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Cuba's 2008 National Film Award was unanimously granted to filmmaker Juan Padron
The jury of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) selected Padron for his prolific and successful work as a cartoonist, producer, illustrator, comic strip writer, scriptwriter and director. He was chosen from a list of 14 nominees that included Leo Brouwer, Manuel Perez Paredes, Eslinda Nuñez, Lissette Vila, Jorge Luis Sanchez, Arturo Sotto and Pavel Giroud.

Padrons most recent creation, "Mas vampiros en La Habana" (More Vampires in Havana), was just presented at the Cuba 2008 International Book Fair underway in the country through March 9. The film is a part two of his famous Vampiros en la Havana (1985), a funny parody on gangster movies with elements of other genres such as musicals, horror and suspense.

Padron is well remembered by Cubans of all ages for his Elpidio Valdes (1979), a heroic "Mambi" soldier who helped Cuba win its independence from Spain; and later for his Filminutos, a very successful and internationally recognized series of "gags" that are still being produced to this day.

As customary, the prize will be granted during the celebrations for the anniversary of the Cuban Film Institute that takes place annually in March. ICAIC was the first cultural institution founded after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.


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