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The 13thHavana Film Festival New York (HFFNY, April 12-20, various locations) is one of the more deeply political and sociayl minded festivals in New York this season. The shorts, features, and documentaries in competition deal with themes like societal marginalization, racism, loss of cultural identity, diaspora. Many of the directors in this festival are virtually unknown in North America, but they possess an intense passion for their craft and for their sense of social justice. The festival permeates with the theme of perpetual struggle in historical dramas, horror films, doccumentaries, and thrillers. HFFNY includes films from:
The film A Stray Girlfriend, directed by Ana Katz, echoes the plot of the 1971 film Walkabout, but exchanges the Australian outback for rural Buenos Aires, as a woman is abandoned by her boyfriend while the two are on vacation. José Martí : Eye of the Canary focuses on the early years of famed revolutionary and poet José Martí (1853-1895), as he experiences the many injustices perpetrated under the Spanish colonial rulers. Juan of the Dead takes the zombie film trope, but instead of the usual rag-tag survivors, it follows an aspiring entrepreneur that starts a zombie killing business with the slogan “We kill your loved ones.”
Special events include screening of specially selected short films from the 2011 edition of the festival, and panel discussions. Panels at HFFNY include History and Social Memory, A Self-Reflection from Latin American Cinema, an examination on marginalized Latin American culture and it’s struggles in the world of cinema and From Script to Screen, a lesson on the film making process, as well as a discussion on the relationship between filmakers and audiences.
HFFNY will pay tribute to Cuban cinematographer Raul Pérez Ureta. Pérez Ureta has worked outside Cuba or more than any other renowned Cuban photographer. Ureta will be present for a Q&A at one of the screenings of The Eye of the Canary, which he was cinematographer on.
HFFNY is a project of the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, a non-profit cultural organization fostering the exchange of artistic ideas and information between the U.S. and Cuba to strengthen social consciousness and cultural awareness. HFFNY is a film festival with a mission and an excellent way to see films that would otherwise have fallen into the margins.
To learn more, go to http://www.hffny.com
The Havana Film Festival New York April 12-20
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