From March 31st to April 5th Muestra Joven 2015 (the Young Cinema Exhibition) brings the most recent cinematographic productions in Cuba, made by filmmakers under 35 years old, characterized by experimentation and subjects that are both complex and invisible in the national media.
This local independent film event takes place every year, under the sponsorship of Cuba’s film institute, ICAIC. The festival seeks to stimulate knowledge and deliberation around the audiovisual work of a young creative generation. The official institution coordinates the event, but it upholds the open mentality that is a hallmark of the new generation of Cuban filmmakers. The festival, launched in 2000, was called the New Directors’ Exhibition until 2011, when it was renamed Muestra Joven.
As usual, the edition of this year is very rich in its diversity of approaches, interests, and aesthetical qualities. The contest gathers not only young filmmakers, but also scriptwriters, photographers, editors, designers, sound engineers, actresses and actors, from all around the island; involved with fiction films, documentaries, or animation movies produced since 2013. The organizers will accept works filmed by foreign artists, if they deal with Cuban topics. There is also an international exhibition of the most recent foreign audiovisual, with the presentation of films and programs from related festivals and events.
As well as the competition of films, this year the event will include a series of collateral activities, such as the space “Moving ideas”, to debate about the movies in competition. There will be also masterly classes by some famous moviemakers, as well as seminars on contemporary issues regarding audiovisual techniques plus workshops and conferences by specialists, as well as exhibits of posters and works by Cuban plastic arts creators.
The ideal space
Thanks to the growing availability of video cameras, democratization of technology in the country had already progressed by the start of the new century. the event is an opportunity for young creators, because it incentivizes low-budget productions, and rewards creativity and innovation.
Films presented at the festival attained new qualitative heights with the advent of digital technology, which expanded the potential for filming and editing. The costs of these productions are paid by the filmmakers and any personal supporters they may have who can contribute funding.
The exhibition of their work in the screen, the debates with specialists and public, the tributes to top figures of national cinematography, the dialogues with acclaimed filmmakers and technicians, and the presentation of foreign movies, are elements enough to consider this event as the one of major level in the country. Definitely, this is a unique moment to see and understand the thinking of new generations in Cuba, regarding social phenomenon and problems of their time.
The works displayed in these events usually show an intense relation between the artists and subjects represented, including demythologization of characters, playing with artistic genders, and above all, a critical, non-prejudiced, and incisive look to the human and social conflicts, which affect the nation.
Social criticism plays a leading role in the festival films. Prostitution, violence against women, drug addiction, small farmers forced to abandon their land because of lack of resources, shortcomings in the public education system, the superficiality of Cuban institutions, and poverty are some of the topics addressed by the films each year.
The sharp criticism expressed in the films has clashed more than once with the authorities. Followers of the event still remember the attempt to censor the documentary “Revolution”, by Mayckell Pedrero, about the underground Cuban hip hop duo Los Aldeanos. Nevertheless, the film was awarded several prizes in 2010.
New artists don’t do anything else but demonstrate or interpret all these tensions and social dilemmas but they do it with art, imagination, energy, and also with a peculiar sense of rights.
Nowadays, most audiovisuals in the island reflect everyday life and the urgency to reflect the world. Cuban artists refuse to observe from a window any more and are trying to integrate the world, and to grow with it.
Young filmmakers are trying to offer a different face of life in the island, sometimes fatal, maybe bitter, rough, or harsh. Nevertheless, we need to understand that, behind that mask, is a human face trying to figure out what is its definition.
At Muestra Joven this year
“La Obra del Siglo” (The Work of the century), is the second feature fiction film by the young moviemaker Carlos M. Quintela, and it will be presented at the opening session of Muestra Joven 2015, on March 31st at 14:00 hours, in Chaplin movie theater. This will be the national premier of the film, since the work just arrived from the International Movie Festival of Rotterdam, where it achieved the main prize. The film was shot at Juraguá, the electro-nuclear city founded past century by a Cuban-Russian project that intended to build the first nuclear reactor in the Caribbean.
The main characters are three lonely men from three different generations of Cuban, all related with the construction of the reactor, an unsuccessful project after the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe. The movie received the support of ICAIC, and was produced by Rizoma Films, Uranio Films LTD, Ventura Film, and Raspberry & Cream. Quintela’s first work was in 2012, with the film “La piscina” (The swimming pool), which has gained more than ten prizes in national and international festivals.
“La Obra del Siglo” won’t participate in the contest.
Here is the official selection of the event this year:
- ALEJANDRITO Y EL CUCO (Alejandrito and the cukcoo). Alex Medina. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 15´
- ANSIAS (Longing). Sarai Díaz Martín. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 1´
- CASO TURISTA DESAPARECIDA (Missingtourist case). Liber Drey. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 6´
- CÍRCULO ROTO (Broken circle). Leandro Javier de la Rosa Jiménez. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 12´
- CREPÚSCULO (Twilight). Juan Pablo Daranas Molina. Fic. / 2.5K / 2015 / 37´
- DESPERTAR (To Wake). José Manuel García Casado. Fic. / HDV / 2014/ 23´
- FILMARTE (To film you). Sisy Gómez Peña. Fic. / MINI-DV / 2014 / 8´
- HAMLET (Hamlet). Juan Carlos Ceballos Gutiérrez. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 10´
- UN HOMBRE NUEVO (A new man). Alejandro Arango. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 19´
- LARA (Lara). Venecia Feria Borja. Fic. / HDV /2014/ 12´
- MUÑECA (Doll). Reggi Guedes. Fic. / 2014 / 1´
- LA NEGACIÓN (Denial). Gisselle Ricardo Chapelli. Fic. / HDV / 2013 / 6´
- EL PACIENTE DEL MOHICANO BLANCO (White Mohican’s patient). Alfredo Vera Bucheli. Fic. / 2014 / 1´
- PARIS PUERTAS ABIERTAS (Paris open doors). Marta María Borrás. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 16´
- PARTIR (Depart). Estela María Martínez Chaviano. Fic. / HD / 2014 / 17´
- LA PROFESORA DE INGLÉS (The English teacher). Alan González. Fic. / HD / 2014 / 15´
- PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR (Forbidden to forget). Daniela Muñoz Barroso. Fic. / / 2014 /
- EL REGRESO (Return). Geordanis Santana. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 4´
- RESINA (Resin). Maryulis Alfonso Yero. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 10´
- REY DE BRONCE (Bronze king). Hugo Navarro, Geordanis Santana. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 4´
- RULETA RUSA (Russian roulette). Sergio Equino Viera. Fic. / HDV / 2014/ 14´
- SINSONTE (Mockingbird). Gabriel Reyes. Fic. / HDV / 2014 / 24´
- ¿VE? (See?). Elvys A. Urra Moreno, José Carlos Lorenzo. Doc. / HDV / 2014/ 16´ /
- ALHAM (Alham). Jessica Rodríguez, Shaza Aly. Doc. / HD / 2015 / 49´
- LOS AMAGOS DE SATURNO (Saturn feints). Rosario Alfonso Parodi. Doc. / MINI-DV / 2014 / 57´
- ANTÍGONA EL PROCESO (Antigone The process). Lilián Broche, Yaima Pardo. Doc. / HDV / 2015 / 60´
- BLOGBANG CUBA (Blogbang Cuba). Claudio Peláez Sordo. Doc. / HVD / 2014 / 29´
- DE QUE VAN… VAN (Van Van). Héctor David Rosales. Doc. / Full HD / 2014 / 45´
- LA DESPEDIDA (The farewell). Alejandro Alonso Estrella. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 25´
- ELOGIO DE LA SOMBRA (Shadow’s praise). Helena Rodríguez López. Doc. / HD / 2014 / 14´
- HOTEL NUEVA ISLA (New Island hotel). Irene Gutiérrez, Javier Labrador. Doc. / HD / 2014 / 70´
- MAJANA (Majana). Yasser Vitali. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 9´
- MÁSCARAS (Masks). Lázaro González. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 35´
- MATERIA PRIMA (Raw material). Sergio Fernández Borrás. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 25
- MILAGROSA (Miraculous). Diana Montero. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 28´
- NOSTALGIA DE TROVADORES (Troubadour’s nostalgia). Alberto Santos Casas. Doc. / DVC PRO / 2013 / 35´
- LA PAZ DEL FUTURO (Peace of the future). Leonardo Rego Rivero. Doc. / HD / 2014 / 14´
- LO QUE SE ME DE MEMORIA (Whatgives me memory). Marcos Antonio Díaz Sosa. Doc. / HDV / 2013 / 4´
- EL RETORNO Y EL FIN (Return and end). Yoel Suárez Fernández. Doc. / MINI-DV / 2013 / 26´
- EL TIEMPO ES DE DIOS (Time belongs to God). Víctor Alexis Guerrero. Doc. / HDV / 2014 / 12´
- TRÓPICO DE ARIGUANABO (Tropic of Ariguanabo). Joanna Vidal. Doc. / HD / 2014 / 13´
- AMOR A MORDIDAS (Love by bites). Camila Carballo. Ani. / HDV / 2014 / 3´
- UN DÍA MÁS (One more day). Marcos Menéndez Hidalgo. Ani. / HDV / 2014 /
- HÁBITAT (Habitat). Raidel Hernández Barrios, Alejandro D. González, Giovanny Erbello Calderín. Ani. / Digital HD / 2014 / 3´
- UN HORIZONTE SIMILAR (A similar horizon). José Andrés Fumero Rojas. Ani. / HDV / 2014 / 5´
- LA LETRA ESCARLATA (The Scarlet Letter). Mónica Batard. Ani. / HDV / 2014 / 2´
- MINÚSCULO (Minuscule). René Alejandro Díaz Rodríguez. Ani. / HDV / 2014 / 1´