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Havana Film Festival opens with an Argentine theme and Pablo Milanés in memory


The International Festival of New Latin American Cinema began this Thursday in Havana and its opening, which included the music of X Alfonso, paid tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter Pablo Milaneswho recently passed away and whose art he made available to Cuban cinema.

X Alfonso, Cuban singer and producer, performed classics and new songs from his repertoire. In the audience, his parents Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdés, members of the Síntesis group and all recently deserving of a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Folk Album for their album Symphonic Ancestors.

The highlight was the heartfelt tribute to Pablo Milanés, founder of the new trova and icon of national music. His music and his image, projected on the screen and showing different moments of his life, drew the biggest applause of the evening, according to the report of Eph.

As a climax was projected Argentina, 1985the film by Santiago Miter, winner of the audience award at the San Sebastián Festival (Spain), which exposes one of the traumatic themes: the dictatorship and the civic effort to overcome it, since it recounts the moment in which those responsible for the State terrorism during the last military regime.

The Charles Chaplin cinema was overflowing with personalities from the audiovisual world of Cuba and Latin America. Also Cuban Government authorities such as the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso.

The director of the Festival, Yumey Besú, recalled in a few words the emphasis that since its inception the festival has placed on discovering and showing new films in Latin America.

This is the first edition of the event in a traditional format, after two years of a pandemic. The official selection includes 185 works, including fiction short films, debut films, documentaries and animated works.

A total of 15 works compete for the Best Feature Film Award and as many for First Works, 17 documentaries, 15 fiction short films, ten documentaries in short film format, 29 animated films, 32 unpublished scripts and 30 posters, according to the organization.

The Coral awards will be announced at a gala on December 9. That same morning, other secondary awards of the festival will also be announced, among which this year the new Arrecife award stands out, for the work that best reflects the theme of the LGBTIQ+ or queer (queer) community.

The countries most represented among the selected films are Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, although the organizers highlighted the presence of films from Bolivia and Costa Rica. Beyond the American continent, Spain, France and Portugal are also present.

An exquisite corpse at the Havana Festival

The festival also has a series of parallel events, among which the tribute to Cuban filmmaker Nicolás Guillén Landrián (1938-2003) stands out, which will include the screening of some of his restored works and a documentary about his life, by Ernesto Daranas.

Also scheduled around this event in Havana is a theoretical program on the industry sector, between December 5 and 8, and a series of keynote lectures on film distribution and business opportunities.

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