- Written by Rosana Rivero Ricardo
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The "making-off" of the 1st Gibara International Film Festival, heir and continuator of the Non-budget Film Festival created by Humberto Solás, has already begun. The event will be "premiered" at the Villa Blanca on April 15 and will last seven days. His "argument" is similar to that projected by Solás, although it includes some turning points in its history, taking into account the variations in the dynamics of the current film production.
Jorge Perugorría, film director and president of the Festival, and Roberto Smith, president of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (Icaic) gave a press conference to inform the changes and the program of the event.
Why did you decide to change the name to the Festival?
JP: "We thought the event had to be reinvented to grow. We decided to change the name to Gibara International Film Festival to open the spectrum of films in competition. The quality of the film will determine its participation, without the limitation of the budget, because there may be a good film made with few resources, but there are also movies which production have cost a lot and are good.
RS: "There is no renunciation of the concept that inspired the event, but an extension. When the Festival arises the digital cinema did not have the development that reached soon after. The people with few resources made the films in video that technically could not compete with the proposals produced in 35 millimeters. However, there were many valuable people whose only choice for making movies was video. That's why Humberto created a resource-poor festival, but rich in ideas, proposals and qualities. Today, with the development of digital technology, cinema has reached more people. In our view, it is not worth defending both the alternative and the quality. "
"What was happening in the last years? We had in Gibara 10,000 people from all over enjoying the different proposals of the program and just a few people attended the cinema. When the Festival was obliged to impose the subject of the low resources, it was condemned to limit its ability to look for films. Those that participated were of quality, but often they had small capacity of call for the average public. The change will allow us to have more attractive films and defend a program that recovers cinema as the center of this event.
What news does the Festival include?
JP: "When we decided to renew the Festival, we thought about how to continue the work of Humberto. We created the Lucia Awards that will be awarded for the first time in the categories of Best Long and Best Short of fiction, Best Long and Best Documentary Short, Best Direction, Female and Male Performance. We will also award the Lucía Award for recognition of an entire work dedicated to the cinema. This year will be for Adela Legrá, Eslinda Nuñez and one symbolic award to the family of Humberto.
"In addition we thought that we could not lose the principle of Humberto to support independent cinema of low resources. We created the Cine en Construcción Prize that bears his name, where projects can be presented at any stage of the process of making a film, from the script to a film that only lacks the postproduction. It consists of a cash prize and the post production of the film to be made in Mexico. The president of this year's jury will be Sergio Benvenuto to set the tone of Humberto's criteria for poor cinema. "
"Another achievement has been to extend the Festival two more days and recover its annual edition."
How many films will be in competition?
JP: "Each category will include 10 films and an equal amount in the section of Cinema in Construction. In total there will be 50 works in competition ".
RS: "The existence of a single cinema in Gibara conditions these figures, because all the films in competition must be projected there and it would not reach the time of the Festival if more proposals were included. At the moment an effort is made to open other small spaces, but it will be the Cine Jiba the main headquarters where we will try to assure the highest quality in its technical conditions for the screenings ".
What proposals does this first edition include?
JP: "This year we will continue with an idea that we started in 2016 and dedicate the event to a country. The last edition was dedicated to Mexico and this time it will be dedicated to Spain, for which there will be films and will attend personalities of this nation. We have confirmed the presence of Mariano Barroso, film director and Imanol Arias, actor who worked on the film "Cecilia" with Humberto and has an affective bond with Cuban cinema.
"We will be accompanied by Benicio del Toro whom we have invited to have a meeting with the students of the University of the Arts in Holguin (Isa) to encourage young people to film.
"Another element that gives continuity to Non-budget Film Festival is the inclusion in the program of the event of all artistic manifestations. The concerts of Pablo Milanés and Havana de Primera will open and close the Festival, respectively. There will also be David Torrens, David Blanco, Nube Roja and Kelvis Ochoa.
"As for the plastic arts, Spanish creator Héctor Garrido brings a photographic exhibition and Manuel Fernandez, Spanish costume designer, reserves his pieces created by several Cuban and Spanish plastic artists.
"We will have participatory theoretical events with the people of Gibara. The talks will be conducted by the writer Reynaldo González and will have as guests the delegation of Spaniards present at the festival, Benicio del Toro, Natalia Bolivar and other personalities. In this space we will pay homage to the actors Mario Balmaseda and Mario Limonta.
"The festival will also include lectures given by an architect who works together with Eusebio Leal in Old Havana, to contribute to the conservation of the heritage of Gibara that has the status of National Monument.
"Concerning the performing arts the plays" Kid Chocolate "," Mi socio Manolo ", the theater group “Tuyo” from las Tunas and the dance company Codanza, of Holguín, will participate in the event.
What alternatives have been valued so that Gibara can welcome the young audience attending the Festival?
JP: "We want to prepare a camping area so that people can get into a camping house and spend a week watching movies, exhibitions, concerts. We would love the young people, above all, to have that option.
RS: "We also intend to extend the festival to the city of Holguin, because we believe that we must take advantage of the presence of renowned figures attending the festival, who are simple and supportive people."