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  • 09 / 30 / 2006

Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) is going through its best production stage in the last six years, said Omar Gonzalez, the president of the Cuban film industry.

The official mentioned a list of over twenty feature films, documentaries, and an animation feature, all in different production stages at present. The statement was announced during the launch in Havana of the paper issue of the Cine Cubano magazine.

There are three opera prima feature films about to be premiered: La pared, by Alejandro Gil; Los dioses rotos, by Ernesto Daranas; and La edad de la peseta, by Pavel Giroud. The Cuban cinemas are currently showing Páginas del diario de Mauricio, by Manuel Pérez, which was also shown at the Festival des Filmes du Monde, in Montreal; and El Benny, shown at de Locarno Festival, in Switzerland, where leading actor Renny Arozarena was awarded with a Boccalino to the best performance.

There is currently a number of films in postproduction phases, such as Madrigal, by Fernando Pérez (Clandestinos, Suite Habana); La noche de los inocentes, by Arturo Sotto (Pon tu pensamiento en mí, Amor vertical); as well as coproduction with Spanish Antena 3 Camino al Edén, by Daniel Díaz Torres (Alicia en el pueblo de Maravillas, Hacerse el sueco). Meñique, by Ernesto Padrón, the seventh animated feature film is well advanced, according to the president of ICAIC. The Cuban official also mentioned a couple of films in early shooting stages, one by young Esteban Insausti (director of one of the short stories in Tres veces dos) and veteran filmmakers Rogelio París (Caravana, Leyenda), Enrique Pineda Barnet (La bella del Alhambra), Juan Carlos Tabío (Se permuta, Plaff) and Tomás Piard. The latter is about to start shooting a film about Cuban author José Lezama Lima and Grupo Orígenes.

Rebeca Chavez, one of the best documentary makers in the island, is setting up her long feature opera prima with Al rojo vivo, a drama based on Bertillon 166, a novel by Cuban author Jose Soler Puig.

Several documentaries have been premiered lately in the islands cinemas. Monteros, by Alejandro Ramírez; ¡Vampiros!, by Carlos León; and San Ernesto nace en La Higuera, by Isabel Santos and Rafael Solís, about Che Guevara and the quest for his body and his guerrilla fellows in Bolivia.

The are seven documentaries due to be finished or almost finished by the end of the year, including El proceso, about the Cuban Five infiltrated in anti-Cuban organizations in Miami who were arrested by the US authorities.

ICAIC will shortly begin shooting several documentary series, one of them about Cuban national hero Jose Marti, another one about musician Adalberto Alvarez, and a seven-chapter series about Cuban music. "We have the budget for them," said Gonzalez, who also talked about the increase of digital animation productions in Cuba. He stressed that "were not only talking about feature film Meñique, with music by Silvio Rodriguez. There are about thirty promo videos of children songs in preparation, including twenty already finished", he said.

The president of ICAIC also explained that even when the Cuban film industry hasnt fully recovered from the crisis generated by the collapse of the European communist block, this good time shows thanks to the growing development in other areas in the islands economy, plus the creative explosion of Cuban filmmakers, especially the new generations "that has arrived and that we warmly welcome. The main feature of what we are doing is its stylistic and thematic diversity", he concluded.

Source: CubaNow

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