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For Immediate Release.
Contact: Diana Vargas,
(718) 478-1015 / (212) 687-2146 /


N.Y. premiere of award-winner, Barrio Cuba , by renowned Cuban Director Humberto Solas
Special Tribute to Cuban Tomás Gutiérrez Alea on the 10 th anniversary of his death
Legendary filmmaker, Fernando Birri premieres Za 2005 to celebrate 20 years of EICTV

New York, NY, March 27, 2006—The 7th annual Havana Film Festival in New York (HFFNY) presents a program of outstanding premieres from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay as well as films by and about Latinos in the U.S. All Spanish language films are subtitled in English. Panel discussions and Special Programs offer opportunities to interact with guest directors, producers and actors. Festival-goers will also be treated to Latin musical events on opening and closing nights. Families and children can join in the fun with the latest in animation and films appropriate for all ages. Many programs are free and open to the public.

Opening night festivities begin at 7 pm, Friday, April 21 st at Quad Cinema with Humberto Solas' latest film Barrio Cuba , winner of the Special Jury Prize and best actress awards at Festival de Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana and Audience Award at Huelva , Spain . Writer-director Solas asserts that Barrio Cuba is his most personal film to date, the film he always wanted to make. “Potent emotions and engaging characters are the hallmarks of Barrio Cuba , a rangy, earthy item from esteemed helmer Humberto Solas that strips away the tourist view of la Isla” (Variety).

Continuing its tradition of honoring leading figures in filmmaking, HFFNY pays Tribute to Tomas Gutierrez Alea (Titón). A retrospective of Titón's films begins Friday, April 21 with screenings of Up to a Certain Point a t 1 pm, The Last Supper at 3 pm and Death of a Bureaucrat at 5:15 pm. Two of his most important works will screen at the Museum of the Moving Image ( 35 th Ave at 36 th St. , Queens ) – April 22nd at 6:30 pm Guantanamera (1985) with actress Mirta Ibarra present .

April 23 rd at 6:30 pm Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) considered among the 100 most influential films. A panel with Mirta Ibarra, Sandra Levinson, and Jerry Carlson, producer at CUNY-TV will discuss the life of one of the most important filmmakers in the world on April 24 th , 6 pm at NYU's King Juan Carlos I Center of Spain.

The King Juan Carlos I Center at NYU will host a series of events celebrating the 20 th anniversary of EICTV . Sunday, April 23 rd Fernando Birri , Argentinean film legend, first director of EICTV and founder with Gabriel García Márquez and Julio Garcia Espinosa, tells the story of the school and its contribution to international cinema before presenting award-winning student films. April 25 th at 5 pm Sandy Lieberson, producer and Chairman, Film London, will moderate a conversation with Birri, EICTV film instructors and former students giving an inside view. Following the talk at 6 pm Birri's latest film, ZA 2005 , The Old and the New will be screened. Made at the school in San Antonio de los Baños , Cuba , it is a tribute to legendary vanguard Cesare Zavatini, poet and screenwriter of the Italian neorealist cinema, and includes sequences from some of the best student films of the past two decades.

Award-winning Viva Cuba , the story of two 5 th graders and their adventures across Cuba , by Juan Carlos Cremata and Iraida Malberti Cabrera is a box office hit for all ages and not to be missed. It has won numerous prizes internationally, including the Cannes 2005 Grand Prix Ecrans Juniors Award.

Animated films Cine Infantil Latinoamericano, a series of short Latin American Films for Children , Caribbean Christmas and Tachuela, Lechuga y Varilla by Walter Tournier (Uruguay), and ( La Hormiguita-mata/The small ant plant ) by Leonardo Perez (Cuba) will entertain children from ages 6 and up Saturday, April 22 nd from 1:15 to 1:50 pm in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art . Free with Museum admission. Films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Reservations suggested 212 650 2833. Animation 4 Kids : ( Pacific Pirates , Peru ) at Quad Cinema on Sunday April 23 at noon, Monday April 24, at 1 pm and Thursday April 27, at 1 pm has a special ticket price of $7.

In an effort to promote the work of new filmmakers from Latin American Cinema , this year's premieres will include

full-length features from Vera Fogwill ( Kept and Dreamless , Argentina), winner at the Guadalajara, Tolouse and Cartagena film festivals; Emilio Maille ( Rosario Tijeras , Colombia/Mexico) a Goya nominee and Best Colombian Picture winner at Cartagena Film Festival; Boris Quercia ( Sex with love , Chile), an immediate box office hit in Chile; Jorge Ramirez ( Rabbit on the Moon , Mexico) best screenplay recipient at Huelva, Spain; Eduardo Schuldt ( Pacific Pirates , Peru) the first 3D- animation film from Latin America; Vicente Juarbe and Pedro Muñiz ( Cayo , Puerto Rico), the first picture funded by the Puerto Rican Film Commission and a ground-breaking film for the island's cinematographic identity.

Pioneering filmmakers who participated in former years are back with their latest works including notorious Brazilian filmmaker Ruy Guerra ( In Evil Hour adapted from a story by García Márquez ) , Cuban directors Humberto Solas ( Barrio Cuba ), Juan Carlos Cremata ( Viva Cuba ), Manuel Herrera ( Dancing Cha Cha Cha ).

New documentaries from and about Latin America provide superb portraits of the societies they explore, revealing polemical characters through cutting edge cinematic techniques. Nuestra América by Kristina Konrad (Nicaragua), winner of the Best Film About Latin America by a Non-Latino at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba, is a profound and rigorous search for guerrilleras that participated in the Nicaraguan revolution more than twenty years ago; Muxes by Alejandra Islas (Mexico), is an intimate and hilarious portrait of a very special gay and transgender community on Juchitan, a part of the isthmus of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Pablo Palacios and Julie Belafonte (Ritmo de fuego) the first film to present an inside view of the most important moments during the Festival of the Caribbean which takes place every year in Santiago de Cuba .

Interesting and informative presentations and panel discussions are part of HFFNY's collaboration with The New School, NYU and Hunter College . Tuesday, April 25 at 4 pm in the Ida K. Lang Theater, Hunter College ,

Professor Ann Marie Stock, specialist in Latin American film and culture presents Alternative Visions, a showcase of new low or no budget films by young Cuban filmmakers working independently in Cuba . At 5:30, Competition winners of Learning Leaders High School Showcase, from Jonathan Levin High School of Media and Communication, will present their 1-minute public service announcements about Learning Leaders programs in public schools.

In Latin American Short-Cuts, on Saturday, April 22 nd 5 pm, an increasingly popular genre, young filmmakers display their talents with My Radio by Mariana Miranda (Mexico); Cuba Inside by Sandra Vigil (Cuba/Canada); Legally Blind by Ingrid Rojas; Miss Riiis Park by Juan Carlos Riveros; and The Story of What I Want and Don't Want by Ricardo Barahona (El Salvador), Best Animation winner at the Icaro Film Festival in Guatemala and Special Mention recipient at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba.

The New York premiere of My Grandfather, My Father and Me by Colombian directors Dago García and Juan Carlos Vasquez closes the festival on Thursday, April 27 at 7 pm. This black comedy stars actor Miguel Varoni , known for his roles in soap operas such as Pedro El Escamoso , will be present.

Special guests at the festival include directors Fernando Birri, Vera Fogwill , Emilio Maille, Jorge Ramirez, Vicente Juarbe, Kristina Konrad, Eduardo Schuldt, Sandra Vigil, Ingrid Rojas, Juan Carlos Riveros, Tane Martinez, actors

Mirta Ibarra, Miguel Varoni, Pedro Muñiz, Ineabelle Colon, producers Julie Belafonte, Sandra Bilicich, John Della Penna, industry specialists Jerry Carlson, Sandy Lieberson, Jorge Magaña, Ann Marie Stock, Margarita De la Vega.

Yoan Capote has created a special silkscreen poster in a limited edition of 100 that he signed and numbered.

The Havana Film Festival in New York is sponsored by NBC-Telemundo, The New York Times, El Diario La Prensa,

Delta Air Lines, Roger Smith Hotel, The Inn on 23 rd , Jaguar Animation, The National Arts Club, and funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and a community of loyal supporters in the business and private sector.

HFFNY is a project of American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, a non-profit organization building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba through programs in the arts. HFFNY's director, Carole Rosenberg, President of AFLFC, works with an executive committee, advisory board, a small devoted staff and dedicated volunteers who believe in its merit.

For further information contact Diana Vargas, Programming & Media Relations Tel. 718 478 1015; cell 917 658 7735; email:

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