14ymedio, Havana, 9 October 2021 — The film Corazón Azul (Blue Heart), by Cuban filmmaker Miguel Coyula, won the Jorgé Camera Prize at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in its 36th edition. The film depicts “an alternate reality” in which Fidel Castro uses engineering to build the New Man.
The award was given for the first time this year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), in tribute to the film promoter Jorgé Camera, who was the main organizer of the Golden Globes awards and also served as president of the HFPA on three occasions.
Gilda Baum, a member of the HFPD, made the announcement that Coyula’s Cuban film won the award for Best Ibero-American Fiction Film, which came with $5,000. “Because it is a disruptive and highly personal work that can only exist in cinematographic language,” declared the jury, made up of producers Hugo Villa and Cristina Velasco, screenwriter Daniel Dreifuss and actor Francisco Barreiro.
“Thanks to the actors and actresses and all those who worked over 10 years in Corazón Azul. Thanks to Habanero, to the jury and to the International Film Festival in Guadalajara ,” Miguel Coyula wrote on his Facebook profile. Coyula is considered one of the great exponents of independent cinema on the Island.
Similarly, one of the protagonists of the film, actress Lynn Cruz, who also shared the costume design and production roles with Coyula, thanked everyone who helped “during the long journey of the film.”
The script for the feature film is based on the novel Mar rojo, mal azul [Red Sea, Blue Evil], by Miguel Coyula himself, written in 1999 and published 14 years later by Pereza Editorial de Miami. The expenses have been paid by the filmmaker, who was also in charge of direction, photography, editing, sound design and special effects.
The world premiere of Corazón Azul took place at the Moscow International Film Festival, which selected it from dozens of films from Iran, Russia, China, Italy and Germany.
The story takes place at the beginning of this century, in Cuba’s post-Special Period era, when a dozen mutants attempt to explain the cause of their unusual abilities while trying to find their humanity and inquire about their past. They then come up with the answer that they have undergone a procedure that leads to irreversible results.
After the premiere, Coyula said that he chose science fiction as a way to allude to reality: “It allows me to talk about current problems and society in an understandable way, beyond a specific geographical context; it gives me more freedom to explore and say things without turning into a rant, a pamphlet.”
The film has not been officially released in Cuba and it is unlikely that it will reach theaters here, due to the fact that the author has suffered censorship by cultural institutions for years, a limitation that has sometimes been extended to independent spaces where he wanted to screen his works .
As an alternative, Coyula invites those interested to peek into his work in his own home. The director has spent months, every Sunday, inviting interested viewers to watch a very peculiar production, within current Cuban cinema.
In addition to the award-winning film this week, Coyula, a graduate of the San Antonio de los Baños International School of Film and Television, has won numerous national and international awards. His filmography includes Red Cockroaches (2003), Memories of Overdevelopment (2010) and the documentary Nadie (Nobody) (2016).
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