Albor Ruiz | NY Daily Times
It is that time of the year again, and film buffs are looking forward to the rare opportunity to see some of the most important - and seldom shown in the U.S. - Latin-American movies with the arrival of the 6th Havana Film Festival in New York, April 15-21.
“This year, the festival presents award-winners from Havana’s Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, as well as new independent films from and about Latin America,” said festival spokeswoman Diana Vargas.
During the festival, moviegoers will be able to see cutting-edge narrative, documentary, short films and classics not only from Cuba but also from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and the U.S.
This year, the festival will pay homage to two cinema luminaries - Cuban Pastor Vega, and Brazilian Walter Salles.
New long features, documentaries, short films, animation and classics from Cuba, Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. will be showcased, including many New York and U.S. premieres.
Screenings will be at Quad Cinema, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University, and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. All foreign-language films are subtitled in English.
The festival also will offer panel discussions with directors, producers and actors, and Latin musical events.
But if this year it offered nothing more than the tributes to directors Vega and Salles, the 6th Havana Film Festival in New York would still be a rare and worthy cultural event.
The retrospective of legendary Cuban filmmaker and educator Pastor Vega will feature screenings of such remarkable films as “Retrato de Teresa,” a true classic of Latin American cinema, and “Las profecías de Amanda,” “Vidas paralelas,” “Habanera,” “En el aire,” and “Viva la República.”
The tribute to Brazilian director Walter Salles, whose Motorcycle Diaries recently enjoyed such great critical and box office success in New York, will feature “Foreign Land,” “Central Station” (also well known in New York), “Midnight,” “Behind the Sun,” “Life Somewhere Else” and “Castanha e Caju.”
The sixth edition of the Havana Film Festival in New York, continues building on a tradition of its own by showing a group of Cuban and Latin American classic films.
“We want to give an update of the most recent productions of and about Latin America,” Vargas said. “[But] I think this is one of the few Latino festivals that concerns itself with showing the classics.”
During its six years of existence, the festival - a project of the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, a nonprofit organization - has earned a place in New York City’s cultural landscape.
And at a time when U.S.-Cuba relations are defined by increasing intransigence and intolerance, events such as the Havana Film Festival - which open doors to dialogue between the peoples of both nations - become more important than ever.
Which is why it is a real treat that beginning on Friday, April 15, New Yorkers - who, like all Americans, are forbidden by the U.S. embargo against Cuba to travel to that island - will be able to attend a version of the acclaimed festival right here in the city.
Make no mistake - we need many more Havana Film Festivals, not only for the artistic enjoyment they provide but also for their contribution to friendship and peaceful relations between Cuba and the U.S.
For information, visit the Web site - [url=http://www.hffny.com]http://www.hffny.com[/url] - or call (212) 946-1839