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Monday, December 21, 2015
Chicago Film Fest Strengthens Relationship With Cuba In Havana
CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
HAS BIG PRESENCE AT HAVANA FILM FESTIVAL
Over fifteen years ago, with support from the State of Illinois,
six directors came to the Chicago International Film Festival. In
addition, a Cuban poster and photography exhibition was held at the
State of Illinois building
(now known as the Thompson Center) during the run of the
36th Chicago International Film Festival (Oct 6-21, 2000).
Delegates from Cinema/Chicago's Chicago International Film Festival attended and participated in the 37th Havana Film Festival (aka The International Festival of the New Latin American Film in Havana), continuing a friendship started in Chicago in 2000.
In 2000, in partnership with the
State of Illinois, Cinema/Chicago hosted a delegation from the Cuban
film industry and featured a special "Cuban Cinema Today!" program at
the 36th Chicago International Film Festival. Seven Cuban films were
screened, including three by the country's premiere filmmaker, Tomás
Gutiérrez Alea: The Last Supper, Guantanamera, and Strawberry and Chocolate (the
first Cuban film to be nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film
Oscar). Gutiérrez Alea, his co-collaborator Juan Carlos Tabío, Gerardo
Chijona, Fernando Pérez, Humberto Solás, and Arturo Sotto attended the
Festival with their films.
Fifteen years later, Chicago International Film Festival Founder
and Artistic Director Michael Kutza, Programming Director Mimi Plauché,
and members of Cinema/Chicago's Board of Directors traveled to Havana,
Cuba for the 37th Havana Film Festival. While at the Havana festival,
Kutza, Plauché, and the Board connected with local Cuban artists and
directors as well as Chicago Fest alumni filmmakers and fellow
Chicagoans. Between films in Havana, Plauché also met with filmmakers,
actors, and producers, strengthening relationships with important Latin
American industry leaders and long-time Festival friends.
Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza proudly served on
the Feature Film Jury from Dec 3 - 13, 2015. During that time, the
Feature Film Jury saw nearly 50 films, including 27 features and
numerous shorts. Award-winning British actress and Charlie Chapin's
daughter Geraldine Chaplin who received a Silver Hugo for Best Actress
in Sand Dollars (2014) headed the jury. Chaplin and Kutza were
joined by acclaimed French director Laurent Cantet who received the
Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for The Class (2008); Argentinean director Diego Lerman whose feature film Tan de repente (2002) won multiple awards at the Locarno International Film Festival; and Cuban filmmaker Manuel Pérez (Páginas del diario de Mauricio, 2006).
The Feature Jury for the 37th Havana Film Festival. (L-R): Manuel Pérez, Diego Lerman, Geraldine Chaplin, Laurent Cantet, Michael Kutza
(L-R): Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Kutza, Cuban Actor Mirtha Ibarra (Strawberry and Chocolate, 1993;
Guantanamera, 1995), Mimi Plauché, Benicio del Toro (presented Havana Film Festival's Audience Award)
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization
dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to
making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The
Chicago International Film Festival is one of the year-round programs
presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include its Television Awards,
CineYouth Festival, INTERCOM Competition, International Screenings
Program, and Education Program. More information at ChicagoFilmFestival.com.
Chicago International Film Festival | 30 E. Adams St., Suite 800 | Chicago | IL | 60603