What will place a little nondescript, shanty town on Cuba’s eastern coast that goes by the name of “Gibara” on the international map? A film festival of course. A film festival that claims to be “broader and more inclusive.” Add in some big name “movie stars” to the mix. Instant celebrity town.
I remember Gibara some 20 years ago. That was before the tourists came flooding in. Before the U.S. press started screaming “Cuba! Cuba! Cuba!” Back then, we were only passing through.
My child and I ate lunch in what could be best described as an “open aired” restaurant. I only say “open-aired” because there was no roof. The black flies swarmed our food. My son refused to eat. He cried. I was hungry. I ate.
I’m going back to Gibara.
There’s always the sense of returning home. I’m sure, and like everything except death and taxes, Gibara has changed. My child has grown up. I’m going back to Gibara for the International Film Festival, Gibara’s “Cine Pobre.” Imagine that.
From the official website,
“The International Film Festival of Gibara will seek a broader and more plural dialogue between all possible world film genres. The Festival will continue to be an alternative platform where truly “all voices” in the audiovisual can merge, regardless of discriminatory labels such as “independent cinema” and “industry”, “margin” and “Center”, “third” and “first world.”
Founder Humberto Solás, the Cuban film director, the essential name of Cuban and Latin American cinema, dreamed and thought the Festival was to “legitimize, once and for all, the versatility of styles, legacies and purposes of an art that is not a heritage of one country or of one and the tax conception of the world,” as declared in the Festival’s founding manifesto.
International Film Festival of Gibara believes that a true and sustainable Utopia will take place when the established borders will be diluted by hegemony or by the resistance it generates. When the dialogue and understanding become the central methods of interaction between different cultures, societies, communities and human beings.
Gibara is home to an international film festival that will open its doors in all directions to the world, so that all individuals of good will and faith in Utopia arrive to make this edition of the film festival a reality.
The Gibara film festival is a dialogue with the “Gibarenas realities,” (the realities of the lives those who live in Gibara) and, at the same time, a meaningful event of new projects that have enriched the cultural and essential routines of its inhabitants. It is a multi-directional event that connects the world with Gibara, a connection between the cinema and the arts, between the public and culture.”
Willard Morgan, is one of the original “fundadors” (participants) of the early days of the Festival and a friend of Humberto Solás (d. September 2008). Morgan has presented his films at previous editions of the film festival. Jorge Perugorría, probably Cuba’s most famous actor, is the President of the Festival of Gibara.
The Gibara International Film Festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cuba, the Government of Holguin, the municipality of Gibara, and ICAIC (the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry).
Source: Some of this article is sourced from the official website of the Gibara Film Festival. It has been translated by the staff at Cuba Business Report.
The Gibara International Film Festival, “Cine Pobre” will run from April 15 to 21, 2017.
Enjoy this video from last year’s Film Festival:
Author: Zoe Veraz
Zoe Veraz is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the Cuba Business Report.