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The 11th Santiago Alvarez in Memoriam International Festival of Documentaries began its last of a three-day thick agenda in which this Film genre once again came alive.

  During this audio-visual festivity as a reflection of reality, a very high note was given by a piece by a young filmmaker, Ian Padron, dedicated to 40 years of the Van Van orchestra entitled: Eso que anda, which bears the name of one of the group's most chorused interpretations.

The presentation was a tribute to the director of the famed group, Juan Formell, a close collaborator of Santiago Alvarez in the Latin American ICAIC Newsreels declared a World Memory by UNESCO and the sound track of which was outstanding for its originality.

Brazil has been the honored country in this event, with many works by a large delegation of filmmakers, going through many obstacles in flight connections and limited resources.

Other recognitions were for half a century of the Newsreel and for National Prize of Literature Reynaldo Gonzales, whose work and intellectual rigor has traditionally linked him to the cinema. This is evident in the book of essays, Cuban Films: that eye that sees us, presented as part of the festival.

The Cuban Film Library (Cinemateca), recently directed by Gonzalez, was also the center of a tribute, including a selection of nine audio-visual pieces by French, US and Soviet authors.

Photo exhibitions, including The Photo in News of the contest sponsored by the event and an informative sample with 70 documentaries from 16 countries were also a significant part of the program.

About 25 filmmakers took part in the contest in which the jury will determine the Santiago Alvarez Grand Prize and other important honors, in addition to collateral themes and divisions by specialties.

For the first time there will be prizes that recognize works by children and adolescents of La Primavera (Spring) documentary workshop, an initiative developed by the youth video hall.

Again the event has been enriched by Cuban filmmakers and their Latin American and European peers who met here. Qatar sent a representation with promises of increasing its presence in coming film events.

March 8th, the birthday of this master of documentaries who was Santiago Alvarez, will also call documentary filmmakers to meet in 2011. His work that only death could stop on May 20 of 1998 will continue attracting followers of that genre in the world.

Source: PL

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