Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions 35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Sundance Institute Selects Projects and Panelists for Creative Film Producing Labs and Summit Sundance Institute Selects Projects and Panelists for Creative Film Producing Labs and Summit Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

The Future of Havana Film Festival

Photo of Sydney Levine, Peter Belsito By Sydney Levine, Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz December 24, 2011 at 11:20AM

The Festival staff has been stable, if noticeably getting older. Recently, there have been other subtle changes which makes one wonder where and how the Fest will proceed in our (and Cuba's) rapidly changing times.
1
The front of Hotel Nacional, Havana, where many events in the Festival del Nuevo Cine take place
Peter Belsito The front of Hotel Nacional, Havana, where many events in the Festival del Nuevo Cine take place

We have been attending Havana Film Fest for some years now.  

Its proper name is Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine LatinoAmericano and it has just completed its 33rd edition last week.  It is an outstanding showcase of Cuban and Latin American Cinema. T

his year the festival also had showcases and discussions of German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, and Servian films.

It's a long running event with always interesting films and great gathering of international, and especially Latin American, film people.

The Festival is held in large theaters all over Havana. 

We were particularly thrilled one year to attend a screening at the packed 2000 seat Karl Marx theater.  The theaters are not new but they are filled with visitors and Cuban youth.  

Most screenings are very well attended although the rich array of deeply researched Cuban documentaries has a smaller but very devoted following than the international and Cuban features.  Juan of the Dead was the most well attended with thousands left outside without seats so that it had to be rescheduled several times to accomodate moviegoers. The winner of four prizes, HavanaStation, the debut of Ian Padron, also won at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival and is Cuba's submission for Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The audience winner China Story was an Argentinian cross cultural delight starring Taiwan born, Buenos Aires raised actor Ignacio Huang 

There are also many sidebar events, such as a master class and a conversation with director-writer-producer Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon), events featuring North American views of Latin America (guests this year were Luis Valdez whose conversation was enlightening and Gregory Nava), workshops, press conferences and seminars all held to benefit the filmmakers attending.


The main facility to host people and the industry center and events like panels, etc. is the venerable Cuban art deco landmark, the Hotel Nacional.  We are told that the Festival is given many facilities (e.g., the Nacional) at a modest cost.  Therefore government support is 

necessary to continue, and the government like all governments worldwide is paring back its supports.

International Film and Television School (EICTV) students Kenia Salas Laborde (Cuba) and Aleksandra Machuszek (Poland) meet with Sydney Levine about their prize winning doc project, Paris Cafe.
Peter Belsito International Film and Television School (EICTV) students Kenia Salas Laborde (Cuba) and Aleksandra Machuszek (Poland) meet with Sydney Levine about their prize winning doc project, Paris Cafe.

This year, however, the Festival was greatly enhanced with the participation of the international film school, EICTV, which was founded by renowned writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez with his Nobel Prize Money 25 years ago.  Nuevas Miradas is the meeting of developing film projects of students and graduates of the International Film an

d Television School (EICTV) as well as young independent filmmakers that work in their first projects. After preparing, the students presesnt the projects to the audience and then go into one on one sessons with industry experts.  The projects and students were very sharp and several of them will certainly go on to completion and will be shown in events around the world.

The Festival staff has been stable, if noticeably getting older.  

Recently, there have been other subtle changes which makes one wonder where and how the Fest will proceed in our (and Cuba's) rapidly changing times.

It's probably more gossip that inside intel…but you definitely could say that the buzz around the Fest is that with formerly designated Fest Director-to-be, Ivan Giroud, now gone from the Fest (he has moved to Spain after having been somewhat summarily fired via e-mail from what we hear) and with the longtime Fest Head and older compatriot of Fidel Castro (since their youth) Alfredo Guevara aging and given the economic situation in Cuba, the Festival is very precarious. (Alfredo is actually older than Fidel.)

Will we have a Festival in December 2012??

E-Mail Updates