The 18th annual Havana Film Festival celebrates Latin American Cinema— award-winning films and classics from Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia alongside films from the United States and Canada, which count the presence of a significant Latino population. Via Q&As and panel discussions, it is a place to both discover and establish thought-provoking connections with prominent and emerging voices of Latin American Cinema.
From the works of Cuban animation director Juan Padrón to Argentinian filmmaker Eliseo Subiela, who passed away last December, this year's program blurs the lines between the imaginary and the 'real,' between the act of storytelling and that of factual documentation. Above all the urgent need to express oneself creatively, to communicate on a more tangible level, evokes the multiple realities— economic, societal, political— of our times. The particularly Latin quest for identity pervades films striving toward a certain firmness of purpose, or hope. Of particular note is Ron Chapman's festival-closing film The Forbidden Shore— a musical documentary in which the concrete and the purely artistic conflate, as Cuba's people, politics, history and culture are brilliantly portrayed through music and cinema.