Soy Cuba (1964) - News Poster



'Memories of Underdevelopment': Film Review

'Memories of Underdevelopment': Film Review
2018 likely will see more than the usual number of 50th-anniversary remembrances, given the tumult of 1968 in America and elsewhere around the globe. For Cuba, this is the golden anniversary of one of the nation's best-regarded films, Tomas Gutierrez Alea's Memories of Underdevelopment. Released Stateside in a fresh 4K restoration, the daring blend of personal and political looks back at the birth of the U.S./Cuba rift, foreshadowing conflicts that remain relevant while standing alone as a distinctive work of art.

Based on a novel by Edmundo Desnoes, the film follows Sergio (Sergio Corrieri, I Am Cuba), a member of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Our Man in Havana

It’s Obi-Wan versus Fidel! Well, not really. The pre-Bond espionage genre lights up with cool intrigues and comic absurdities, as a Brit vacuum salesman in Havana is recruited to spy for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The filmmakers and stars are all top caliber, and the location is legendary: Castro’s Cuba, immediately after the revolution.

Our Man in Havana


Twilight Time

1959 / B&W / 2:35 widescreen / 107 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara, Ernie Kovacs, Noël Coward, Ralph Richardson, Jo Morrow, Gregoire Aslan.

Cinematography: Oswald Morris

Music Score: Frank and Laurence Deniz

Art Direction: John Box

Film Editor: Bert Bates

Written by Graham Greene from his novel

Produced and Directed by Carol Reed

One of the best pre-James Bond spy pictures is this brilliant, yet lumpy adventure with an historically unique setting — it was filmed in Castro’s Cuba,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Dispatch from Cuba and the Havana Film Festival, December 2016

Could there be a more perfect moment than this? Sitting in the garden behind the Hotel Nacional, looking at the Cuban flag so proudly waving over the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The same site where the defense was built during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this moment of time marks a particularly precarious balance between peaceful coexistence and military aggression as we contemplate the recent death of Castro and election of Trump, wondering how it will play out in 2017.Hotel Nacional, Headquarters of Festival de Cine Nuevo Iberoamericano, Havana, Cuba

Cuba, ten days after the death of Fidel Castro, head of state for 52 years,may be a bit more subdued, but life here goes on, even with the influx of American tourists (other tourists have always been here); there is a sense of harmony. And in spite of the scarcity of luxuries for its people, the people
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

25 underrated political dramas

Rebecca Clough Jan 20, 2017

As America gets its new President, we look at some excellent political drama films that may have slipped under your radar...

Political dramas can be entertaining, informative and even educational, opening up debates and offering new points of view. (When experiencing a year of tumultuous change like the one we’ve just had, they can also be a comforting reminder that, no matter what your situation, it could always be worse...) With the full whack of corruption, war, and conspiracy, here are 25 political dramas which deserve to be better known.

See related 25 underrated political thrillers 17 new TV shows to watch in 2017 Taboo episode 3 review The Girl On The Train review 25. The Marchers/La Marche (2013)

When teenager Mohamed (Tewfik Jallab) is shot by police, his friends want revenge, but he has a better idea: peaceful protest. Marching from Marseille to Paris, they band together with quite an assortment of characters along the way.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Cinerama’s Russian Adventure

The Ussr’s Cinerama knockoff proved a ‘good business’ between the rival superpowers, when some producers imported and re-edited six Soviet Kinopanorama travelogues to make an action- & culture-packed 3-panel Cinerama attraction. In some ways it’s one of the best.

Cinerama’s Russian Adventure

Blu-ray + DVD

Flicker Alley

1966 / Color / Smilebox widescreen / 127 min. / Street Date November 22, 2016 / 39.95

Narrated by Bing Crosby

Cinematography Eduard Ezov, Nikolai Generalov, Ilya Gutman, Georgiy Kholnyy, Anatol Koloschin, V. Kryklin, Sergei Mdeynskiy, Arkadi Missyura, Vladimir Vorontsov

Film Editor Hal J. Dennis

Original Music Alexsandr Lokshin

Written by Homer McCoy

Produced by Thomas Conroy, Harold J. Dennis, J. Jay Frankel

Directed by Boris Dolin, Roman Karmen, Vasily Katanyan, Solomon Kogan, Leonid Kristi, Oleg Lebedev

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

And Now for Something Completely Different, or, There’s Always Something New to Learn. The excellent Flicker Alley series of Cinerama restorations dazzle us with their technical virtuosity and inform us
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

LatinoBuzz: Cuba Update: An In-Depth Look at Cuba’s Film Business

** New Update: Two more American films have come to my attention through readers of the blog:

Alison Klayman wrote to say "I know you said at least two films, but I wanted specifically to alert you to the fact that my film "The 100 Years Show" is also playing in the Panorama Documental sections (same as Pj Letofsky's film). "The 100 Years Show" is about 100-year old Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera, and was produced with RatPac (Brett Ratner) Documentary Films. I'll be attending the festival too.

Alex Mallis wrote in to say: "Our short narrative, "La Noche buena" (the first American-directed since the embargo) is also screening at the festival.

Original Blog:

At least two films by American filmmakers will screen this year at the Havana Film Festival, whose official name is Festival de Cine Nuevo Latinamericano. As the Centerpiece Film, Bob Yari, producer of almost 50 films, will screen his second directed film “Papa” about Ernest Hemingway. It can be called “the first [official or legal] American film made in Havana in the last fifty years”, though underground films have been made (e.g., “Love & Suicide”). “Papa” is being sold at Afm by Elias Axume’s Premiere Entertainment.

Doc filmmaker Pj Letofsky will also be screening his film “ Tarkovsky: Time Within Time” which just premiered at the Sao Paolo Film Festival.

Many U.S. citizens are now interested in going to Havana. To give an in-depth look at Cuba’s film business, I am publishing a [long] chapter of what I hope will soon be published, my book on Iberoamerican film business. I will also be publishing another [shorter] interview here soon with Havana Film Festival Director, Ivan Giroud.

Cuba (Chapter Seven)

Officially the Republic of Cuba, or in Spanish, República de Cuba, the nation is comprised of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. To the north of Cuba lies the United States; the Bahamas are to the northeast, México to the west, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica to the south, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and with over 11 million inhabitants.

Cuba is undergoing a transition into a market, entrepreneurial economy under the Presidency of Raul Castro. With this transition, the cinema industry is also undergoing great changes. The state mandated organization, Icaic, which has been running the cinema industry, is now under scrutiny. New legislation concerning the film industry is slowly underway as a result of discussions ongoing within the film community. Hopefully the establishment of diplomatic relations will the U.S. last October will propel changes, though without lifting the embargo, it may not.

History of Cinema of Cuba

Cuba’s elite has always stayed in touch with the latest in culture as it developed in Europe during the Spanish colonial era. Cuba’s tradition of cinema dates back to 1897 when the Lumiére Brothers representative from France stopped in Havana to show their films on a tour of the Antilles Islands, México, Venezuela, and the Guineas. Cuba’s particular style of cinema, called the “Cinema of the Greater Antilles”, evolved from the theater of melodrama and comedy and from the radio dramas of Felix B. Caignet, all of which formed the popular melodramas and comedies we still see today.

Mexican coproductions and U.S. filmmakers escaping the monopolistic Edison came to Cuba as well as to California in the early days of film. Federico Garcia Lorca arrived in Cuba in 1930 with a screenplay, “Voyage of the Moon”, and a print of “Un Chien Andalou” hoping to break from the Paris-Berlin monopoly, but his plans never took shape. Many films from Spain, México, Argentina and Uruguay also played in Cuba. Some leading Cuban actors had a strong presence in México and Argentina. Musicians such as Ernesto Lecuona, Bola de Nieve and Rita Montaner performed in movies in several countries.

Cuba, along with Mexico and Argentina, has the most developed cinema culture of Latin America. At its most prosperous, it had the third largest number of theaters in Latin America until the special period when Ussr withdrew its support. Today it has 39 movie theaters. Three of them, including the Yara in Havana, had been built especially for 3D in the 1950s.

Movie going is one of Cuba’s national pastimes, rating perhaps as high as baseball. The average Cuban sees one and a half films a year. However, the lack of international appeal for most of its comedies and melodramas has held its international growth in check up to today. That is now changing.

The international nature of Cuban cinema was consciously defined after the Revolution of 1959 when the Institute for Cuban Art and Industry Cinematography (Icaic) was created by Fidel Castro and entrusted to his university classmate, Alfredo Guevara. The law creating Icaic was incorporated into the Cuban Constitution itself just three months after the Revolution and was an important part of the Nuevo Cine Latinoamerico, a movement throughout Latin America as the Latin American nations threw off their dictatorships. Film, according to this law, is "the most powerful and provocative form of artistic expression, and the most direct and widespread vehicle for education and bringing ideas to the public.”

Cinema was created for theatrical exhibition, for individuals and groups to share in smaller collectives, and for television.

The law ordaining Icaic to control every cinematographic activity created no further rules about financing, about submitting, reading and approving project proposals or regarding any required time frames. Icaic functions very internally with no outside surveillance.

Actually it is possible to make films without Icaic participation, the point is that without Icaic a film cannot get national distribution.

Over the past decade Icaic has loosened its monopolistic administration. Every sector and every level of cinema is discussing the concept of a new Law of Cinema with the government’s interest in formalizing as law a more inclusive infrastructure with more transparent rules and regulations.

Under the leadership of Raul Castro, the island has been undergoing a gradual economic reform process allowing entrepreneurs to license their own businesses after decades of state monopoly. The measures include the authorization of self-employment in more than 200 small trades and activities. According to the government, there are currently 442,000 registered as “self-employed”. The Castro administration hopes for this emerging sector to absorb over a million state workers to be laid off in the coming years.[ii]

In October 2014, the state closed down many private cinemas which had emerged avowing to the love of cinema of the people. Many were 3D “salons” in homes or in separate rooms in restaurants. Authorities pressed for "order, discipline and obedience" in the growing small business sector. Needless to say, the films shown were pirated and not licensed by the rights holders. Nor was there ever any official licensing to privately owned theaters (yet).

However, these could provide a good source of taxation. It needs to be decided what shall be taxed, how tax monies should be apportioned for film funding, film education, what tax incentives the government might offer, how distribution will be subsidized, how archives may be maintained and presented, how to regulate screenings, dvd, TV and online platforms, what cash incentives might bring in production from the outside, what joint ventures within the Caribbean might be developed and how Icaic is approaching and incorporating the changing environment. The Director of Icaic, Robert Smith de Castro. is facing more challenges than its previous longtime Director, Alfredo Guevera, ever faced when the government provided everything. Now it must find answers from its neighbors and its own internal producers and procedures.

In general, funding a film, renting equipment and shooting in Cuba all need to be approved by Icaic. This has changed somewhat as other players have come to take a role, like Rtv Commercial, which is in fact the production company of Cuban National Television.

Rtv Commercial coproduced the newest Cuban hit, “Conducta” (“Behavior”) with Icaic. It premiered at Ficg 2014 (Guadalajara International Film Festival) and played at Tiff 2014 and other festivals such as the Málaga Spanish Film Festival 2014 where it won five awards.

New Developments in Cuban Cinema

In 2014 there were 14 productions and coproductions made, compared to seven in 2009 and 4 in 2000 according to FnCl and Ocal, databases of Latin American film.

At Cannes’ Cinema du Monde in May 2014 and in San Sebastian’s Coproduction Forum, “ August” (“Agosto”) was one of 15 projects selected to be seen and discussed by the international community of sales, distribution and financial executives. Directed by Armando Capó Ramos and produced by La Feria Producciones’ Marcella Esquivel, it is a coproduction between Costa Rica and Cuba. It will shoot next year in Havana and is now raising funds through crowdfunding. Also featured among the 15 in San Sebastian was “Wolfdog” (“Hombre entre perro y lobo”) directed by Irene Gutiérrez and produced by El Viaje Films, a Spain-Cuba coproduction.

Seeking modes of financing outside of government funding began in 2002 with the Festival of New Filmmakers showcasing projects was created by young people outside the Icaic system. As a result of the 2002 event, five years later, a funding mechanism called Hacienda Cine was created by pulling productions from Icaic Cuban television into centers and foundations that have other areas for audiovisual production. Pitch sessions for each selected entity were set up. The prize for production services worth 20,000 Convertible Cuban Pesos (equivalent to Us $20,000) was set up by Icaic Production. There are currently also smaller groups creating smaller formats, scientific or otherwise who are fomenting alternative forms of financing as well.

Lia Rodriguez Nieto is an attorney who was mentored by and worked fourteen years, until his death, with Camilo Vives, Icaic’s head of production, first as an attorney and then as a producer. She has now taken charge of the industry section at the Havana Film Festival which Vives began in 2009. She and Antonio López, recently produced a Cuba-Panama-France coproduction “ El Acompañante” (“The Companion”) directed by Pavel Giroud. She states that over the last five to seven years, private (not state institutional) productions have co-existed with institutional production. However, it would be important for independent producers to have a more regulated and confident relationship with Icaic in a more normalized fashion in order to have easier access to filming permits, forms of financing, banking relations, coproduction treaties, and a number of other elements which are essential to film production.

Rebeca Chávez is a director and a member of one of the groups pushing for a new cinema law which will, in principle, establish a new system incorporating the democratic participation of all people in the business, including techs, writers, directors, producers, actors, etc. and where all will have a democratically designed access to funds. In1984 she began her career as documentary director and her work has been given different national and international awards. She is the second woman in Cuba who has made feature films. She has taught several seminars on theory and practice of documentary cinema and on the Cuban experience in the genre in different institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, England and Spain. She has worked as advisor for scripts of documentaries and feature films.

It is most important that the state has the will to make these changes, and it has stated it is open to changing the laws. Omar González who succeeded Alfredo Guevara as the head of the Icaic was replaced in 2013 by 30 year Icaic employee Roberto Smith de Castro who is now faced with reorganizing Icaic and implementing new laws which are yet to be formulated. He is considered to be a patient and attentive man who listens and will work to incorporate the diverse opinions into a new working reality.

The son of the famed director Daniel Diaz Torres whose controversial film “Alicia en el pueblo de Maravillas” (“Alice in the City of Wonders”) in 1991 was so critical of the bureaucracy of the government at the time of the Soviet collapse that it caused the resignation of Icaic’s director Espinosa, independent producer Daniel Diaz Ravelo points out that the independent producer is neither legal nor illegal but exists in a sort of limbo, free to produce whatever he or she wants but needing legal sanctions to access necessary permits, equipment, etc. And a filmmaker has no bank account so fiscal responsibility is difficult. One must get a certificate from Icaic but there is no registration rule on how this is to be done.

And it gets more complicated. It is difficult to raise a Us$400,000 budget without networking with filmmakers from other countries and yet travel is not easy for Cubans. They can travel -- Cuba no longer has a problem with that -– but often they cannot get the visa required from the country they want or need to travel to. Daniel’s father had a problem in traveling to find financing for his last film, “La Pelicula de Ana” (“Ana's Movie”), from former producers of his films. It did receive some funding from Icaic and from former funding friend, Icestorm in Germany, and a loan from Ibermedia. Unfortunately Daniel Diaz Torres, Sr. recently died an early death and did not see the fruits of his labor in the 2013 Havana premiere.

The new generation today in Cuba is highly independent; it knows that diversity of film subjects and of filmmakers is key to Cuban cinema today and it is finding diverse sources of financing and distribution. It needs more information as well because everything depends upon contacts. Cineastes traveling to Cuba will find a vibrant group open to coproducing.

2015 marks the eighth year of the Havana Film Festival’s Works in Progress. The Post Production Award, Nuestra América Primera Copia, is an international competition for films from Latin America and from Cuba, with no restrictions; films can be produced by Icaic or independently. For example, in 2013 awards went to four films, one from Chile, “I’m Not Lorena” (“No Soy Lorena”), which premiered at Tiff 2014; one from Argentina, “La Salada”, which premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2014 and Tiff 2014; and two from Cuba -- one Icaic film, “His Wedding Dress” (“Vestido de novia”), and the independent, “Venice” which was also Tiff 2014.

Thanks to an initiative by La Muestra, a group of Cuban production companies (including several independent ones), once a year support is awarded to four or five projects by young filmmakers. The independent film “Melaza” by Carlos Lechuga with the 5ta Avenida Productions premiered on October 3, 2013.

Rubén Padrón Astorga, writing for On Cuba [iii], November-December 2013 [1] writes:

The best prospects for our cinema today emerged like an earthquake in late April of this year, when Kiki Álvarez, the director of “Jirafas”, “La ola” and “Marina” and “Venezia”, initiated a debate on the problems that the country has with two vital filmmaking processes (production and distribution). Close to 60 audiovisual makers responded with a meeting where they formed a Filmmakers Committee to represent the rest of the country’s professionals.

Soon after its creation, the Committee announced that its objectives included ensuring the active participation of Cuban filmmakers in every decision that was made about [our] cinema, and protecting and developing its production at the industrial and independent levels. At this time, they are working together with Icaic and the Ministry of Culture to pass a decree-law defining the autonomous audiovisual creator, which would legitimize filmmakers as a legal concept, with full rights to exercise their profession. However, the decree-law, which was drafted seven years ago and ratified by the most recent Uneac Congress, was rewritten by the Filmmakers Committee so that it is not limited to recognizing audiovisual practice as individual work, but as collective, and so that it legally protects independent producers.

This committee, together with the so-called Ministry of Culture Temporary Working Group for the Transformation of Icaic, is actively participating in drawing up a diagnosis of Cuban cinema’s problems, which will be followed with the drafting of policies and actions for solving those problems. This step will clear the way for the long-term creation of a comprehensive film law. This law, which would involve widening the scope of the law passed in 1959 for Icaic’s founding, or drafting a new one, would include the creation of a film commission that would support production and make it viable; a promotion fund that would be governed by an arts council, and to which all independent and institutional artists could aspire; financial incentives that would promote the support of private and state companies and sponsors; and a general legal framework that conceives of cinema systemically, inspired by the useful experiences that have taken place in other countries in the region, such as Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

A convocation of cinema directors was held May 4, 2013 in Strawberry and Chocolate Cultural Center, Havana to address the need to participate in all plans and activities planned for Cuban cinema. The meeting chose a working group composed of Enrique Kiki Álvarez, Enrique Colina, Rebeca Chávez Lourdes de los Santos, Daniel Diaz Ravelo, Pavel Giroud, Magda González Grau, Inti Herrera, Senel Paz, Fernando Perez, Manuel Perez and Pedro L. Rodríguez.

The main objective of this group is to represent the filmmakers at all levels and events, promote and ensure the active participation of the same in all decisions and projects that relate to Cuban cinema, and strive for the protection and development of these arts and industries and their makers, which is our right and duty as protagonists of this art. At its first meeting, the group reached the following conclusions and agreements (verbatim):

1 -. We recognize the Cuban Film Institute and the Film Industry (Icaic) as the rector of the Cuban film industry state agency; born with the revolution and its long history is a legacy that belongs to all filmmakers. At the same time, we believe that the problems and projections of Cuban cinema today do not concern only the Icaic, but also other institutions and institutional groups or independently involved in their production, without whose help and commitment is not possible to achieve meaningful and lasting solutions. For that reason, its reorganization and promotion can not be done only in the context of this organism.

2 -. We understand the Cuban film produced through institutional, independent mechanisms, co-production with third or mixed formulas, and as filmmakers to all creators, technicians and Cuban specialists of these arts and industries that do their work inside or outside the institutions , whatever they may be aesthetic, content or affinity group. Consequently, it is imperative the adoption of Decree Law Media Creator recognition. This decree should be enriched with all additional legal supplements necessary.

3 -. We consider essential enacting a Film Law, whose production and given all participate and to be the legal body to order and protect the artistic and economic activity in the country.

4 -. We consider it important to study and implement a Film Development Fund, to which all authors in accessing equal rights and conditions, and open call to an independent jury whose selection parameter is the quality and feasibility of the whole project.

5 -. At this stage, the filmmakers give priority to the organization and remodeling of the methods of production and realization of works, the concept that these are, first and last instance being essentially the way we express ourselves and connect with the public. Similarly, we propose a systemic boost our activity covering the organization and remodeling of the forms of production, distribution, exhibition and national and international projection of Cuban cinema.

6 -. Start work, reviewing and updating the document "Proposals for a renewal of Cuban cinema", adopted at the Seventh Congress of the Uneac in 2008. As progress is made, they will be sharing all the proposals with the filmmakers.

7 -. Exchanging proposals and views with the State Commission working on the development of proposals for the transformation of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry.

8 -. To express our deep concern for all matters concerning international relations and Cuban cinema projection, which was a revolutionary vanguard movement in the Latin American and global context. We strive for a quick recovery and exchange relationships with filmmakers from Latin America and the world, and the continuity of the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, in its next edition turns 35.

9 -. This representation group performed their work in ongoing dialogue and communication with all filmmakers through regular meetings, which shall have the power to ratify or renew the group members, making decisions of common interest and to identify priorities and lines of job.

Filmmakers Group in the Assembly elected Cuban Filmmakers Saturday May 4 at the Centro Cultural Fresa y Chocolate, after its first meeting on May 8.

Havana, May 8, 2013. This was a verbatim article in Cubarte Magazine. [iv]

Festivals/ Markets

In 1979 Icaic created the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema aka Havana Film Festival as a way to disseminate its ethical convictions about developing film that was nonconformist, irreverent, critical of social injustice and rebellious against the pressures of the market across the continent. The event hosted over 600 filmmakers from Latin America and had as presidents of juries Gabriel García Márquez (Fiction ) and Santiago Álvarez (Documentaries and Cartoons.) The Coral Grand Prize winners were Geraldo Sarno (“Colonel Delmiro Gouveia”, Brazil) and Sergio Giral (“Maluala”, Cuba), in Fiction, Patricio Guzmán (“The Battle of Chile: the Struggle a People Without Arms”, Chile), Documentary, and Juan Padrón (“Elpidio Valdés”, Cuba) in Animation.

However, the contradiction of Icaic’s exercising a central control over maverick innovations is obvious since it controlled the production criteria and the right to decide what type of film was convenient to make and what was not.

An official competition of unpublished scripts for feature films is held by International Festival of New Latin American Cinema for authors from Latin America and the Caribbean for original scripts (no literary adaptations), written in Spanish and with Latin American themes. Scripts whose production rights have been transferred to third parties are not eligible. [v]

Icaic also supports the Festival Internacional de Cine Pobre de Humberto Solas[vi] for low budget films and Festival Internacional de Documentales “Santiago Alvarez in Memoriam”[vii].

Muestra Joven is a festival for Cuban youth with premiere fiction, doc and animated films. It has collateral activities of debates about the films in the festivals, master classes, meetings about contemporary issues and themes in the audiovisual community, workshps and onferences, poster exhibitions and homages.

In April 2014 the Mediateque of Women Directors, based in Cuba formally affiliated with The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in creating the the Caribbean Film Market. The project is also in association with The Foundation for Global Democracy and Development of the Dominican Republic, The Association for The Development of Art and Commercial Cinematography of Guadalupe, The Foundation for New Latinamerican Cinema, The Regional and International Film Festival of Guadalupe and the Mediateque of Women Directors.


Icaic was in charge of training and promotion of talented young people not only in cinema but in other arts like music for which it created the Experimental Sound Group.


Most of the new independent filmmakers are young graduates of the Higher Art Institute’s (Isa) Faculty of Audiovisual Communication Media and its provincial affiliates. The University of Arts of Cuba - (Isa), Instituto Superior de Arte - was established on September 1, 1976 by the Cuban government as a school for the arts. Its original structure had three schools: Music, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts. At present the Isa has four schools, the previous three and the one for Arts and Audiovisual Communication Media. There are also four teaching schools in the provinces, one in Camagüey, two in Holguín and one in Santiago de Cuba. Isa offers pre-degree and post-degree courses, as well as a wide spectrum of brief and extension courses, including preparation for Cuban and foreign professors for a degree of Doctor on Sciences in Art. Predegree education has increased to five careers: Music, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, Dance Arts and Arts and Audiovisual Communication Media. In 1996, the Isa established the National Award of Artistic Teaching, conceived for recognizing a lifework devoted to arts teaching.


Eictv, the International School of Cinema and Television was founded December 15, 1986 at the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana with the support of then-President Fidel Castro on the initiative of Latin American cultural figures such as Argentine director, “Father of the New Latin American Cinema”, Fernando Birri, Julio and Gabo and Colombian Nobel Prize winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez who donated his prize money to establish the school.. It is located in San Antonio de los Baños near Havana, on land donated by the Cuban government.

Hundreds of young students from all over Latin America have studied direction, script, photography and edition. Since its founding , 810 students have graduated and it has become one of the region’s most important and well-grounded cultural projects.

Students pay 15,000 euros (about $19,700) to attend for the full three-year program. The fee includes food, lodging and equipment. Tuition income accounts for just 15 percent of the school's budget. Funding comes from international agencies such as Ibermedia; countries including Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Panama; and regional organizations like the Alba alliance of leftist Latin American nations.

For the past eight years, Nuevas Miradas, organized by the Eictv Production Department has held its presentations at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema for bringing new projects to the attention of international professionals.

Also in the late 1980s, Cuba created the Third World Film School to train students from various third world countries in the art of filmmaking.

Film Funding

Icaic has been the only body to fund films. How the selection of what films would receive funding has never been a public matter.

There are no instruments for private companies or individuals to contribute to film production in Cuba yet. There are however, international funds that may help finance films, such as Hubert Bals Fund from The Netherlands, World Cinema Fund from Germany, Fonds Sud from France, the Norwegian Fund, Sor Fond, Acp, etc. The best actively kept lists are found in Ocal[viii] and Online Film Financing [ix].

Coproduction with Cuba

As early as 1948 coproductions were common between Cuba and México. During the 70s and 80s Russian coproductions included Mikhail Kalatozov’s classic 1964 film “I Am Cuba” (“Soy Cuba”). Spain has played a role in coproducing Latin American and Cuban films since the 30s but in the 1990s it began to invest more heavily. In 1997 Ibermedia was created for the purpose of promoting coproduction between Spain and Latin American countries. Cuba is one of the fourteen countries involved in this organization.

In addition, Cuba has bilateral coproduction treaties with Italy, Canada, Venezuela, Spain and Chile. So far nothing has resulted from the Chile accord.

Two examples of Cuban coproduced films are Humberto Solás’ 1982 film “Cecilia” (Cuba - Spain) and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío’s 1992 Academy Award-nominated “Strawberry and Chocolate” (“Fresa y chocolate”) (Cuba – México – Spain - U.S.).

In September 2013 at San Sebastian International Film Festival’s 2nd Europe-Latin America Coproduction Forum, “The Companion”/ "El Acompañante" won the Best Project Award sponsored by Spain’s Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association Egeda and carrying a 10,000 Euros (Us$13,000) cash award.

This is the third feature of Giroud after “The Silly Age” and “Omerta”. It is a coproduction of Cuba, Venezuela’s NativaPro Cinematográfica and France’s Tu Vas Voir owned by Edgard Tenembaum who produced Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries”. The film also obtained the collaboration of Programa Ibermedia and was selected for Cinemas du Monde.

Pavel Giroud is one of the most promising of young Cuban filmmakers today. “The Companion”/ "El Acompañante" is set in 1988 Havana and tells the story of the friendship which develops between Horacio Romero, a Cuban boxer who fails a drug test and a defiant patient at an AIDS center under military rule for whom Romero must serve as a warden or, in Cuban government parlance, a “companion”. Playing the role of Horacio is Yotuel Romero (Latin Grammy Award-winning and founding member of Cuban rap group Orishas). Orishas is one of the world’s most critically hailed Latin-urban artists. The co-protagonist is Cuban actor Armando Miguel Gómez who has received international recognition for his role in the recent films "Behavior”/ “Conducta" and “Melaza”. International sales are handled by the Brazil-based international sales agency, Habanero, which, coincidently is owned by Cuban Alfredo Calvino and Brazilian Patricial Martin who handle such outstanding films as “Juan on the Dead”, Carlos Lechuga’s “Melaza”, Sebastian Cordero’s “Pescador” and Francisco Franco’s “Last Call”. Habanero also sponsors distribution awards at Ficg and Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte, a showcase for pictures in post-production. All the updated information about these films, including festivals and awards is available at:

Case Study of the Producer, Inti Hererra

Cuba’s first English language film, “Eating the Sun”, a coproduction with Canada, is being produced by Inti Herrera who also is heading the new night spot of avant garde popular entertainment, La Fabrica de Arte Cubano.

Inti Herrera, formerly of 5ta Avenida Productions and I first met in 2003 through the international sales agent Alfredo Calvino whose then-company Latinofusion was selling Inti’s first fiction feature, “Viva Cuba”, a road movie of two kids traveling across Cuba in search of one’s father.

Inti graduated Eictv and worked for a long time as an independent producer of documentaries.

In 2009, when Camilo Vives, Icaic’s head of production created the Industry Sector of the Havana Film Festival Inti became its director and managed it until 2010. In 2010 when he was still running the industry space he invited me to speak about New Media, and I spoke of Peter Broderick who was then invited to do a workshop at Eictv.

As an executive producer, Inti must raise financing from the development through the completion of film projects. Each project is of course different from the last. He and Alejandro Brugués were originally discussing working on a different sort of film, “Melaza”, but put it on hold and in 2010 and 2011 he worked instead on the commercial film, “Juan of the Dead”, which is the most exhibited film of Cuba.

Juan of the Dead”, Cuba’s first truly independent movie, a zombie horror comedy was coproduced in 2011 by Spain's La Zanfoña Producciones, where it was post-produced, and Cuba's first independent production company Producciones de la 5ta Avenida which also produced “Personal Belongings” in 2006 and “Melaza” in 2012. The film was written and directed by Alejandro Brugués (“Personal Belongings”). It was executive produced by Inti Herrera, Claudia Calviño and Gervasio Iglesias.

The film was represented for international sales by Latinofusion, a Guadalajara based company sponsored by Universidad de Guadalajara and managed by Alfredo Calvino. It was shown in more than 50 festivals worldwide, winning 10 audience awards and the Spanish Film Academy’s Goya Award of the for best Iberoamerican film. It sold to 42 territories.

Juan of the Dead” distributors:

Argentina (Condor/ Mirada), Bolivia (Londra Films P&D), Brazil (Imovision), Canada (A-z Films), Chile (Arcadia Films), Germany (Pandastorm Pictures), Hong Kong and Macau (Sundream Motion Pictures), Hungary (Ads Service), Italy ( Moviemax Media Group Spa), Japan (Fine Films), Latin American Pay TV (HBO Latin America), México and Central America (Canana), Netherlands (Filmfreak), Norway (Tromso International Film Festival), Puerto Rico (Wiesner), Russia and Cis territories (Cinema Prestige), Spain (Avalon), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), U.K and Ireland (Metrodome), U.S.(Theatrical Distributor Outsider Pictures, all other rights Focus World)

Today Inti is working with a new director, Alfredo Ureta on the Canadian coproduction and the first Cuban film in English. “Eating the Sun” is about a Canadian-Cuban couple who decides to live in Cuba. Before settling in they make a tour of the country and become involved in a psychological thriller. The Canadian producer is Gordon Weiske of Canwood Entertainment. They are discussing the male lead role with Kris Holden-Ried. The goal is to find new markets for this film, markets which Cuba has not targeted before.

Top 10 Films of Cuba is a selection of my own:

1. “Memorias del subdesarrollo” (“Memories of Underdevelopment”) (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968)

2. “Lucia” (Humberto Solás, 1969)

3. “Vampiros en La Habana” (“Vampires in Havana”) (Juan Padrón, 1983)

4. “Soy Cuba” (“I am Cuba”) ( Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)

5. “La bella del Alhambra” (“The beauty of the Alhambra”) (Enrique Pineda Barnet, 1989)

6. “Fresa y Chocolate” (“Strawberry and Chocolate”) (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, 1993)

7. “Lista de Espera” (“The waiting list”) (Juan Carlos Tabío, 2000)

8. “Havana Suite” (“Suite Havana”) (Fernando Pérez, 2003)

9. “Juan of the Dead” (Alejandro Brugués, 2011)

10. “Melaza” (Carlos Lechuga, 2013)


Cubacine. El Portal del Cine Cubano.


[iii] Cubacine. El Portal del Cine Cubano.



[vi] ,



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Cuba Journal 2: U.S., Revolution and the Caribbean

The first day of the Havana Film Festival I was at the Hotel Nacional, registering for the festival, seeing familiar faces from Cuba and the Caribbean and old friends from the USA: Oleg Vidov and his wife Joan Borsten were there as Oleg who had starred in 3 Soviet films made in Cuba was an honored guest. Havana regulars were there: Marlene Dermer, director of Laliff and Laurie Anne Schag, VP of International Documentary Association. Laurie Anne not only gives tours of Cuba with her colleague Geo Darder, but this year she also screened her film at the festival, the documentary Oshun’s 11 about a tour of the Yoruba Orisha religion in Cuba.

Harlan Jacobson of Talk Cinema and Sarah Miller brought in tours as well and we went together to the Acapulco theater to see the Puerto Rican romantic heist movie Hope, Despair (La Espera Desespera) by writer/ director Coraly Santaliz Perez (♀) . Im Global’s Bonnie Voland the VP of Marketing was there with with Stuart Ford and his friend. Bonnie gave a great presentation on marketing which I will report on in these pages soon. Im Global and Mundial, their their new joint venture with Gael Garcia Bernal, showed The Butler and Bolivar: The Liberator. This new Mundial title was oddly programmed at the same time as the Venezuelan version of the exact same story, Bolivar, el hombre de las dificultades by Luis Alberto Lamata, a Venezuelan-Cuban-Spanish co-production. I wonder if both cinemas were packed or if one was more popular than the other. Publicity and marketing at this festival is a strange and unknown process, though I know Caroline Libresco-produced and Grace Lee-directed American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs brought in audience after a radio interview with Caroline and Grace had aired.

Ruby Rich was also here giving a very interesting presentation on Queer Cinema whose historical roots (Todd Haynes, Derek Jarman) were mostly unknown to the young Cuban audience. She is an old hand in Havana, having attended the festival in the heady days of the 1970s. The theme of homosexuality was prevalent in many of the films this year. A government Institute of Human Sexuality has been established under the leadership of the daughter of Raul Castro, and Cuba has apologized for its past treatment of homosexuality. This reversal has opened the doors of freedom. Filmmaker Enrique Pineda Barnet, the writer of Soy Cuba, the great Russian-Cuban epic, used to have to work underground with his personal homosexual films (After his fame was established with La Bella del Alhambra he was “allowed” to work underground). He is now able to be officially accepted with his works like Verde, Verde which showed in the Festival. Venezuelan Miguel Ferrari’s Azul y no tan rosa was feted for his treatment of this little-discussed issues in his home country.

Enrique Pineda Barnet’s meditation on what it means to be gay in Havana (Verde, Verde) marks his first film in years to be accepted into the official festival.

The U.S. invitees who give workshops here and at the international film school Eictv makes me wonder who is making the connections and how. Last year Hawk Koch and Annette Benning were here and created a support mechanism of AMPAS with the festival. This year, aside from Oleg Vidov Bonnie Voland and Ruby Rich, other American invitees giving workshops included Robert Kraft (Avatar, Titanic, Moulin Rouge) on film music was obviously brought in by the Academy. Mike S. Ryan, an independent filmmaker from New York was the big surprise as we never knew his role as producer of such films as Todd Solondz’s Palindromes and Life During Wartime, Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy and Ira Sach’s Forty Shades of Blue, Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim and many more including Liberty Kid, the winner of HBO’s Latino Film Festival 2007 and Bela Tarr’s final film, The Turin Horse. His newly finished film is Last Weekend starring Patricia Clarkson and Zachary Booth. This Independent Spirit “Producer of the Year” winner was here working with filmmakers at Eictv, the international film school and also did a presentation in the festival conference series.

Im Global’s Stuart Ford and friend with Bonnie Voland at the Hotel Nacional

Oliver Stone, a favorite of Cuba since his HBO films Comandante and Persona Non Grata, brought in a History Channel doc series called The Untold History of the United States, made up basically of interviews with key people in the eras of World War II: Roosevelt, Truman and Wallace [sic],The Bomb, Cold War: Truman, Wallace [sic], Stalin, Churchill and the Bomb, The 1950s: Eisenhower, The Bomb and The Third World.

A fruit vendor on our walk to the Infanta Theater

Laurie Anne Schag secured radio promotion for Caroline Libresco of Sundance Institute and Grace Lee, here as a producer and director to show their new film: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. The audience at the Infanta Theater was mainly brought in by the radio show but also included us, the friends, and the Trinidad + Tobago delegation. The Q&A sessions were informed and informative as the Cubans and Americans discussed the notion of Revolution as put forward by Grace Lee Boggs a 90+ year old community organizer who came out of Barnard College in the 40s to Detroit and has never abandoned her Marxist Socialist standards but recognizes that social revolution can only succeed if the people themselves are revolutionized from grassroots action and within the individuals carrying out the action. Without transformation from within, action to change the government is only a rebellion. So what about the Cuban Revolution? The discussions were very enlightening and the audience felt that this film was new and interesting.

I attended the first of four screenings of Caribbean films hosted by ttff (Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival) at the Infanta Theater. My readers know from my blogs of last November how astonished and moved I was by the population makeup of Trinidad + Tobago and of the Caribbean in general. This area of small islands, formerly colonized by Spanish, French, German and Dutch has created a particular island culture society whose film culture is taking the next evolutionary step. Forming a marketplace and a place of cultural exchange among its constituents, ttff’s director Bruce Paddington is working with Cuba’s national film organization, Icaic’s Luis Notario to develop a real film market for Caribbean film. Apropos, Bruce was also showing his documentary on the Revolution in Grenada, called Foreward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution, which was the motto of Maurice Bishop the elected president who was forcefully removed and murdered by the opposition when the U.S. army under the Commander-in-Chief, President Ronald Reagan sent in forces presumably to protect the American medical students attending medical school there in 1983.

Twenty-five Cubans were also killed in the fighting which ensued on this otherwise always peaceful island where now a reconciliation among neighbors is still in process.

The other four screenings of ttff were varied and interesting in their unique Caribbean points of view. The opening film, Poetry is an Island: Derek Walcott was a portrait of the St. Lucia poet and Nobel Prize winner for literature. The short film, Passage, by Kareem Mortimer, a filmmaker I have known for many years from the Bahamas and Trinidad, was astounding in its recall of one of the most degrading aspects of the slave trade, as black Haitians huddled in the tiny hold of a decrepit fishing boat as they were smuggled into Florida from Haiti. Another short, Auntie, from the Barbados by Lisa Harewood told of a current social issue in which “Aunts” take care of young children while their single mothers go abroad to earn money for their care. As the child in this movie reaches her teen years, her mother sends for her which leaves a grieving single woman “Auntie” alone with no thanks and no child to care for in her older years. Other shorts included The Gardener by Jo Henriquez from Aruba and One Good Deed by Juliette McCawley from Trinidad + Tobago.

The window on Caribbean issues was opened wide. The Barbados comedy Payday in which two friends decide to leave their job as security guards and open their own business was made on a shoe string but gave a picture of how the youth are living today with ganga, grinding dancing, sexy encounters told with a sweet mischievous naughtiness. Songs of Redemption, by Miquel Galofre and Amanda Sans, winner of ttff’s Jury Prize and the Audience Award goes inside what had been Kingston Jamaica’s worst prison until the new prison director introduced classes to educate the prisoners, including a music rehabilition program which goes beyond all expectation… Truly redeeming.

Trinidad + Tobago filmmakers Karim Mortimer from Bahamas, Lisa Harewood from Barbaddos, Alex (Egyptian/ Austrian / Bahamanian business partner of Karim, Shakira Bourne

The film program was suspended for a full day in which all cultural and entertainment events throughout Cuba were cancelled to observe a national day of mourning for Nelson Mandela.
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Julie Taymor and Jeffrey Eugenides join Antonio Monda for Le Conversazioni

Julie Taymor, Antonio Monda, Jeffrey Eugenides in a backstage Le Conversazioni: Films of My Life discussion. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze The 2013 Le Conversazioni literary festival celebrating the relationship between art, architecture, literature and film concluded at the Morgan Library & Museum on Thursday, November 7 in New York. Artistic director of Le Conversazioni Antonio Monda discussed with Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides - whose novel was adapted into Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides (1999) starring Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, and Kathleen Turner - films that influenced their lives and work. Clips from each of Taymor and Eugenides' chosen movies were shown, plus one from the moderator at the end.

The Films of My Life chosen by Eugenides were Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971), Frank Perry's The Swimmer (1968), Alexander Payne's Sideways (2004), and Robert Altman's Nashville (1975).

Antonio Monda introduces Le Conversazioni Films of My Life Photo:
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Video of the day: Top 20 Cinematic Techniques Part 2


Not to long ago we posted a pretty cool video titled Top 20 Cinematic Techniques, made by film student Oscar Feiven. Oscar has followed that montage up with a second video, editing together specific scenes from popular movies to showcase a variety of film techniques set in practice. Enjoy!

Films featured:

Boogie Nights

The Quick and the Dead

Russian Ark

Black Swan


Stranger Than Paradise

A Clockwork Orange


The Third Man

A Requiem For A Dream

Django Unchained



Breaking Bad

The Shawshank Redemption

Sherlock Holmes

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba)

Citizen Kane


Cinematic Techniques Featured:

Vertigo Effect


Long Take

Frantic Zoom

Trombone Effect

Crane shot

Establishing Shot

Mirror Shot

Zoom Out


Dutch Angle

Shake Cam

Crane Shot


Tracking Shot

Shot-Reverse Shot

Time Lapse


Slow Motion

Crane Up

Crane Right

Dolly Shot

See full article at SoundOnSight »

Movies This Week: June 29 - July 5, 2012

The Fourth of July holiday week brings plenty of well hyped Hollywood product to your local multiplex, along with Matthew McConaughey's oiled glutes. I'll just stop there and move on to the special screenings.

Missing your high school days? You can't get them back, but you can revisit them via Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Fast Times at Ridgemont High at the Paramount on Thursday. They're perfect summer films; Bueller's antics are legendary, and Slackerwood editor Jette Kernion knows I can't mention Fast Times without also mentioning the watershed moment in film artistry that involves Phoebe Cates and a swimming pool. See the Paramount and Stateside calendar for details.

On a slightly more serious note, the Austin Film Society's Essential Cinema series continues with a screening of Soy Cuba on Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov's 1964 documentary is known for its astounding cinematography
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LatinoBuzz: Update!!! Life Imitates Art. Interview with Lucy Mulloy - Una Noche

Since its publication, new developments are worth reporting. This film which deals with youth's alienation from the Revolution in Cuba shows life imitating art as its two young actors, planning to be present at Tribeca's premiere, have been reported missing since their landing in Miami. Read more here.

It's safe to say that Lucy Mulloy was born to make films. Her awards cabinet will tell you the exact same thing. As an Nyu student, the native Brit was nominated for a Student Academy Award and has gone on to win numerous accolades including the Emerging Narrative Talent Award in 2010 at The Tribeca Film Festival where she is making her U.S. feature film debut with Una Noche this week. Una Noche is a labor of love that has been years in the making. It stemmed from a short film idea Mulloy had upon visiting Cuba and listening to the people's stories. And it lovingly shows on screen. Cast with non-actors Una Noche is a non judgemental look at Cuba through the eyes of people whose nostalgia for the Revolution fades every year along with their dreams. In Una Noche, Lucy captures the pulse of Cuba and with her portrayal of youth and its beautiful juxtaposition to the decaying architecture of Havana. Here are 10 questions with Writer/ Director Lucy Mulloy... (Actually, it's only 9 - Lucy dodged my question about the controversial decision to cast non-Latinos in the film The Perez Family by Director Mira Nair. She pleaded the fifth citing not having seen the film).

LatinoBuzz: Who put the camera in your hand?

Lucy Mulloy: Nyu did. Sandi Sissel, our cinematography professor, told us to sleep with the camera. She is fantastic and was really encouraging. In your first days at Nyu grad film they throw you a 16mm camera, a roll of black and white film and say come back with a short movie in a couple of days. It was very liberating and took away the stigma attached with shooting being too complicated. We were given the chance to mess up and to get comfortable with the camera. It was a great time to experiment. It's exhilarating to hear the flutter of film and see the flicker of celluloid passing though the lens as you shoot.

LatinoBuzz: You are having daiquiris with Hemingway, his drink of choice, at the famed Floridita bar that he used to frequent in Havana, he's drunk and being good old Ernest in fine form, what would you ask him?

Lucy Mulloy: I’d ask him to take me fishing.

LatinoBuzz: You studied politics at Oxford - how much politics went into the writing of the film and what evolved during your time in Cuba?

Lucy Mulloy: I went to Cuba in the first place because I was curious about the system. That was before I ever thought about making a movie there. I was not out to make a political movie. I wanted to tell a story that felt real about people and emotions, things that are familiar to me. The film is about three people who come together and change one another. Their circumstances and their perspectives within the context of their society are all very different. I am not interested in telling people what to think about Cuba, but more in exploring the characters’ journeys.

LatinoBuzz: If you could sing a love song to Cuba -- which is it?

Lucy Mulloy: There are a few songs that come into my head, but the one that takes me to a warm Havana evening is Francisco Cespedes, Remolino. We used to play it over and over. Maite and Yanelis would sing along when we were going crazy in pre-production late nights. Hearing it takes me back to Cuba and the lyrics are about being taken away, about a love that is overwhelming... it's about sacrifice and distance. When I am in Cuba I miss my family and friends outside and when I am not there I miss Havana. As soon as you land in Cuba, there’s a feeling that comes over you in the heat; it's in the air, it’s something I have not felt in any other place. I miss that.

LatinoBuzz: With wonderful indies such as 'Pariah', 'Mosquita Y Mari', 'Entre Nos', 'Yelling to The Sky', 'Circumstance', 'Una Noche' etc. we are seeing emerging female talent behind the camera - are you hopeful? And what does being a female in the film industry mean to you?

Lucy Mulloy: There are a lot of women making great films. They are making independent movies, forging their own ways, selecting their own teams. None of the films cited are industry films. There is no question about whether women can make great movies. Clearly they can, but the question is whether they are being invited into the studio system to make them. Progress needs to come from within the industry – they need to catch up and embrace more female directors.

LatinoBuzz: Any part of the journey of making this film you deplored?

Lucy Mulloy: No, some parts were hard, but I learnt so much making this film. I am much more equipped now for the next movie. I have been very much involved with the production side of Una Noche and this has taught me a lot. It’s a huge privilege that I was able to bring the script into fruition.

LatinoBuzz: I wondered when I saw your film if the cinema of Humberto Solás and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea influenced it at all?

Lucy Mulloy: I loved the movie Soy Cuba (Mikail Kalatozov). I saw it after I came back from Cuba the first time and it blew me away. It is so masterfully made, pushing boundaries cinematographically. It inspired me for sure.

LatinoBuzz: You can pick any actor from history to direct. A leading lady for him from history? Set it anywhere in the world. Who are they and what's the plot? Go.

Lucy Mulloy: I would choose young Marlon Brando and a young Cathy Tyson. It would be set in Tunis in 2040 where she would be his drug counselor. As he comes off his addiction he would become more obsessed with her.

LatinoBuzz: You picked 3 wonderful non-traditional actors -- what is your hope for them after Una Noche has reached its destiny?

Lucy Mulloy: I would love to make another movie with them. I know that they all want to pursue careers in acting. I think people usually like what they are good at. They all have a natural talent. I really hope that they get to act more and do what makes them happy. I was very lucky to find them.

For screening times and tickets to see 'Una Noche' at The Tribeca Film Festival And 'Love' and 'Like' them at
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Letter Never Sent Blu Ray Review

Letter Never Sent Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov Written by Grigori Koltunov, Valeri Osipov and Viktor Rozov Starring: Innokenti Smoktunovsky, Tatyana Samoilova, Vasili Livanov, Yevgeny Urbansky There's something to be said about Criterion's boutique releases and their in-depth extras and fancy packaging, but it's the curatory nature of the label that allows for the discovery of some great films that might not have otherwise come across your blu ray/DVD player. I went into Mikhail Kalatozov's Letter Never Sent blindly (outside of some knowledge about his films Soy Cuba and The Cranes Are Flying) and was absolutely blown away. As a fan of survival-thrillers, the classic man against nature story had me hooked and the filmmaking on display is absolutely mindblowing. The film opens as four people -- three geologists and a guide -- are left in the Siberian Taiga. It's spring time and they're searching for diamonds. Their mission
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¡Sí Cuba! In SoCal: A Celebration of Cuban Film

Beverly Hills, CA . .¡Sí Cuba! SoCal,. a multi-venue Southern California festival celebrating the culture of the island nation through art, dance, film, music and discussion, runs now through Sunday, October 2, 2011. Building on the momentum of the ¡Sí Cuba! festival currently in New York, .¡Sí Cuba! SoCal. will be presented by seven Southern California-based organizations and will include three exhibitions, hand-silkscreened film posters, political cartoons, and photographs documenting Cuba.s history; performances by the renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba in Costa Mesa and Los Angeles; a film series with filmmaker Q&As; and a concert by the Buena Vista Social Club® orchestra.

The following is the .¡Sí Cuba! SoCal. calendar of events:

Cuban Film Posters: From Havana to the World

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Grand Lobby Gallery, Beverly Hills

Now . August 28

This exhibition will showcase 125 hand-silkscreened posters from Cuban and international films created by
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Clip joint: the Louise Brooks bob

This week we're getting snippy, cutting a swathe through the best film clips that give a nod to the Louise Brooks bob

Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929) owes its iconic status not to its plot – a lurid morality tale – but the subversive sheen of its star. Louise Brooks's screen presence redefined the proverbial fatality of the femmes. Here was no temptress hell-bent on destruction but a girl whose spontaneity and unrepressed sexuality proved too hot to handle for the leering males around her.

The message was much aided by a boyish bob which, in its angular minimalism, posed an affront to cliches of femininity. "The girl in the black helmet", she was called, the gritty hue of her barnet more redolent of the dominatrix's leather boot than the flowing locks of the damsel in distress.

Brooks's haircut was a piece of fashion and, as such, has been sported
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

A Take Above the Rest

The ‘long take’, a film technique born in the middle of the 20th century, is often neglected by modern directors in favor of a more rapid-fire, MTV-inspired editing style. In fact, as the medium grows older, the average shot length (Asl) decreases; according to [1], the Asl of American films has dropped from 10.5 seconds in 1946 to 2.9 seconds in 2006. However, a number of creative auteurs, such as Andrei Tarkovsky, P.T. Anderson, and Orson Welles, have used the long take to great effect, exploring various concepts and creating disparate moods. Here are some of the best examples. 6. Old Boy – Fight Scene – Runtime: 2:42 The shot begins with our main character, Dae-Su, at one end of a narrow warehouse hallway, facing an elevator door at the other end. Unfortunately for him, about twenty assailants holding a variety of weapons obstruct his path. The classic fight scene in Old Boy makes use of
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