The Award for Best Film at the Havana Festival in NY Goes to a Cuban Independent Film

Pérez thanked each of the six directors of Cuentos de un día más [Tales of Another Day], who performed the work “in very, very limited conditions, but with a lot of heart.” (Lataff)
14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), New York, 12 November 2022 — The feature film Cuentos de un día más, by a collective of Cuban independent filmmakers, won the coveted award for Best Film at the Havana Film Festival in New York this Thursday.

The film, which was made under the coordination of director Fernando Pérez, presents six stories about Cuban society during the COVID-19 pandemic and competed with 24 films for the Havana Star Award.

The jury, which evaluated the films in the fiction category, pointed out when announcing the prize that “this is a film that poetically portrays the deadliest chapter of contemporary health history.”

“The world was impacted by the pandemic, and this is a beautiful record of that collective suffering and a visual document of how humanity tried to adapt and keep going. For all that, Cuentos de un día más wins the award for Best Film,” they noted.

Pérez, director and writer, who was not present at the award ceremony, sent a video message in which he thanked each of the six directors who performed the work “in very, very limited conditions, but with a lot of heart.”

He was also pleased because, a year after the film was made, “we can now go to the cinema to see movies like this.”

The Havana Star Award for Best Director went to Diego Lerman for El suplente [The Substitute] (Argentina), for which he was also a screenwriter. The film revolves around a teacher from Buenos Aires who must abandon his duties when one of his students is threatened by a local boss.

The awards for Best Actor and Best Actress went to Roberto Quijano for Amor y Matemáticas [Love and Mathematics] (Mexico) and to Barbara Colen for Fogaréu [Flame](Brazil).

Quijano, Mexican, pointed out that the festival “was a great experience,” as was receiving his first award. “So I treasure this in my heart.”

In Amor y matemáticas, directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce, Quijano gives life to a musician who had a moment of glory with a song and abandons his passion to be with his wife and baby.

The award for Best Documentary went to Clare Weiskopf and Nicolas Van Hemelrick for Alis [Alice] (Colombia), and Special Mention in that category went to Squatters/Okupas by Catalina Santamaría, a co-production of the United States and Colombia.

Dominican director Natalia Cabral and the Spaniard Oriol Estrada won the award for Best Screenplay for Una película sober parejas [A Film about Couples].

The 22nd edition of the Havana Film Festival, which presented more than 30 films from ten Latin American countries and Latinos in the United States, concluded yesterday with the award ceremony in a movie theater in Manhattan. Also presented was the world premiere of the documentary La Habana de Fito, [Fito’s Havana] by Juan Pin Vilar, a co-production of Cuba and Argentina, about the memories of the Argentine singer-songwriter in his relationship with Havana.

The director wasn’t present, but the well-known Cuban film critic Frank Padrón presented the documentary and stressed that Pin Vilar has “a special sensibility for musicians” and recalled that in addition to various works for television he made a documentary about the singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés.

“Now he has a very special approach to an Argentine singer-songwriter closely linked to my country: Fito Páez, a reference point for several generations in Cuba,” he said.

Padrón was also proud that this was Cuba’s night, winning the Best Film award and closing the festival with another Cuban film.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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