April 13, 2017In person and on film, musician/composer Chucho Valdés was a fixture of this year’s Havana Film Festival New York, as Cuban films took many top Havana Star Prizes. Nadine Covert has the wrap-up on the 18th HFFNY.
February 11, 2017
March 31, 2016Close to 20 Cuban productions and co-productions anchor an ambitious schedule of features, documentaries, and short subjects from Latin America and the Caribbean. Entries from the island range from film noir to children’s animation, plus tributes to Isabel Santos, Enrique Molina, and Titón—and a sneak preview of Viva.
August 20, 2015Celebrated Cuban actress Alina Rodríguez died on July 27, at age 63, of pancreatic cancer. One of the most distinguished stars of Cuban stage and screen, she was beloved for her versatile talent and her nobility of spirit. Her final role as the stern but loving teacher, Carmela, in the movie Conducta (Ernesto Daranas, 2014), earned her international renown and multiple awards.
September 18, 2014Alumbrones, a documentary by South African filmmaker Bruce Donnelly, opened in New York last Friday for a one-week run. Twelve artists—male and female, ranging in age from 18 to 65, of varying social and cultural backgrounds—eloquently discuss the importance of art in their lives, their styles and techniques, their philosophy of life, and their love of Cuba.
March 03, 2014
February 25, 2014For three years, filmmaker Mary Jane Doherty followed a secondary-school class at Havana’s famed National School of Ballet. In an e-mail interview with Nadine Covert, she talks about the filmmaking process, her immersion in the world of Cuban ballet students, and the unexpected twists that her story took.
October 12, 2013
August 22, 2013Look out, Carlos Acosta—there’s a new Cuban star on the ballet horizon. A two-part video (14 minutes total) introduces Osiel Gounud, among the youngest-ever principal male dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba. And a third video, less than 2 minutes, offers a quick glimpse of this exciting bailarín in performance.
July 04, 2013Company HavanaBama, a collaboration between Cuba’s National Office of Scenic Arts (CNAE) and the University of Alabama, has crafted a bilingual rock musical based on Euripides classic tale of narcissism and the redemptive power of love. First stop, Tuscaloosa—then Off-Broadway and Havana.
May 28, 2013The documentary Rebel, which aired on public television last week, reveals the little-known story of Loreta Janeta Velázquez (1842-c. 1902), the daughter of a wealthy Cuban family who disguised herself as a man and fought in the U.S. Civil War as a Confederate soldier. The film’s director, María Agui Carter, talks about her research for the documentary with Cuban Art News.
May 23, 2013Who was Loreta Janeta Velázquez? In her documentary Rebel, filmmaker María Agui Carter explores the astonishing story of this pampered daughter of a wealthy Cuban family who disguised herself as a man and fought in the American Civil War. Was Loreta a historical figure, or a fictional character? Recent research indicates that she did indeed exist.
January 31, 2013Next week, a documentary about three young dancers at Havana’s National Ballet School has its North American premiere at the Dance on Camera festival at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center. Cuban Art News caught up with director Sylvie Collier for a quick e-mail chat about the film, To Dance Like A Man.
January 04, 2013You may not know his name, but if you’ve been to the movies in the past 40 years, you’ve seen his work. Cuban-American designer and animator Pablo Ferro created the opening title sequences and trailers for dozens of award-winning movies, from Dr. Strangelove to Good Will Hunting. Director Richard Goldgewicht discusses his film about designer-animator Pablo Ferro.
October 11, 2012The 2012 edition of Phot’Aix, the annual French photography exhibition, features five Cuban photographers—Adonis Flores, Adrian Fernández Milanes, Aimée García Marrero, Jorge Otero, and René Peña—whose photographs are presented in dialogue with works by five photographers from the Aix-en-Provence region.
August 23, 2012In 1998, the University of Miami brought together its many archives about Cuba and the global Cuban diaspora to form the Cuban Heritage Collection. For scholars and researchers, the actual books and objects are indispensable resources in their work. For the rest of us, there’s an immense amount of enticing material—photos, postcards, cigar boxes, letters, online exhibitions, and more—easily accessible online, with the promise of more to come.
July 17, 2012Anyone who has visited La Habana Vieja has seen the work of Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, the Historian of the City of Havana. A crucial figure in the rescue and restoration of the city’s architectural patrimony, Dr. Spengler recently visited New York and Washington, D.C., where he talked about his ongoing work with packed crowds of urbanists, architects, and interested city-dwellers.
April 18, 2012Feature films usually grab the spotlight at festivals. But this year’s Havana Film Festival New York is showcasing an exceptionally rich selection of documentary films about Cuban life and culture, all made within the past two years. Documentary film expert Nadine Covert surveys the top picks, including films screening today, tonight, and tomorrow.