HUMBERTO SOLAS BORREGO
Humberto Solás Borrego was one of the most representative figures of the Cuban film world and the Spanish speaking movie making cinematography. He was the director of very significant films that were internationally awarded. Among these films we can refer to Lucía, El Siglo de las Luces ( Age of Enlightenment), Cecilia, Un hombre de éxito (A man of success), Barrio Cuba (Neighbor Cuba) and Miel para Oshun ( Honey for Oshun).
He was also a founder of the Organization for the New Latin American Movie. He was awarded the National Film Award due to his meritorious work. Solás was born on December 4th, 1941 in Havana. He got a degree in History at the University of Havana and started working at the Company of Cuban Art and Cinematography Industry in 1960. He had the chance of being the producer and assistant director of several films which allowed him to learn the job of the cinematography understanding.
He was the co-director of two short movies Variaciones (Variations) and Minerva traduce el mar (Minerva translates the sea) the last one inspired by a poem of Jose Lezama Lima. He made El retrato (The portrait) based on the homonymous story of the Cuban writer Aristides Fernandez the following year.
He travelled to Europe when he was 23 and was aware of the need of a new artistic rapprochement to the Latin-American and Cuban reality. His medium-length movie made in 19966 that was called Manuela was an illustration of that.
Solás was influenced by the Italian neorealism and gave the leading role to Adela Legrá. She was not a professional actress but played the part of a guerrilla girl in a very sincere and fresh way. He directed his first full length film called Lucia in 1968. It was considered one of the ten more important films of the Latin American movie history.
The film was organized in three stories, played by female leading roles. A historical line was drawn which started in the colonial times in Cuba and the war of independence of 1895 and continued with the fight against Gerardo Machado dictatorship. It ended in the times of the Cuban Revolution after 1959.
Solas also directed other outstanding films which were very famous in our country and were awarded in festivals and other cinematographic events as well as having good specialized reviews. He founded and directed the Festival Internacional del Cine Pobre (International Poor Movie Festival) until his dead. That was a project with the purpose of motivating and promoting a creative and under budget movie, away from the dominating business of the international cinematography. Solas died in Havana on September 18th, 2008.
It is an organization for Latin American and Caribbean filmmakers. The first meeting of Latin American Filmmakers took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was during the first Congress of Independent Latin American Filmmakers held in 1958. The Organization of Latin American Independent Filmmakers Asociación Latinoamericana de Cineastas Independientes (ALACI), was created at that time.The Latin American cinematography was moving into the 60´swith a strong tendency to political ideas and social conflicts. The Argentinean Fernando Birri, the Brazilian, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos and the Cubans Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Julio García Espinosa were the pioneers in making this kind of films. .
It is annually awarded by the Ministerio de Cultura( Ministry of Culture) and the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos ( Company of Cuban Art and Cinematography Industry and was established in 2003.It is awarded to honor the work of directors, actors and actresses, screenwriters, musicians or, Cuban photographers , who are alive and living in Cuba and have add outstanding ideas to the cinematographic development of the country.
It was founded three months after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1st, 1959. It is the most important production company of full length films, documentaries and animated films of the country.
It is in charge of the Cinematheque, Movie library, Movie Festivals, the national and international promotion and distribution of the Cuban movie.
The International Poor Movie Festival which is hold in Givara is a popular event in the field of alternative movie. It is carried out in the city of Givara and was celebrated for the first time in April 2003. It emerged with the aim of inspiring a legitimate, performer and moving movie. It should also be highly aesthetic and ethical, humble in its process, in favor of the interaction with dissimilar communities and not involved in any project of cultural elitism.