Havana Film Festival New York – 16th to 23rd April

01/04/2010 at 7:10 am Leave a comment

The Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) launches its second decade, April 16-23, with a program of award-winning films, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions with noted international filmmakers, actors and producers.

Special events are scheduled for April 7th at El Museo del Barrio and April 9th at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Over 40 highly anticipated and influential films from and about Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinos in the U.S. will be screened.

A variety of genres and themes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, U.S. and Uruguay, ranging from comedy, thrillers, drama, film noir and children’s tales, as well as films and documentaries about the influence of music and dance are all part of this year’s Festival.

On April 16th, HFFNY opens with the New York premiere of the Brazilian film, Veronica, 1 pm at the Quad Cinema, the Festival’s primary screening venue. The Opening Night Ceremony and Screening takes place at the New York Directors Guild Theatre, 110 West 57th Street, at 7 pm with the New York premiere of Los Dioses Rotos, the box office sensation and award-winning film by Cuban director Ernesto Daranas, and Actress Silvia Aguila will present the film.

As the festival enters its second decade, HFFNY established the Havana Star Prize to recognize the work of outstanding filmmakers in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The first Havana Star prizes will be awarded at the Closing Night Ceremony on April 23rd at 7 pm at the New York Directors Guild Theatre. Internationally renowned Cuban artist, Yoan Capote, designed the Havana Star Prize especially for HFFNY.

The fifteen films competing for the first Havana Star Prize are:

  • Los Dioses Rotos. Director Ernesto Daranas, Cuba
  • Dawson Isla 10 Director Miguel Littin, Chile
  • La Pasión de Gabriel. Director Luis Alberto Restrepo, Colombia
  • Hermafrodita. Director Albert Xavier, Dominican Republic
  • La Bodega. Director Ray Figueroa, Guatemala
  • Huacho. Director Alejandro Fernandez, Chile
  • La Tigra, Chaco. Directors Federico Godfrid and Juan Sasiaín, Argentina
  • Memories of Overdevelopment.  Director Miguel Coyula, Cuba
  • Miente. Director Rafi Mercado, Puerto Rico
  • Castro. Director Alejo Moguillansky, Argentina
  • Veronica. Director Mauricio Farias, Brazil
  • El Premio Flaco. Directors Juan Carlos Cremata and Iraida Malberti, Cuba
  • Crónicas Chilangas. Director Carlos Enderle, Mexico
  • Libertador Morales, El Justiciero . Director Efterpi Charalambidis, Venezuela
  • Historias Extraordinarias . Director Mariano Llinas, Argentina


One of HFFNY’s main goals is to reinforce the educational component and accessibility of the Festival. Running parallel to the screenings, HFFNY 2010 continues to collaborate with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum of Art, and NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Cantor Center, and Tisch School of the Arts to bring free or low cost screenings, panels, and programs for all ages integrating different communities in celebration of Latin American and Latino cultures.

To kick off the Festival, HFFNY collaborates with two major museums to present several events:

April 7th, Nuevo Cine at El Museo del Barrio with the NY premiere of the Colombian documentary, Desterrados about the mounting tension of the more than one million Afro-Colombians violently displaced since the 1990’s, and El Play, a documentary about a small city in the Dominican Republic famous for producing some the world’s best baseball players. Pablo Medina, El Play’s director, will be present for Q&A.

On April 9th at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, we will have the U.S. premiere of 20 Años, a Cuban animation film, and the world premiere of Homo Erectus, a comedy about a young man coming out to his macho dad. Homo Erectus’ director Alejandro Lora and producer Alberto Gonzalez will be on hand for a Q&A session followed by a party with DJ Asho and a live performance by Pepito Gomez and his sextet (Traditional, Son and Timba) celebrating the music of Cuba.

On April 17th at 4:30 pm, the Queens Museum of Art will present Fantasma de Buenos Aires, the latest full-length feature produced by Fundación Universidad del Cine (Argentina), a well-crafted story of a 20th century ghost awakened by accident in 2009 Buenos Aires. On April 20th, at 6 pm, the Festival presents Teaserland, an entertaining program of fake movie trailers by well-known directors such as Isabel Coixet (Elegy, The Secret Life of Words), Jaume Balaguero (Rec), and J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage), and other up-and-coming filmmakers. This program is sponsored by TD Bank.

For the first time, HFFNY has partnered with the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce to proudly celebrate Mexico’s Bicentennial of Independence and Centennial of its Revolution on April 20th at Quad Cinema, 6:15 pm with the presentation of Crafts, Humors and Short Stories of the Mexican Independence and Revolution, a collection of 26 ninety second film shorts made by five of the best known Mexican animation directors.

Continuing to serve the filmmaking industry and film aficionados, HFFNY has organized the panel, The Business of Filmmaking: LATIN AMERICA-U.S., the legal and business aspects of motion picture development, finance, production, and distribution at NYU’S King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center on Tuesday, April 20th, 7 pm. Key industry figures will discuss the director, distributor and lawyer perspectives: Alfredo Calvino, Maria Marta Antin, Fernando Ramirez and Jeff Levy-Hinte and moderated by Sandy Lieberson, Chairman of Film London. This free event is made possible with the support of NALIP, Mexicana Airlines, and LART.

Some highlights of this year’s festival are the films about music and dance. Giselle, a beautiful ballet film by this year’s honoree, Enrique Pineda Barnet, celebrates the 90th birthday of Cuba’s prima ballerina, the great Alicia Alonso. The Extraordinary Journey of Fernando Bujones by Israel Rodriguez is about the life of the choreographer and dancer who died at the prime of his career. Mundo Alas is a documentary about a group of disabled artists who tour Argentina accompanied by Argentina’s most important folk rock singer/songwriter Leon Gieco, who will be on hand for a Q&A session after the film.

In its world premiere, Mambo City by Bette Wanderman, gives a personal account of soulful Puerto Rican singer Awilda and the band, Grupo Latin Vibe. Além Da Luz by Ivy Goulart is an intimate look at the lives of six blind Brazilians and their struggles, dreams and desires. Cooking Up Dreams by Ernesto Cabellos is a journey to the kitchens of Peru’s coast, highlands and jungle, as well as Peruvian expatriate communities in Paris, London, Amsterdam and New York. Anécdotas sobre Fidel, directed by Estela Bravo, interviews international luminaries, as well as top members of the government and military about their experiences with Fidel Castro. In Crítico by Brazilian Kleber Mendonça, 70 critics and filmmakers discuss the conflict between the artist and the observer. Diary of the End, directed by Juan Alejandro Ramirez, is a visceral account filled with brutally honest, yet liberating confessions of a Peruvian woman.

HFFNY 2010 closes on Friday April 23rd at the New York Directors Guild Theatre with the special presentation of award-winning Uruguayan film, Gigante at 5 pm. The Closing Night Ceremony and Awards Presentation begins at 7 pm followed by the U.S. premiere of Eso que Anda, an entertaining documentary by Ian Padrón follows the band Los Van Van on their most recent tour in Cuba, attended by more than 1 million people. Director Ian Padron will be attending. The Closing Night party will be at LQ.

For more information click here


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