Cuba’s Low-Budget Film Festival: the Road to the Best Filmography

Cuba's Low-Budget Film Festival: the Road to the Best Filmography

Cuba’s Low-Budget Film Festival: the Road to the Best Filmography

Havana,  may 9 –  From Friday April 25 to 27 the legendary Cuban city of Gibara, 791 kilometers from the capital, decked out for the 11th Low-Budget Film Festival.

Created by the late filmmaker Humberto Solas, the event was developed to highlight the good movies which are also made with very few resources.

And even though when Solas died the continuity of the festival hung by a thread, today the director Lester Hamlet gives new impetus to the festivity.

“If low-budget film production does not define the path, at least it shows one by which you can tell the story tormenting your head, as a way to tell the human being who we are, what we do, what we are made of,” told Hamlet to Prensa Latina.

The prominent filmmaker said that this way of making movies, inherited from Solas, is “a practice of creation from very personal, aesthetic, conceptual and economic commitments and risks of all kinds.”

According to Hamlet, “when you manage to walk all that space you feel a great joy, because much of your life has been left in the process.”

Known for his movies Casa Vieja (Old House), Tres veces dos (Three Times Two) and Fabula (Fable), the young artist feels that way to make films has brought intimacy, adventure, great dedication, hard work, learning and everyday action to his professional production.

“Contrary to other kind of productions, there is more nudity, more passion, more responsibility, because more than your creative life, your social life is at stake, because you stake everything, you risk everything for a dream,” he said.

For this 11th edition of the festival, 208 works were entered, but only 47 were selected among art videos, short films, features and documentaries.

Besides, 11 short films shot during the previous edition will be premiered, and the traditional theoretical space and a tribute to the culinary heritage of this town in eastern Cuba will take place.

The festival will pay tribute to actress Luisa Maria Jimenez, whose pictures taken by Catalan Pedro Coll, who captured her soul according to the artist, will be exhibited.

A retrospective of filmmaker Jorge Molina’s work and two photo exhibitions on the Cuban folk musician Santiago Feliu, who recently passed away, will also be presented.


Contrasting with the magic that is making good films with limited resources, the Holguin city of Gibara becomes a movie temple where directors and fans join together in discussions and screenings.

“Certainly, Gibara is a magical place. So right were Humberto when he discovered it for his films, when he shot there some of the movies with which we grew up and learned the excitement of family and love,” Hamlet said.

About being the host city to the event, he remarked that “the most beautiful of Gibara is its people, the defense of the festival by their natives, the way it is cared, protected, appreciated, welcomed, received and expected by them.”

Besides geographical blessing, this city and its people impact me for the “way to worship, conserve and preserve the love and respect for Humberto, that way of knowing they are owner of this film tradition,” he confessed.


Two actors and only one location will be used by Hamlet in his next movie “Ya no es antes” (It’s not before anymore), which is a version of the play Weekend in Bahia, by Alberto Pedro.

The film will be shot next May with the acting of Violeta Rodriguez and Hugo Reyes, who will play the roles of Mayra and Esteban, protagonists of the story that will pass in 90 minutes in real time and will have limited scenography support.

The filmmaker told the press that “two people, a white limbo and promises that need to be confirmed,” is the synthesis of the film, which may be displayed in the 11th Low-Budget Film Festival in Gibara.

* Journalist of the Culture Editorial Department in Prensa Latina News Agency

Source: Prensa Latina

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