Havana Film Festival New York Celebrates 10 Years Of Illuminating Cinema April 16 - 23, 2009

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Cuban Actor Jorge Perugorria Present For Opening Night Film Horn Of Plenty. HFFNY Honors Directors Luis Ospina, Santiago Alvarez and Humberto Solas, Masters of the Craft. More than 40 Films from 12 Latin American Countries. Films From All Genres For All Ages Panels and Events are Free and Open to the Public

Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) celebrates its tenth anniversary with premieres of highly anticipated and influential films from and about Latin America and Latinos in the U.S. Programs for all ages will be shown throughout various locations in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. Quad Cinema (34 W. 13 St) will show films from April 17 to 23. Other venues are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYU's King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College (CUNY), The Bronx Museum of the Arts. HFFNY welcomes a new partnership with Queens Theatre in the Park.

The festival will begin with a special presentation sponsored by TD Bank at Queens Theatre in the Park on April 14 called Short Time! a selection of four shorts by young filmmakers from Spain, Dominican Republic and the U.S.

Opening night begins at 6:30 pm, Thursday, April 16 at The New York Directors Guild Theater with a reception followed by the New York premiere of Juan Carlos Tabio's latest film, Horn of Plenty (El cuerno de la abundancia), starring Jorge Perugorría, winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cartagena Film Festival and Third Coral and Best Screenplay at Festival de Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana

HFFNY Honors Directors Luis Ospina, Santiago Alvarez and Humberto Solas, Masters of the Craft

Since its inception, HFFNY has recognized and promoted some of the most celebrated Latin American filmmakers in the industry. Continuing with this tradition, HFFNY pays homage to three renowned Latin American directors: Santiago Alvarez and Humberto Solás (both Cuban), and Luis Ospina (Colombian).

In a program titled The Urgent Cinema of Santiago Alvarez, four of his masterful films: LJB, Now, Hanoi Martes 13, and 79 Spring Times will be presented at NYU's King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. Known for his innovative genius, Alvarez was an influential figure in the development of Cuban cinema. Even after his death, he remains the country's preeminent documentary filmmaker.

Stranger Than Fiction: A Tribute to Luis Ospina. A difficult-to-label artist, Colombian director Luis Ospina manages to subvert the established norms of storytelling and documentary filmmaking. Five of his films will be shown. On Sat., April 18, 7:10 pm, A Paper Tiger NY Premiere), Sunday, April 19, 1 pm one of his most personal documentaries, Andres Caicedo Unos Pocos Buenos amigos, preceded by a Latin American classic, Vampires of Poverty, will be shown at Quad Cinema. At 5 pm, NYU's King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center will present The Supreme Uneasiness: Incessant Portrait of Fernando Vallejo. Tuesday, April 21st Breath of Life will have its NY Premiere at Quad Cinema. This is Ospina's second feature and winner for Best Film and Best Actor at Cartagena Film Festival and Best Film and Director at Bogota Film Festival.

Remembering Humberto Solás, 1941-2008. Solás died last September at the age of 66. His films reflect a humanism that deals with the search for a national and Latin American identity related to the ideals of peace, harmony and social justice. Two of his works will be shown during the festival: A Successful Man, the first Cuban movie to be nominated for an Oscar, and his short Adela, his last film.

This year's HFFNY premieres films from all genres for all ages ranging from romantic comedies, film noir and political thrillers to the influence of music and controversial issues that play with the long forgotten political and social memories.

HFFNY premieres work of new filmmakers with full length features such as: La Milagrosa (Colombia-Mexico), Audience Award recipient at Huelva Film Festival; La Sangre Brota (Argentina), winner of the Young Critic Award at Cannes Film Festival; Gasolina (Guatemala), winner of Horizontes Latinos Award at San Sebastian Film Festival; Desierto Adentro (Mexico), winner for Best Film in Guadalajara, Mar del Plata and Best Cinematography at Havana Film Festival, Cuba; and Filmefobia (Brazil) Best Film at Brasilia Film Festival.

The Festival will also welcome leading filmmakers who have participated in years past to show their latest work, such as Colombian director Lisandro Duque and his "serious comedy", Los actores del conflicto, the Audience Award recipient at Cartagena Film Festival 2008 and, Jacobo Morales, the legendary Puerto Rican director and actor with his sequel And God Created Them II.

Music and dance are driving forces in films like La Mala, Mare Our Love Story (Brazil), Party Time, a Puerto Rican dance inspired film, posing the great question of life, "Salsa or New Wave?"

HFFNY also provides an exceptional opportunity to see new documentaries from and about Latin America: 1973 Revoluciones por minuto (Chile) based on the play The Last Hours of Salvador Allende, Barefoot Ballet (Brazil), The Golden Age (U.S.A) and Titon de La Habana a Guantanamera by Mirtha Ibarra (Cuba).

The Festival returns to The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sat., April 18th 12:35 pm with Latin American Films For Children featuring La Leyenda de la Nahuala, an animated film from Mexico for ages 5-12.

Panels and Free Events
Running parallel to the screenings, there will be free panels at King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU and Hunter College. These dialogues are conducted by some of the most prominent directors and academics in their respective fields. The panels are: New Views (Nuevas Miradas) at NYU's King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, April 20, 7:00 pm. Tanya Valette, director of the International School of Film and Television (EICTV), will be presenting the following award-winning films from EICTV: After the screening, Ms. Valette, professor and filmmaker Russell Porter and Film London's Chairman, Sandy Lieberson, will talk about the school and what new visions the students are creating for Latin American Cinema. A reception will follow.

Once again, HFFNY will be collaborating with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College for a special showcase of Puerto Rican Cinema. On April 21 at 5 pm at Hunter College's Ida K. Lang Recital Hall, legendary director and actor Jacobo Morales will present the New York premiere his film God Created Them II. At 7:30pm, a panel titled Cinema of Puerto Rico: Challenges and Implications of a Rising Cinema will focus on the significant growth of the Puerto Rican film industry. Participants include filmmakers Jacobo Morales, Lilian Rosado, Pedro Perez Rosado and Juanma Fernandez. Soledad Romero, stage actress and professor at Queens College, CUNY will be the moderator.

HFFNY is bringing the exciting soccer documentary, The Golden Age to Queens Theatre in the Park on April 22nd. At The Bronx Museum of the Arts on April 17th the festival presents the New York premiere of Tengo lo que tenía que tener, a documentary about Cuban singer Xiomara Laugart and, Pinchos y Rolos, a musical about a beautician in Washington Heights -followed by a party with live music. Both events are free and open to the public.

The presenting sponsor of HFFNY 09 is WNBC - Telemundo 47. The Maritime and The Bowery are the Festival's official hotels. Additional sponsorship is provided by TD Bank, El Diario La Prensa, WBAI, The National Arts Club, King Juan Carlos I Center of Spain at NYU, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY), Queens Theatre in the Park, NY Remezcla, LART, AlterNa Latino, CL Lounge, Giovanna's Restaurant, Ill Bucco, Lex Park Studio, Rockmedia, Divino Magazine, and Copacabana Grill.

HFFNY is made possible with public funds from the NYS Council on the Arts, a state agency and supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Mayor Bloomberg's Latin Media and Entertainment Commission (LMEC) supports the festival and it is included in the city's Immigrant Heritage Week.

HFFNY is a project of American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC), a non-profit organization building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba through programs in the arts. The festival is directed by Carole Rosenberg, President of AFLFC, working with an executive committee, advisors, a small devoted staff and dedicated volunteers who make this project possible and sponsors and supporters who believe in its merit.

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