Miami Film Festival Is Taking Obama’s Lead With Tribute to Cuban Cinema

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Miami Film Festival
Courtesy of Miami Film Festival
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It’s not surprising that the Miami International Film Festival would dedicate a special tribute to Cuban cinema. In fact, at least culturally speaking, many are still not entirely clear on whether Miami is part of the United States or Cuba. But there’s something extra special about the upcoming 32nd Miami International Film Festival’s traditional Career Achievement Tribute: it is not for one person, but for the entirety of Cuban independent cinema. Note the word “independent” in the middle, that’s key.

Yes, it seems the folks behind the esteemed celluloid shindig have decided to break with precedent and honor the achievements of an entire movement with five days of screenings and panels starting March 6th. Anyone with their finger on the pulse of the international festival circuit (or who reads the Remezcla film section) knows that Cuban indie cinema has been tearing up top festivals across the world for the last few years, but it seems appropriate that Miami be the first festival to recognize an actual movement brewing on the island.

Front and center in the Tribute will be Carlos M. Quintela’s Tiger Award-winning La obra del siglo (The Project of the Century), which follows the lives of three generations of men living amidst the hulking ruins of an ambitious nuclear reactor that was left incomplete and abandoned by the Cuban government.

Other featured artists will be heavyweight producer Claudia Calviño, who is no stranger to international accolades with films like Juan of the Dead, Melaza and Hotel Nueva Isla under her belt; novelist Jessica Rodríguez, who will be sharing clips from her forthcoming feature debut Espejuelos Oscuros; and up-and-comer Marcel Beltrán who will present his latest narrative short La nube.

In addition, Kiki Álvarez’s latest, Venecia, will be screening out of competition, along with the docs Playing Lecuona, by Cuban director Pavel Giroud and Juan Manuel Villar, and French helmer Léa Rinaldi’s Esto Es Lo Que Hay, about dissident rap pioneers Los Aldeanos.

The Miami Film Festival runs March 6 – 15, 2015. The Project of the Century plays on March 8.