Cuba Settles for Lesser Film Fest Awards

Isbel Diaz Torres

Poster for the 33rd International Festival of New Latin American Cinema.

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.

The Coral Award for the best poster went to Cuban artist Nelson Ponce for his chilling poster “Imagenes generan reflexion”. Photo:

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 In addition, the unpublished script “El buen demonio,” by Alejandro Hernandez Diaz and Daniel Diaz Torres, won a Special Mention.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.

Isbel Diaz

Isbel Diaz Torres: Pinar del Rio and Havana are my cities. I was born in one on March 1, 1976, and I’ve always lived in the other. I am a biologist and poet, though at times I’ve also been a musician, translator, teacher, computer geek, designer, photographer and editor. I’m very non-conformist and a defender of differences – perhaps due to always having been an ever-repressed “model child.” Nothing enthralls me more than the unknown, nature and art; these serve as my sources of mystery and development. A surprising activism has been born in me over the recent period. Though I’m not very sure how to channel it, I feel that it’s a worthy and legitimate energy. Let’s hope I have the discernment to manage it.

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