be through a public and non-selective call to all Cuban filmmakers, and in our common space the cinema —where all the other — and not in a ministry or behind closed doors”they added.
According to the signatories, “It is the will of the Assembly to have a meeting that includes all the filmmakers. Cuban Cinema is one, whether in the East, Center and West, as well as outside the Island”.
“We do not want more division, nor that there are separations or select groups, that is also censorship”, they reiterated.