The Havana Film Festival is a Cuban festival that focuses on the promotion of Spanish-language filmmakers. It is also known in Spanish as Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana, and in English as Festival of New Latinamerican Cinema of La Havana.
The festival takes place every year during December in the city of Havana, Cuba.
The festival first began on December 3, 1979. The president of the first organizing committee was Alfredo Guevara and more than 600 film directors of Latin America responded to the first call made by the Cuban Institute of the Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC).
The 33th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema will be held in La Habana, Cuba, from December 1st to 11th, 2011.The Festival promotes and awards those works whose significance and artistic values contribute to enrich and reaffirm the Latin American and Caribbean cultural identity. The Festival sets up an annual competition in Fiction, Documentary and Animation, Opera Prima, Unproduced Script and Poster. Besides that, the programme includes a showcase of contemporary world cinema, the Industry Sector initiatives as well as meetings and seminars on issues of cultural interest, especially cinema.
Prior to me even knowing about Mubi (or TheAuteurs for that matter) I used the Grand Coral winners as my primer for Latin American cinema and I’ve yet to be let down as far as interesting movies, whether or not I liked each particular film not being all that relevant. Only two of the films have yet to be put into the database, I will correct that. Hopefully the list will at least encourage one person to start paying attention to the Havana Film Festival if nothing else.
1979 Colonel Delmira Gouveia dir. Geraldo Sarno
Geraldo Sarno, born in 1938 in Poçoes, a town in the dry interior of Bahia, is best known as a documentary filmmaker and his talent in conveying a sense of the reality of a time and place comes through in this historically based film. In “Coronel Delmiro Gouveia,” Sarno tells the story of a Brazilian industrialist who attempted to create a home-grown local industry in northeastern Brazil at the turn of the 20th century. The film shows his resistance to economic domination by foreign interests and his struggle to overcome political persecution in both the city and the arid “sertão.”
Delmiro Gouveia arrived in the state of Alagoas in 1903 from Recife and set himself up as a dealer in hides. In 1914, he set up a textile factory in the far west of the state under the name of Companhia Agro Fabril Mercantil, which attracted many people to come and live nearby. In 1921, Delmiro Gouveia was able to equip the factory with electrical light and running water, supplied by nearby waterfalls. Delmiro Gouveia was murdered in 1917 in circumstances that have never been completely explained. His assassination is generally ascribed to foreign economic agents who didn’t want Brazilians to have a strong hand in controlling the textile industry; certainly that is the point of view taken in Geraldo Sarno’s film.
Today, the small city of Delmiro Gouveia, named in his honor, has about 40,000 people. It is situated about 200 miles west of Macéio, the capital of Alagoas.
1980 Gaijin, a Brazilian Odyssey dir. Tizuka Yamasaki
Gaijin (“foreigner” in Japanese) follows the journey made by the director’s grandmother from Japan to Brazil, where immigrants were lured to work in the coffee plantations. Years later, Japan faced such a shortage of labour that it was forced to open its doors to immigrants of Japanese ancestry. But when the Japanese-Brazilians returned to their homeland, they found themselves being treated like foreigners.