The idea of creating this festival started in 2007, during the months Andrea Zapata-Girau lived in Havana. There she met different Cuban filmmakers, actors, employees from the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and film students from the EICTV and ISA, and she realized what a big role cinema played in Cuba and what a great film education Cubans had. She thought it would be great to take a piece of all that to Tampere (Finland), where she lived since 2005. Once she returned to Finland, she gather a small group of friends (producers Outi Yli-Viikari and Hannaleena Hauru and film critic Guido Segal) and they managed to get two grants from the Finnish Council of Arts and the City of Tampere and to get the logistic support of Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Pirkanma Elokuvakeskus. Soon, they started working tight with the ICAIC to put this festival together.
The festival took place in November 2008 at Niagara cinema and Telakka theater. Most of the films had never been screened in Finland before. Each screenings included a presentation by one of the guests, a short film, a feature film and a debate. The program gave a wide picture of Cuban film history, with films from the 1960's to now a days, feature films, documentaries and short films, different genres and a balance between the most legendary directors and the new film makers. The festival guests were film critic Velipekka Makkonen, Cuban producer Derubín Jácome, Cuban wardrobe designer Diana Fernández, Argentinean film critic Guido Segal (FAC) and Cuban musicians Alejandro Gutiérrez (Habana Abierta), Boris Larramendi and Nam-Sang Fong. Each of the night, there was a concert.
During the festival, there were other activities such as an exhibition of movie posters by Cuban graphic designer Muñoz Bachs, lectures on Cuban film history, Cuban food and a radio program broadcasted on Radio Moreeni where Finnish social scientists Jussi Vähämäki, Pekka Valtonen, Juha Suoranta, Tere Vadén, Antti Salminen and Mikko Niemelä, and Chilean political activist Hugo Marchant talked about the idea "What is a Revolution?/Mikä on Valankomous?".
The films screened during the festival were:
"Soy Cuba" (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964), "La Vida es Silbar" (Fernando Pérez, 2000), "Memorias del Subdesarrollo" (Gutiérrez Alea, 1968), "Un Hombre de Éxito" (Humberto Solás, 1985), "Habana Blues" (Benito Zambrano, 2006), "Fresa y Chocolate" (Gutiérrez Alea,1984), Habana Blues (Benito Zambrano, 2005).
"Hombres Sobre Cubierta" (Alejandro Ramírez y Ernesto Pérez, 2008), "El Telón de Azúcar" (Camila Guzmán, 2007), "Newsreel49" (Noticiero del ICAIC, 1960), "Por Primera Vez" (Octavio Cortázar, 1967), "Estética" (Enrique Colina, 1984), "Nostalgias del Cha Cha Cha" (Miguel Torres, 1991), "Buscando a Chano Pozo" (Mayra Vilasís, 1987), "Las Manos y el Ángel" (Esteban Insausti, 2002), "Una Mirada Amistosa" (1989), "La Gloria City" (1980).
"Vampiros en La Habana" (Juan Padrón, 1985), "Elpidio Valdés" (Juan Padrón, 1979).
Fiction short films:
Black Dolly (Juan Carlos Tabío, 1986).
Season on "Santiago Álvarez":
Now!" (1965), "Hanoi Martes 13" (1967), "79 Springs" (1969), "Ciclón"(1963).
Selection of Cuban short films from Lens Politica Festival:
"DeGeneración" (Aram Vidal / doc. / 2006), "Cómo Construir un Barco"(Susana Barriga / doc. / 2007), "Extravío" (Daniellis Hernández/ doc. / 2007), "El lápiz" (Ulises de Jesús Ramos/ Anim./ 2005), "El propietario" (Ernesto Piña/ Anim./ DVD/ 2007), Flash Forward (Arturo Infante/ Fic./ 2005).
Director: Andrea Zapata-Girau
Content director: Guido Segal
Executive producers: Outi Yli-Viikari & Hannaleena Hauru
Technical producer: Tapani Hieddaniemi
Web and graphic design: KOHU - Kimmo Hokkanen
Radio speeches coordinator: Lasse Poser
Production assistants: Riikka Kuoppala, Natxa Pomar, Yolanda Soler & Markus Petz
Film reviews: Danae C. Diéguez
Interpreters: Simón Riestra Aedo & Pekka Valtonen
With the collaboration of: