Films announced for Havana Film Festival New York, returning next month


The Havana Film Festival NY, a project of the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, is back in theaters to present an exceptional program celebrating the diversity of voices and cultural expressions of Iberian America and its Diaspora through inspiring stories on the big screen, November 5-11, 2021.

All screenings, panels and special events take place in person at the Village East Cinema (181-189 2nd Avenue, NYC). Guests, participants and festival staff must be fully immunized and must wear a mask at all times, except when eating.

“Over the past 18 months, the world has appreciated the vital importance of art and the creativity of the artists who have kept us at home in quarantine in a gentler way, but we have also realized just how much the festivals of cinema are fundamental in their social function which is to bring together different voices in an enclosed space like the cinema hall.This edition of the Havana Film Festival NY wants to present films that represent not only a dozen Ibero-American countries, but also themes that can make you laugh, create uncomfortable moments or deep reflections to perceive and get closer to the realities of Latin America or / and immigrant Latinos ”, explains Diana Vargas, artistic director of HFFNY.

HFFNY makes its long-awaited return to theaters on Friday, November 5 at 6:30 p.m. with a red carpet event to celebrate its opening ceremony and the New York premiere of multi-award-winning Colombian film El Olvido que seremos / Memories of my Father, with the courtesy of Cohen Media Group. Directed by Oscar winner Fernando Trueba and played by beloved actor Javier Cámara, it tells the true story of a Colombian doctor who cares about both his own children and those of the disadvantaged classes in the violent 1970s in Medellin. Based on the book of the same name by famous author Hector Abad Facilionce who will be present at the screening to discuss the film and the story behind it, and answer questions from the audience. In collaboration with the NYU King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (

On Thursday 11 November at 6.30 p.m., the Festival will close with the Havana Star Award ceremony, followed by the New York premiere of the powerful new film by famous Spanish director Icíar Bollaín, Maixabel, the inspiring true story of a woman (Blanca Portillo, Volver) who decides to take a courageous step towards coexistence and peace by agreeing to confront the ETA terrorist imprisoned behind the murder of her husband (Luis Tosar, Celda 211). After the screening, there will be an in-person question-and-answer session with Bollaín. The evening is co-presented in collaboration with NYU KJCC.

The Festival program includes a tribute to two beloved Cuban filmmakers who died earlier this year: Enrique Pineda Barnet (1933-2021), the genius behind films that offered a rich introspective and experimental perspective as a pathway for generations of Latin filmmakers. – Americans interested in exploring the concept of avant-garde cinema, and Juan Carlos Tabío (1943-2021), who proved that comedy in the cinema is a serious business that can teach us about ourselves and the society in which we live without relying on political rhetoric. In memory of these iconic artists, the Festival will present the newly restored versions of Giselle by Pineda Barnet (1965) on Sunday November 7 at 8:00 p.m., accompanied by a Q&A with Cuban actor Hector Noas, and Se permuta / House Swap by Tabío (1983) on Tuesday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m. Also included is the Writing Inspiration: From Ideas to Storytelling panel, in which filmmakers from across the Ibero-American Diaspora discuss the process of finding ideas for their films and the difference between an idea and a story. This panel, free and open to the public, takes place on Tuesday, November 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Along with an exceptional lineup of documentaries and feature films, the 21st HFFNY celebrates Ibero-American stories told in short format with a series of short films featuring experimental, animated, documentary and fictional works including: Vestiphobie Cuba by Willard Morgan , which follows and builds on a Cuban-American collaborative live art extravaganza; Flying Pigoen by Daniel Santoyo, a Cuban thriller that reveals the intergenerational divisions of two attackers waiting to commit a robbery; The Angel’s Cave by Ivan Kotevski, a sci-fi animated film taken out of this world; Carlos Barba’s account of a revealing mother-daughter journey through Cuba, Las Polacas / The Polacks; Biting vignette by Alberto Ferrera on the consequences of a crazy evening, lesson n ° 4; Cristian Peña’s chilling story of a man driven to extremes by his bizarre obsession, Dante; and El Cine libertario / The Libertarian Cinema, a revealing documentary on Spanish anarchist cinema.

This year, a total of 19 films compete for the Havana Star Prize in the categories of Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress and Documentary.


Darcy J. Skinner

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