The people of the capital, one of the most faithful and enthusiastic cinephile community, began December with the opening of the 43rd edition of the New Latin American Film Festival -worth the redundancy-, founded in 1979 and essentially fulfilled, even in the midst of extreme protection measures, due to the rigors of the recent pandemic.
Nothing seems more like a great celebration than the massive, albeit responsible, return of spectators to the projection halls, of which this time there are only four, but located in the central Vedado, since Havanans, in a general sense, have been regulars at the old cinemas, even though this custom began to lose followers in the world before the ravages of Covid-19 and more since the progressive rise of digital viewing media.
Many think, however, that the long-awaited return to the bustle of camaraderie and socialization in cinemas, conference rooms and special presentations will be a litmus test in times when addiction to the media placed at hand by the new Technologies invade not only culture, but even the private lives of people, especially young people.
But the Havana Festival is alive and kicking and its invitation has great resonance and encouragement in the continent. After a rigorous selection among a large number of applicants, the jury will choose among over 100 finalist works that aspire to win the Coral Awards in the categories of feature films, short films, documentaries, debut films, and animated films, among others, and will ratify that creativity and the artistic level is not exactly what will be missing from the new appointment.
On the Cuban side, among the competitors are the prestigious Cuban director Fernando Pérez with the film “El mundo de Nelsito” (Nelsito’s world) and also Kike Álvarez with “Under a powerful sun”, in the fiction feature film category. Other consecrated like Arturo Soto and Rebeca Chávez enter the fray in other genres.
This year the Arrecife (Reef) Diversity Award will be given for the first time, generating expectations. But, as always, the Coral Grand Prix will continue to be the main course on the night of conclusions, after intense days of coming and going, joyfully and inviting through the main cinemas of the city, with the hope and conviction of never returning. to the days of confinement to which the global epidemic forced us.
For God's sake, let's not talk about it anymore and enjoy Havana with cinema in a big way.