18th HAVANA FILM FESTIVAL NEW YORK
30 March - 7 April 2017
Photo courtesy of HFFNY
Celebrates the Diverse Voices of Cuban and Latin American Cinema
HFFNY Pays Tribute to Masters Juan Padrón and Eliseo Subiela
Thirteen Films Competing for the Havana Star Prize
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY MARCH, 5, 2017 - The 18th Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) showcases the diversity of Latino voices and stories in a program that includes over 35 films. This year, HFFNY pays homage to one of Cuba’s foremost forces in animation and storytelling, Juan Padrón, and treats NY to the history of Cuban rhythms with a cinematic retrospective focused on the music of the island. The Festival also pays tribute to the late Argentine director Eliseo Subiela. Plus, our NY audience can look forward to screenings of critically acclaimed films, many in their World, US and NY debut accompanied by panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and other special events hosted by leading figures in Latino cinema.
HFFNY, a project of the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC) runs and includes films from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Spain, United States and Venezuela.
“This year, HFFNY takes to the streets! Our main slate of screenings takes place at some of New York’s most important venues. Composing our program are stories notable in their honesty, told with an urgency that leaves an emotional imprint on the audience,” says HFFNY Artistic Director Diana Vargas.
Video courtesy of José María Cabral
HFFNY will be in Manhattan at the DGA Theater (March 30 & April 7), SVA Theatre (), The Clemente (April 3, 5, & 6), the New York Film Academy (), and AMC Loews 34th Street (). It travels to Queens for a program at the Museum of the Moving Image () and to The Bronx for a screening and concert at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (March 24th). All foreign language films are subtitled in English.
HFFNY gets the party started with our ever-popular kick-off event First Fridays! with The Bronx Museum of the Arts at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, March 24th at . The program, free and open to the public, opens with a reception, followed by the screening of Pavel Giroud and JuanMa Villar’s Playing Lecuona, a documentary about celebrity Cuban composer and pianist Ernesto Lecuona. The film explores Lecuona’s musical impact in an exceptionally inventive way- through the lenses of three contemporary megastars: Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Michel Camilo. Sit tight after the movie for a musical performance by Contino y Los Habaneros, named by NPR/WNYC as Manhattan’s best band in 2015, with music by DJ ASHO.
Thursday, March 30th, starting at , the Directors Guild of America Theater (DGA) once again hosts HFFNY Opening Night & Red Carpet for its 18th edition with the New York premiere of Esteban, the story of a young boy who, with no resources but his raw talent, pursues his dream of becoming a pianist. The film, featuring original music by Afro-Latin jazz superstar Chucho Valdés, has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike on the festival circuit.
’s musical documentary The Forbidden Shore, a cinematic portrait of Cuba’s people, culture, politics experienced as never before through the incredible diversity of its music. Over the course of its 40+ performances and interviews by the island’s top artists, a musical history emerges, a stunning chronicle of the pulse, rhythm and the very heartbeat of this nation., the 18th HFFNY closes with the NY premiere of Canadian Ron Chapman
Video courtesy of Miami Film Festival
Friday, March 31st, 3:00pm at the SVA Theatre, is the NY premiere of Salsipuedes. Originally designed as a TV series inspired by the work of the great Panamanian singer Rubén Blades, the film was Panama’s official entry to this year’s Academy Awards. At the program continues with some black humor from Argentina: El ciudadano ilustre /The Distinguished Citizen, from directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, a story of a jaded Nobel Laureate who returns home after 40 years, setting off an absurd series of events. José María Cabral, widely considered one of the Dominican Republic’s top directors, will be present for a Q&A after the screening of his newest film, the first from that country to enter the world competition at the Sundance Film Festival; Carpinteros/ Woodpeckers, at . HFFNY presents its last screening of the day at with the U.S. Premiere of Ya no es antes / Not Like Before starring darling on-screen couple Isabel Santos and Luis Alberto García, in this tropical romance directed by Lester Hamlet.
HFFNY visits the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, screening of the 1986 groundbreaking film Hombre mirando al Sudeste / Man Facing Southeast as part of the tribute to one of our most cherished Latin American filmmakers, Argentinean director Eliseo Subiela, who passed away last December., for the
Saturday, April 1st HFFNY wakes up at with a selection of films from the Universidad del Cine de Buenos Aires, a school that has played a central role in creating and supporting the new generation of Argentine filmmakers, followed by a Q&A with co-founders María Marta Antin and Mario Santos. This program is free and open to the public. The NY Premiere of El buen cristiano / The Good Christian, an eye-opening documentary offering a new perspective on the intervening roles of God, church, and state in the genocide of Guatemala’s Ixchil people in the early 80s and the trials taking place today, follows at . Director Izabel Avecedo will be present for a Q&A. At , HFFNY screens an encore of its Opening Night film, Esteban. Continuing at , is the NY Premiere of Jeffrey plus a Q&A with director Yanillys Pérez. Described as "a true collaboration between subject and storyteller," Jeffrey
occupies a space between documentary and fiction, telling the story of a 12-year-old boy from the streets of Santo Domingo who dreams of hip-hop/reggaeton stardom. At HFFNY screens the US premiere of El soborno del cielo, a black comedy about religious intransigence by prolific colombian director Lisandro Duque, who will join us after for a Q&A with actor Germán Jaramillo.
At the Museum of the Moving Image, we start at El Amparo, a film based on the true story covering the unsettling deaths faced by the fishing village of El Amparo, Venezuela. Then, at , is the US premiere of Fátima o el Parque de la Fraternidad / Fátima, based on the story of the same name by the prestigious cuban writer Miguel Barnet.Writer Miguel Barnett will be present for Q&A. HFFNY follows with the NY Premiere of Cuban maestro Fernando Pérez’s latest film Últimos días en La Habana / Last Days in Havana at including a Q&A with actor Patricio Wood. Pérez took home the Special Jury award at the Havana Film Festival last December. with the NY premiere of
Sunday, April 2nd beginning at at the SVA Theatre, HFFNY pays tribute to the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV) in its 30th anniversary with a selection of shorts from some of its most distinguished alumni followed by a Q&A with EICTV’s new director Susana Molina. The movie marathon continues at with Salsipuedes, at with El ciudadano ilustre / The Distinguished Citizen and at Ú with ltimos días en La Habana / Last Days in Havana. The weekend ends at , with the US Premiere of the Ecuadorian drama Translúcido / Translucid, a transmedia experience that pushes viewers to ask themselves what they would do if given only one more day to live. Director Leo Zelig and actor Roberto Manrique join us after the screening for a Q&A.
Monday, April 3rd, HFFNY travels to the New York Film Academy for its main slate of screenings. At there’s a special program on Cuban music, Historias de la música cubana/Stories of Cuban Music, featuring the U.S. premieres of two documentaries: Rebeca Chávez’s Decir con feeling and Patricia Ramos’ Ampárame! La Religiosidad en la música cubana, preceded by an introduction by the Director of the Cuban Film Archives Luciano Castillo. At HFFNY remembers the late Argentine director Eliseo Subiela with a screening of El lado oscuro del corazón/The Dark Side of the Heart, a masterpiece of poetry and magical realism in which a narcissistic poet trades words for food and falls for a prostitute who can fly. At , HFFNY screens the NY Premiere of Enrique (Kiki) Álvarez’s newest docu-fiction hybrid Sharing Stella, an evocative meditation on changing relations between the US and Cuba as experienced by Cuban actors prepping for a performance of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The film will be preceded by Claudia Muñiz Pérez’s short film, Con sana alegría/With Wholesome Joy. Both Álvarez and Muñiz lead a Q&A following the screenings.
Tuesday, April 4th, at the New York Film Academy, beginning at , the presentation of Ya no es antes / Not Like Before. At, the NY Premiere of El Techo / On the Roof, a fresh Cuban film about three kids trying to find themselves and their futures on the rooftops of today’s Havana. Director Patricia Ramos will be present for a Q&A to follow. At we pay tribute to guest of honor Juan Padrón and screen his cult classic film Vampiros en La Habana/Vampires in Havana, who joins us after for a Q&A. At , HFFNY screens Santa y Andrés/Santa & André, Carlos Lechuga’s portrait of an unlikely friendship between two very different characters in Havana in the early 1980s, followed by a Q&A with Lechuga.
Wednesday, April 5th HFFNY screens its main program at the AMC Loews 34th Street, beginning at with El buen cristiano/The Good Christian followed by Q&A with the director. At , El amparo; , Carpinteros/Woodpeckers, and at Santa y Andrés/Santa & Andrés. At , the US Premiere of Fátima o el parque de la fraternidad / Fátima, followed by a Q&A with director Jorge Perugorría and actor Carlos Enrique Almirante.
Thursday, April 6th HFFNY returns to the AMC Loews 34th Street, beginning at with Jeffrey; continuing at withSharing Stella and Con sana alegría/With Wholesome Joy; , Playing Lecuona; with El techo/On the Roof and with Translúcido/Translucid.
Video courtesy of HFFNY
HFFNY honors Juan Padrón, the father of Cuban feature film animation. To celebrate his 70th birthday, the festival screens three of his most beloved films and partners with The Clemente to exhibit a collection of drawings and paintings he created over the course of his illustrious career. On , April 3 / at The Clemente there will be a cocktail reception and art exhibition opening “Juan Padrón: Havana to New York.” In conjunction with the exhibition, HFFNY will screen Padrón’s cult classic Vampiros en La Habana/Vampires in Havana at the New York Film Academy at on . Its sexy sequel, Más vampiros en La Habana/More Vampires in Havana at The Clemente at on , and kid-friendly Elpidio Valdés at The Clemente at on . All presentations at The Clemente are free and open to the public.
Compelled by the untimely death of one of our most beloved directors, Eliseo Subiela, HFFNY screens two of his cinematic masterpieces: Hombre mirando al sudeste/Man Facing Southeast at at the Museum of the Moving Image on and El Lado oscuro del corazón/The Dark Side of the Heart at at the New York Film Academy on .
To talk about the changes taking place in Cuba today, on New York Film Academy, Screening Room 521, the panel Cuban Cinema Today features legendary Cuban actor-director Jorge Perugorría, alongside Enrique (Kiki) Álvarez, Carlos Lechuga, Lester Hamlet, Iván Giroud, Patricia Ramos, and Jonal Cosculluela. Moderated by film professor Michelle Farrell. All panels are free and open to the public. at the
About The American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC)
AFLFC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Since 2000, we have been working with our partner, the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (LFC), a non-governmental, autonomous, non-profit art and cultural institution in Havana, founded in 1995. Together we have been building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba through art programs that include visual and performing arts, educational and cultural exchange, professional development opportunities for artists, art professionals and students, and the annual Havana Film Festival NY. We inspire artists, assist researchers, disseminate art information, provide instruction on new technology and software, excite audiences and facilitate communication between the art communities in both countries. We offer unique cultural travel programs to the island that expose American travelers to Cuba’s cultural riches while generating meaningful personal connections.
About the Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY)
AFLFC’s flagship project, HFFNY, collaborates with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema to introduce its audience to prominent and emerging filmmakers by showcasing the latest award-winning films and classics from and about Cuba, Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinos in the U.S. HFFNY seeks to cultivate audience-artist dialogue through panel discussions designed to give a behind-the-scenes look at an industry that continues to gain global recognition. The festival program offers directors, actors, and producers an opportunity to exchange ideas, enriches and expands the vision of Latino culture, and provides a multi-cultural experience for a diverse audience.
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