Isbel Diaz Torres
HAVANA TIMES, Dec 13 — Cuba had to settle for minor awards at this year’s Festival of New Latin American Cinema, where — to the disappointment of many — the movie Habanastation failed to fare very well.
After several months of successful performances in national and international theaters, this film by Ian Padron competed for the prestigious Coral Award in the “Debutting Film” category, though it won nothing.
The juries for secondary awards (mostly Cuban) did, however, grant it several prizes:
– El Premio del Circulo de Periodistas de Cultura (The Journalists Award for Culture), from the Association of Cuban Journalists.
– The Glauber Rocha Award, from the Prensa Latina news agency.
– The Vigia Award, from the film festival sub-headquarters in Matanzas Province.
– The “Cibervoto Award,” from the Foundation for New Latin American Cinema in the “Debuting Work” category.
– The UNICEF Award.
As for feature films that competed for the island, these consisted of Chamaco, directed by Juan Carlos Cremata; Marina by Enrique Alvarez, Fabula by Lester Hamlet, and Juan de los Muertos by Alejandro Brugues.
Of these four, the film by Lester Hamlet won a third prize in the Coral competition in addition to a less esteemed El Megano Award from the National Federation of Cinema Clubs. Juan de los Muertos won the public’s popularity award.
The award of the truly important Coral was granted to Cuban artist Nelson Ponce for his chilling poster Imagenes generan reflexion. In addition, the unpublished script “El buen demonio,” by Alejandro Hernandez Diaz and Daniel Diaz Torres, won a Special Mention.
The Film, Radio and Television Association of the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists gave its secondary prize to “La piscina,” by Carls Machado, while the magazine Revolucion and Culture recognized the movie Loipa, existencia en plenitude, by Gloria Argüelles.
Meanwhile, the famed Cuban actor Jorge Perugorria won the Educational Cinematography Award for his documentary La mas hermosa cosa del mundo. The film speaks of the city of Baracoa, Cuba’s first capital, upon its having marked 500 years since its founding.
Finally, the animated film Wajir, by Ernesto Rodriguez Piña, won the Cibervoto Award from the Foundation for New Latin American Cinema.
Brazil and Mexico swept the awards this time, though this year’s top Coral Award going to the Mexican movie El Inferno took some viewers by surprise, as many found it painfully boring.