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35th International Festival of the New Latinoamerican Cinema

The Militant
"The Militant" (Manuel Nieto Zas)

Cuba's Havana Film Festival was marked by the loss of its founder Alfredo Guevara, who died in April 2013. Through the many accolades he received, his importance to the festival since its founding its clear. The festival was also marked by an intense discussion about the revival of cinema from new technologies. In this edition, the FIPRESCI Prize for best feature-length fiction went to Uruguayan film The Militant (El Lugar del Hijo) a co-production with Argentina directed by Manuel Nieto Zas.

The FIPRESCI jury focused on 21 films in the main competition, all features from Latin America. Of these, the highlights were the productions of Argentina and Mexico, countries with the highest number of titles. The official jury, which judged the same 21 films, gave the Grand Coral to Mexico's Heli, by Amat Escalante. If in Heli explicit violence is the trademark aesthetic, the movie chosen by FIPRESCI  shows another point of view about Latin America: a place of disoriented characters, displaced, and having to deal with a legacy of lost fortunes. Each point of view does not exclude the other.

Under the new direction of Iván Giroud, the Havana festival remains one of the largest and most important in Latin America by revealing new Latino filmmakers and also including panoramas of other continents. In this edition, the Cuban audience — whose access to the movies is facilitated by the low price of the ticket (it's quite difficult to calculate in other currencies, but a package to 20 films can cost around two US dollars) — had special screenings from the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival and other films promoted by countries such as South Korea, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil, besides the International Panorama section, and an interesting section called North American Experimental Cinema. In a slow but visible political opening of the country under the command of President Raul Castro, American movies are no longer foreign bodies in Cuba. (Ivonete Pinto)

35th International Festival of the New Latinoamerican Cinema (Cuba, Havana, Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, December 5-15, 2013). FIPRESCI Jury: Ivonete Pinto (president, Brazil), Ernesto Diezmatinez (Mexico), Jose Luis Losa (Spain), Justo Planas (Cuba) and Dieter Wieczorek (France). FIPRESCI Prize: The Militant (El Lugar del Hijo) by Manuel Nieto Zas (Uruguay, Argentina, 2013, 120min). Print Source: FiGa Films (3925 Cazador St., Los Angeles, CA 90065, USA), Phn: +1 323 258 5241, Fax: +1 323 258 5241, web:, e-mail:


Havana, the Obstinate Memory. From the perspective of the Havana Film Festival the maintenance of vigilance in regard to the recovery of historical memory is essential — fiction or documentary films that dig into the facts of the recent past to extract images of political texture, like grains from a wasteland where forced amnesia or forgetfulness reign. José Luis Losa's report. arrow.
The Metaphors of an Orphan Continent. The Militant (El Lugar del Hijo) by Manuel Nieto Zas had part of its production funded by Argentina, but could hardly pass as an Argentinean film because it constitutes a deep reflection on Uruguay, a nation with strong cultural characteristics of its own. As a matter of fact, they are inalienable. Ivonete Pinto's review. arrow.
Mexico in Havana. The winning streak that Mexican cinema has been having in 2013 continued at the Havana Film Festival. The four Mexican films screened in the international competition were the best, compared with the movies from the rest of the Latin American film industries. By Ernesto Diez Martínez. arrow.
Movies from the Dimensions of Otherness. During the 15 days of the festival, which is one of the most important Cuban annual events, the movie theaters and their surrounds throng with spectators who are eager to catch up with recent Latin American film productions. By Justo Planas. arrow.
Selected Works from the Documentary and Short Film Sections. A large part of Havana's documentary programme was focused on the memory of Latin American revolutions and their socio-political context, with ongoing repression, corruption and humiliation as their background. But the main documentary award went instead to a purely existential work. Dieter Wieczorek's report. arrow.



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Havana 2013

bullet. Index
bullet. The Obstinate Memory
bullet. An Orphan Continent
bullet. Mexico in Havana
bullet. Dimensions of Otherness
bullet. Selected Works

Language editor:
Carmen Gray