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Havana Film Festival Starts
Although the official opening is expected at Havana's Karl Marx Theater tonight, the first of 503 films to be shown start screening this morning, among them Brazilian "Tropa de elite" (Elite troops), Argentinean "La buena vida" (Good life), and Mexican "Voy a explotar."

The Coral of Honor awards will be delivered in the opening ceremony to four figures very linked to the festival, Mexican Paul Leduc, Bolivian Jorge Sanjines, Brazilian Nelson Perera Dos Santos, and Chilean Miguel Littin.

About 114 works will be competing this year, of them 22 full length figure films, an equal number of first works, 29 documentary features, 24 animated films, 19 short films and 28 original screenplays.

A special moment of the festival will be a tribute to Great Britain's filmmaker Mike Leigh and Brazil’s Eduardo Coutinho, who will open a season with the most important works of their filmography.

Prestigious figures from 10 regional countries conform the jury in the different categories. Peruvian Francisco Lombardi, Mexican Maria Rojo, and Colombian Sergio Cabrera will be in charge of the full length figure films.

The almost 15 movies of the capital and in the island's other cities will screen in 11 days the new Latin American films, as well as parallel presentations from Africa, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Among films are El argentino (The Argentine) and El guerrillero (The guerrilla fighter), by Steven Soderbergh, Blindness, by Brazilian Fernando Meirelles, and La fiebre (The fever), by actress Vanessa Redgrave, who is at the festival.


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