Havana Film Festival

You go to cinema, buy your popcorn, coke, nachos with cheese, sit down in big comfortable seat and watch the new film in 3D. Well, forget about that in Cuba. Going to cinema here is a completely different story. I felt like a child when my parents took me to see a movie, I was looking forward to it so much and it was a big event for me.

Not so many Cubans go to the cinema during the year. Even if it’s one of the only cheap and affordable things for them (entry for 10 people costs less than 1€), usually there is nothing interesting they would like to see. For example, one week you can go and see the best film of the year 1985 from North Korea, next week there is a documentary about snakes in Venezuela.


Can you imagine that? And now imagine that during two weeks each December there is a film festival in Havana. You might think that there will be nothing interesting again, but in this case you are wrong. Festival of New Latin-American Cinema of Havana is one of the most important Latin-American film festivals in the world since 1979.

In several old cinemas around the city during these two weeks are projected around 600 movies and most of them were filmed in the current year. You might think again that Latin-American movies are not that interesting, but in this case you would be wrong again. Countries like Mexico, Argentina, Colombia or Brazil made loads of movies that have been awarded on many important film festivals around the world with Palms, Lions or Oscars. Lately you can also see movies from Europe – mostly Spain, but from Canada or even USA as well.

Again there are queues. It doesn’t surprise anybody as for majority of the Cubans these two weeks are the only chance to see some new films. Of course, in Cuban TV there is no space for such things. Most of the people buy special tickets for 10 Cuban pesos (0,40€) that allows them to see 7 films. Or they can buy a ticket for every movie separately for 2 Cuban pesos.

How do they choose what film are they going to see? Of course not on internet. Everyday they put on doors of each cinema program for the next day and people gather in front of them to read the list of 40 movies with the name of the cinema where they will be displayed and the time.

And again people are queuing to enter and see a film, some of them attract more people, some of them less. All the seats are usually taken and people even sit on the floor or stand in the back. What I really like is that after every movie people start to applaud just as if they were in a theatre.

I have to go now, I will try to enter and see another film and I hope the queue won’t be too long. Today I chose an Argentinian one. There was no description, they didn’t show any trailer, not even a poster. But it’s called “Love in the Time of Selfies” and yeah, that sounds promising =)

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World is my home and I do my best to discover every corner of it. Here I want to share with you all the moments that are too important for me to be forgotten.