Online Film Series 2021

Classic and Contemporary Cuban Stories @ Home

The Havana Film Festival New York brings you some of the darling gems of Cuban cinema to keep you company.  February through April, 2021, HFFNY streams a Cuban film, free of charge, in its Virtual Screening Room. All screenings are subtitled in English and available to viewers in the United States. See below for more information on the films and and details on how to register. It’s free and fun!

PAST SCREENINGS

LOVE AND LAUGHTER FOR VALENTINES DAY

SATURDAY, FEB. 13, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 3PM TO 11PM

Un Paraíso bajo las estrellas / A Paradise under the Stars
Gerardo Chijona | Cuba-Spain | Fiction | 1999 | 90min

Romance meets screwball comedy in Chijona’s zany tale of love and ambition set around Havana’s famous Tropicana nightclub. Aspiring dancer Sissy longs to follow in her mother’s footsteps and perform at the legendary nightclub, but her tough-guy father, Candido, forbids it. To complicate matters, Sissy finds herself falling for the handsome Sergito after her father accidentally hits him with his truck. Filled with colorful costumes, flamboyant dance numbers, voodoo offerings, and resurrections from the dead, Un Paraíso bajo las estrellas is a Valentine’s Day film unlike any other.

REMEMBERING JUAN CARLOS TABÍO

SATURDAY, FEB. 20, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 3PM TO 11PM

El Cuerno de la abundancia / Horn of Plenty
Juan Carlos Tabío | Cuba-Spain | Fiction | 2008 | 108min

This January, we lost a major figure in Cuban cinema- director and screenwriter Juan Carlos Tabío. In memory of his contributions to the field, HFFNY is screening his beloved comedy El Cuerno de la abundancia (2008). Starring Jorge Perugorría as Bernadito Castiñeiras, the film centers around an unclaimed fortune that could prove life-changing for Bernadito and the other residents of his tiny village of Yaragüey, Cuba. However, to receive his massive inheritance check, Bernadito must prove his lineage to the Castiñeiras nuns who first populated the region. In an isolated and impoverished town where many residents share the same surname, a feud breaks out between the “Castiñeiras” and “Castiñeyras” families. Equal parts hilarious and insightful, the film is a prime example of Tabío’s adept ability to make his audience laugh while offering a witty social critique. 

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

SATURDAY, FEB. 27, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 4PM TO 7PM

Esteban
Jonal Cosculluela | Cuba-Spain | Fiction | 2016 | 90min

Featuring a soundtrack by Grammy Award-winning jazz legend Chucho Valdés, Esteban is the rousing story of a young Afro-Cuban boy who dreams of becoming a musician. Faced with myriad challenges, including economic instability, an unreliable father, and a single mother more concerned with feeding her family than her son’s sudden musical obsession, the titular Esteban is determined to make the impossible possible and pours his heart into learning how to play the piano.  

Thanks to The Mediapro Studio for making this screening possible.

SPECIAL SCREENING – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

MONDAY, MAR. 8, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 3PM TO 11PM

De Cierta Manera / One Way or Another
Sara Gómez | Cuba | Fiction | 1974 | 79min

HFFNY celebrates International Women’s Day with an Afro-Cuban masterpiece by Sara Gómez, Cuba’s first female director.

Mixing documentary footage with a variety of narrative modes, Sara Gómez’s romantic drama shines a light on the histories, problems and contradictions of post-revolutionary Cuba. Against a landscape of dismantled slums and new modern settlements, Gómez reveals inhabitants who are similarly conflicted, caught between entrenched attitudes towards race, class and gender and the egalitarian promise of the Revolution.

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH

SATURDAY, MAR. 13, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 3PM TO 11PM

Hay un grupo que dice
Lourdes Prieto | Cuba | Documentary | 2014 | 80min

Named after a song by Silvio Rodríguez, this documentary explores the history of ICAIC’s Grupo de Experimentación Sonora (GESI), a symbol of cultural resistance and creativity, formed by Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Eduardo Ramos, Sara Gonzáles, Noel Nicola, and Leo Brower.

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH

SATURDAY, MAR. 20, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 4PM TO 7PM
Q&A with director Marta Bautís @ 6:30PM

Entre un tango y un danzón / Between a Tango and a Danzón
Marta Bautís | Cuba-USA | Documentary | 2018 | 60min

Entre un tango y un danzón explores the cultural and historical influences of these two musical genres in Cuba’s society today. Filmed in the cities of Havana, Matanzas and Gibara, this documentary includes scenes with dancers, singers and musicians in the neighborhoods of Peñas and Milongas. Archival footage of legendary danzón and tango artists, such as Barbarito Diez, Carlos Gardel or Libertad Lamarque, add a nostalgic feeling. The film reveals the efforts to revitalize the danzón, Cuban national dance, and to attract the youth to this genre by mixing it with different rhythms, including jazz.

CUBAN CREATIVE GENIUS

THURSDAY, APR. 15, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 3PM TO 11PM

Esther en alguna parte / Esther Somewhere
Gerardo Chijona | Cuba | Fiction | 2013 | 95min

Lino’s (Reynaldo Miravalles) simple life is turned upside down when Larry (Enrique Molina) informs him that his late wife, Maruja (Daisy Granados), led a double life: by day an ordinary housewife, and by night an impressive bolero singer. The men join forces to find the truth about Maruja and the whereabouts of Larry’s greatest love. Set to the musical stylings of famed Cuban composer Jose Maria Vitier and featuring an all-star Cuban cast, Chijona’s heartfelt comedy is an endearing tale of friendship, aging, and secrets that can only be revealed after death.

CUBAN CREATIVE GENIUS

THURSDAY, APR. 22, STREAMING AVAILABLE FROM 5PM TO 8PM

Humberto
Carlos Barba Salva | Cuba-Mexico | Documentary | 2014 | 112min
*Q&A with director Carlos Barba at 8:00 p.m.

Carlos Barba’s award-winning documentary explores the life and work of his longtime mentor: iconic filmmaker, dreamer, and beloved figure in Cuba and abroad, Humberto Solás (1941-2008). Through conversations with Humberto’s colleagues, family, and friends, the film captures the career of a man who was not only talented in his field, but also a prominent figure for social change in Cuba. The timeline unfolds through a series of passionate, heartfelt, and sometimes amusing vignettes about his movies, from Lucia to Barrio Cuba.