From December 8 to 17, 199 films from twenty countries will be screened in several cinemas in the capital as part of the 44th edition of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema: a space that every December summons lovers of the seventh art to participate in a party that has cinema as a pretext. but it interweaves all artistic manifestations, and puts its participants in dialogue from different points of view about the reality of the peoples of the continent.

Los colonos (2023), the debut film by Chilean film editor and director Felipe Gálvez, will be the opening film of this edition of the event. The feature film, selected as the Chilean candidate for best international film at the 2024 Academy Awards, narrates the genocide of the Selk'nam, one of the original peoples of the Isla Grande area of Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of the continent, at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Under the slogan "Green Light: Action!", in addition to the 199 films selected, 30 posters from ten different countries compete in the section that rewards this modality, as well as 231 scripts.

Most of the proposals correspond to Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, although those of Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Spain, the United States, Finland, Hungary, Belgium, Iran, Italy, Japan, France and India, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Uruaguay and Venezuela also stand out.

The festival circuit includes the Yara, Acapulco, 23 and 12, Chaplin and La Rampa cinemas, as well as the Glauber Rocha theater, the New Latin American Cinema Foundation and the University of the Arts.

In 2023, the Latin America in Perspective, Avant-garde and International Contemporary Panorama sections will be maintained. In addition, in the Post-Production category, the Coral and the mentions that are considered pertinent will be awarded. Among the novelties, the Cinema and New Television section stands out, with three works, in addition to the eight special presentations and the exhibition of six restored classics.

The plots of most of the audiovisuals deal with violence, discrimination and conflicts around sexual diversity, always based on the premise of the festival of having an inclusive, decolonizing and emancipatory view of Latin American countries

The 44th edition will pay tribute to Spanish-Mexican filmmaker Luis Buñuel and actor and director Max Linder. The former will be honored through a panel, the exhibition of two of his films and the documentary Buñuel: A Surrealist Filmmaker, by the Spanish screenwriter and film director Javier Espada. The second will be given a lecture by the French Dominique Clément.

Likewise, the Latin American and Caribbean Animation Forum "Juan Padrón in Memoriam" will be held from December 9 to 11 at the Animation Studios of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) and participants will be able to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the audiovisual in the regional context.

Within the framework of the Film Festival, Cuban filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea will be honored on the 30th anniversary of the premiere of his film Strawberry and Chocolate, the only Cuban film nominated for an Oscar (1993), and international guests include María Novaro, filmmaker and president of the Film Institute of Mexico; Agnés Jaoui, French filmmaker, screenwriter and actress, and Sergi López, Spanish actor.

Also part of the festival's program is a seminar on Julio García Espinosa and another called "Cultural Identity vs. Globalization", as well as the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Italo Calvino.

The festival outside the cinemas

As reported, in 2023 the public will be able to watch movies sitting in front of a giant screen on the corner where 23rd and 12th streets converge in Havana's El Vedado, as confirmed by Alexis Triana, president of ICAIC.

Also 10 provincial capitals and municipalities (Holguín, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, as well as Camagüey, Matanzas and the Isle of Youth) confirmed their participation with the screening of classic films and award-winning films throughout the history of the Festival.

The University of the Arts of Cuba (ISA) will be one of the collateral venues within the programming of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema. In its program of activities, theoretical spaces and film screenings have been conceived that are part of the history of Latin American cinema, Cubacine reported.

As part of the theoretical meetings, the space Conversando con ..., which will take place at the headquarters of the University of the Arts and at the Faculty of Audiovisual Media Art (FAMCA), with different conversations with the participation of guests from the Latin American and international film guild, is announced.

Among the activities is the conversation with the director and screenwriter Agnés Jaoi and the master class: "A fairy tale and a party: music in two films by Agnés Jaoi", by Fernando Fizbein; a conversation with Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela, author of the film Esteban; as well as a meeting with actress Mirtha Ibarra, on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Strawberry and Chocolate, a work that marked Cuban cinema.

On the other hand, El Sur also exists, designed to provide a retrospective of the Festival, including screenings at the FAMCA, the first and last editions of the ICAIC Latin American News, directed by Santiago Álvarez, a conversation with Lázara Herrera and Teresa Herrera, director and coordinator of the Santiago Álvarez Office and a tribute to professor and filmmaker Daniel Diez, recently passed away.

The student residence will host the screening of the films Maluala (Sergio Giral, 1979), Tiempos de revancha (Adolfo Aristarain, 1982), Iluminados por el fuego (Tristan Bauer, 2005), Hello Hemingway (Fernando Pérez, 1990), Fresa y chocolate (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, 1993), along with other works of Latin American cinema.

What you can't miss at the Festival: Cubadebate's recommendations

If you already have the passports for this 44th edition in your hand (you still have time to buy them at the box office of the cinemas or at La Papeleta), we recommend some films that you cannot miss. We will publish the Festival's programme daily so you don't miss any detail: Green light, action!

Criminals (Argentina/ 2023)

Román and Morán are employees of a small bank branch in Buenos Aires. With the sole intention of leaving behind a routine that plunges them day by day into an increasingly gray existence, Morán, in collaboration with his partner, carries out an audacious plan: to steal from the bank a sum of money equivalent to all the salaries they would earn until retirement. The two friends continue to carry out the plan to the last consequences.

Los delincuentes is an Argentine robbery and comedy-drama film written and directed by Rodrigo Moreno and produced by Ezequiel Borovinsky. Starring Esteban Bigliardi and Daniel Elías, it was filmed in Argentina, and was also a Brazilian, Chilean and Luxembourg co-production.

A night with the Rolling Stones (Cuba/ 2023)

In Havana in 2016, prior to the concert of The Rolling Stones, lives Rita, a beautiful forty-year-old woman, with her teenage son and his mother. Rita has her life turned upside down, although she insists on seeing it upside down.

Her son needs her permission to go live with his father in Holland, but she refuses to give it to him, the mother stubbornly asserts that his death already has a date and conscientiously distributes advice and ravings, and, to top it off, she has a married lover who claims to love her at all costs, even though we know it is a lie.

Rita also shares her time with a special friend named Cleo. They are the only two "survivors" of a generation, "the forty-somethings" who have almost all left to live in other latitudes.

A Strange Path (Brazil/ 2023)

David returns to his hometown in Brazil to present a film at a film festival. It's mid-March 2020 and COVID-19 is beginning to spread across the country. A lockdown is decreed and David's return flight is cancelled, as he needs a place to stay and has no alternative but to go to the home of his father, Gerardo. He's an eccentric man he hasn't spoken to for almost ten years, and when David moves into his apartment, strange things start to happen.

The Pregnant Women (Argentina/ 2022)

It tells the story of Juana and Carmela, two pregnant women, taking their journey in search of help from a suburb where they live to hospitals in two cities on the border between Argentina and Brazil. On this journey they will encounter the lack of solidarity and the absence and abandonment of the state, a situation that will lead them to discover themselves and create a strong friendship.

The oceans are the true continents (Italy-Cuba/ 2019)

With Cuba in the background, decadent and in crisis, in a black and white lacerated by the Caribbean rain, Alex and Edith, a couple in their thirties, live their love story made of small daily gestures, stories of the past, nostalgia and a deep intimacy.

The film is an expanded version of his short film of the same name, which won an award at the Venice International Critics' Week in 2019 and was subsequently screened at various international festivals.

The first feature film by the promising 31-year-old director, who has lived in Italy and Havana, and who has already collaborated with authors such as Lav Díaz and Werner Herzog, is a poetic reflection on the theme of separation. Its elegant black-and-white images serve as a backdrop to three stories that, in one way or another, are related to the migration crisis.

Clara Gets Lost in the Forest (Argentina/ 2023)

Clara Gets Lost in the Forest is a 2023 Argentine drama film written and directed by Camila Fabbri.

The film was selected to compete in the Horizontes Latinos section at the 2023 San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Clara leaves the city on a family trip to the suburbs. She receives a message from Martina, her childhood friend, the person she had been with on the night of the tragedy at the República Cromañón club, which brings the idea of motherhood to the forefront. This take on topicality and reality in a series of WhatsApp messages, home videos and family meals triggers an exhaustive look back at his own adolescence and that of his friends in a city ravaged by crisis and tragedy.

Sem Coração (Brazil/ 2023)

The summer before she leaves for college, Tamara meets a girl with a scar on her chest. As the summer wears on, she becomes more and more drawn to Heartless.

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