7th Annual Havana Film Festival in New York
April 21 - 28, 2006
This year marked the 7th Annual Havana Film Festival in New York, a festival designed to help some of the best current and classic Latin American documentaries, features and shorts gain exposure in the United States. Our audience continues to grow and we are proud of the important role we have achieved in the cultural landscape of New York. With venues in Queens and throughout Manhattan, over 25 different productions from 13 countries were screened to provide a unique look into a variety of Latin American cultures. Through our special programs, audiences were granted the oppoutunity to interact with filmmakers and other experts in intimate settings.
This year marked the 10-year anniversary of the death of reknowned Cuban director and artist Tomas Gutiérrez Alea. We celebrated his life and work with screenings of his most famous films (including Guantanamera, Fresa y Chocolate and The Last Supper) and special appearances by his wife, actress Mirta Ibarra. Mirta shared some of her favorite memories of Alea with our audiences after the screenings and in our panel discussion on his filmmaking career.
2006 also marked the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the International School of Film and Television (Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television – EICTV) in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. EICTV’s founder, the legendary Fernando Birri (Los Inundados and El Siglo del Viento) personally presented four award-winning productions by EICTV students at our homage program at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and participated in a panel discussion with other educators on EICTV’s history and development. His latest film, Za 2005, lo Viejo y lo Nuevo also made its New York premiere this week.
Alternative Visions, held at Hunter College took a look into the emerging world of low- and no-budget independent filmmaking. Professor Ann Marie Stock, Ph.D, Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary discussed this phenomenon and presented six animated, narrative and experimental Cuban films for their US premiere.
HITN TV and Learning Leaders High School Filmmakers Showcase allowed students of the Jonathan Levin High School of Media and Communication (Bronx) to present their 1-minute public service announcements about Learning Leaders programs in public schools. The event was hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
El Primer Contacto Con El Arte, also held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was designed toward youngsters and their families as a means for exposure to entertainment outside of the domestic market. The program featured a discussion on myth in art and Cine Infantil Latinoamericano, 3 animated shorts for children.
Meet the Filmmakers at The New School University brought together our invited filmmakers to discuss the Latin American resistance to global Hollywood and other critical issues about cultural diversity, national identity, gender, religion and politics.