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The Gibara, Cuba Film Festival returns, August 2-6

In accordance with its organizers, the sixteenth Gibara International Film Festival has grow to be a multicultural event. Photo: Taken from the festival’s Facebook page.

The film and cultural event makes a comeback to the Holguin coastal community with a multicultural program.

By IPS Cuba

HAVANA TIMES – The sixteenth Gibara International Film Festival will now run from August 2nd to the sixth, after being suspended for 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the motto “Returning to movie theaters”, the event is trying to get back to its essence and key values.

Founded in 2003 under the name “Low-Budget Cinema”, by renowned director Humberto Solas, the festival holds true to “its intentions to supply quality cinema, and in addition to offer the Gibara people an annual oasis of leisure and culture,” based on a note issued by its Organizing Committee.

Actor Jorge Perugorria, the Festival’s president since 2016, said in a video that holding the festival this yr has posed an incredible challenge.

“We’re all accustomed to the difficult situation Cuba is in right away, but we aren’t going to neglect culture for this reason. We must proceed supporting cultural projects, and I feel that the Gibara Festival has never been needed more,” he said.

The choice of works competing on this edition was made with a short-term call, with support from the international festival’s producers, who were invited to the event.

In accordance with Sergio Benevuto Solas, the Festival’s director, it is crucial to strip the festival all the way down to basics, specializing in national filmmakers and their international collegues who’re willing to assist them.

“Work with international guest producers (Javier Muniz, Belen Rodriguez, Paco Jimenez, Tito Cañadas, Ivan Trujillo and Hector Ramirez) allowed us to recover results, in a short while. Working in this manner has been crucial, finding ways to navigate all the problems right away, ensuring higher conditions and essentially the most activities possible,” he says.

A multicultural program

With 45 works competing, all different genres and from different countires, the Festival could have three official juries, a jury for fiction, one for documentary and animation – made up of Cuban and foreign celebrities – and one other one for national press dedicated to Fiction.

There will likely be two collateral juries, the “youth jury”, which will likely be made up of young moviegoers from the community and other provinces, one for fiction and one other one for documentaries and animation movies, which have a social or community profile in lots of countries.

The Cineclub jury can even make its debut, with local members from the Cuban CineClub Federation.

Actors Mario Limonta and Mario Balmaseda will receive the Lucia de Honor award through the opening ceremony, on August 2nd. This recognition can even include the screening of a restored version of De Cierta Manera, by Sara Gomez, which each actors played in.

One other essential moment during this ceremony will likely be a tribute to Nelson Rodriguez Zurbaran, who passed away in 2020. It will include a screening of a restored version of Los sobrevivientes, a 1978 movie by Tomas Gutierrez Alea, with Rodriguez as editor, on this system.

Amada, from 1983, can even be screened, which Rodriguez also edited and co-directed alongside Humberto Solas, and the documentary El Cine y la Vida de Manuel Iglesias.

This system includes special screenings and exhibitions of international festivals. Theoretical discussions will likely be held on different subjects through the morning, while afternoons will likely be dedicated to press conferences with guests.

As per usual, the Festival can even take theater, painting, music and activities for youngsters and young people to squares, parks and cultural spaces in Gibara.

In accordance with Benvenuto, Gibara is a multicultural event: “there was an incredible discussion on this regard and, in fact, reason won out, in some way, with numerous local support, because we actually need it to be a multicultural festival in Gibara and Holguin, and never just every week of movies.”


“The major challenge for this edition has been to have an official selection to the identical level we did in 2018 and 2019, and I feel we’ve got it,” Benvenuto says.

“Despite not having the ability to proceed with the Cinema within the making contest, because this requires funds to contribute to the continuity of those works, which is lots harder to administer right away through the crisis, it’s timely to say that the official selection within the running is of a extremely prime quality,” he points out.

One other considered one of the Festival’s major challenges was to return to coping with specialized content:

“Through the event’s first decade, we had a newspaper called Cine pobre hoy. Now we’ve got a team that’s producing content, beyond our scope on social media,” the Festival director says.

“It’s extremely essential to us to create content about these activities and that there’s a specialized and meticulous record of this process, each of film events in addition to other multicultural activities,” he adds.

Last but not least, he talks in regards to the interest “in producing a bunch of articles in regards to the Festival’s relationship with local development, its ties with the community, and each aspect linked to issues about community, heritage and culture.”

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