This year’s Minnesota Cuba Film Festival (MCFF) festival takes place at the MainTheater six consecutive Wednesdays, March 1-April 5, 2023.
MCFF features films that address the achievements and challenges of the Cuban people through the eyes of its filmmakers. The festival highlights diverse and challenging films of social change, human struggle and the boldness of the human spirit.
Film Festival organizers say the festival gives Minnesotans a chance to learn about and appreciate Cuban films and culture, and to people of the onerous burden that the US blockade inflicts on the Cuban people.
In spite of ongoing economic challenges and the US blockade, Cuba shows the way forward with its medical research, environmental sustainability, and the new progressive Family Code.
The 14th. Minnesota Cuban Film Festival, the event is organized by the Minnesota Cuba Committee, with the collaboration of MSP Film Society, and ICAIC (Cuban Film Institute)
For more information on the film festival visit https://www.mspfilm.org/minnesota-cuban-filmfestival/
Vicenta B (Drama) Vicenta B is a respected “santera” in Havana, who has the gift of clairvoyance, lives harmoniously with her only son until he decides to leave the country. While her business thrives, she hopes that her son continues the family tradition of helping others. But he decides to emigrate and Vicenta finds herself in a crisis of faith and loses her gift.
Habana Selfies (Comedy) Two men compete for the affection of a woman in a taxi. An employee of an airport who intends to travel to Rome becomes a loving counselor. Three actors working in the kitchen of a restaurant await the arrival of a film director. A theater instructor and an aspiring actor get caught in a blackout. A young French woman does not stop dreaming before her plane lands in Havana. María Victoria de Las Tunas, confuses a man with a famous actor and kisses him in the light of an eclipse. Six love stories in Havana of the 21st century. The film's plot includes human dramas crossed by love, eroticism and social and spiritual conflicts
Cuba’s Life Task – Combatting Climate Change (Documentary) As a small Caribbean island, Cuba is disproportionately affected by climate change through extreme weather events. Up to 10% of Cuban territory could be submerged by the end of the century, wiping out coastal towns, polluting water supplies, destroying agricultural lands and forcing one million people to relocate. Finding solutions is now essential. In this documentary, Dr Helen Yaffe goes to Cuba to find out about ‘Tarea Vida’ (Life Task), a long-term state plan to protect the population, environment and the economy from climate change. The Cuban approach combines environmental science, natural solutions and community participation in strategies for adaptation and mitigation.
Chico and Rita (animation, musical) This beautifully designed 1940s-set animation about Cuban jazz musicians who head from Havana to New York is a wonderfully passionate film. Sexy, sunny and sweet-natured, this lovely animation love story is set in the nightclubs of Havana and New York. Rita is a beautiful Cuban singer who has to scrape a living; Chico is a talented, underemployed pianist thunderstruck with love for Rita when she meanders on stage for a solo. Their passionate affair and professional partnership is endangered when a smooth-talking Yankee impresario tells Rita he can take her to showbiz glory in New York, but has no interest in lover-boy Chico coming along as well. The great names of both Cuban and American jazz are invoked, and Chico and Rita's tragicomic love story meshes very pleasingly with this musical backdrop. There is heartbreak, but a happy ending.
Bongó Itá (Documentary) This film offers a rare close-up of the Ecoria Enyéne Idia Abakuá religious-mutualist society, founded by black slaves in 1836. Cuba is the only country where the Abakuá secret society is present. The practices of the Abakuá groups or powers, exclusively for men, only developed in Havana, Cárdenas and Matanzas, where they adapted to a hostile environment and survived to this day. The documentary reveals the Abakuá reality through the various points of view of members of the cult, who argue about their influence on current Cuban society, while showing the generational differences in their membership.
Cuentos de un día más (Tales of one more day) (Fiction) Under the guidance of Fernando Pérez, an award-winner filmmaker, who was in charge of coordinating six stories, we can find different narratives that show from fiction the common reality lived by millions of Cubans in more than a year of confinement, suffering, quagmire and crisis due to the COVID 19. Perhaps “Cuentos de una día más” has been one of the few happy moments in all this time of coexistence with the coronavirus, not only for bringing together the talent of seven creators at the head of six work teams (one for each story), but also for show us how much talent exists in Cuban cinema made by young filmmakers.
Niño Rivera - Cuerdas de Oro (Golden Strings) (Documentary) Andrés Echevarría Callava, better known as “Niño Rivera,” was a renowned Cuban “tres” player, songwriter and arranger. Early in his career he played with the Sexteto Boloña and Sexteto Bolero, before forming his own band in 1942. His music was based on popular Cuban forms such as the son montuno and the chachachá, often with notable jazz influences. Rivera became part of the nascent “filin” movement and started working as a composer/arranger. This documentary was produced by his daughter Gloria “Niña” Rivera, a well-known Cuban singer based in Minnesota performing with “Salsa del Soul”.
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