Successful Swiss film week in Havana, Cuba
In Cuba’s capital Havana, the “Muestra de cine Suizo” series,” which presented 7 Swiss films and sold 5,500 tickets, ended successfully with the screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Our Music.” For the first time in the history of the 26-year-old festival, a window on Swiss production had been opened with this extraordinary event. As most showings were sold out, the Swiss films will be screened repeatedly during the remainder of the festival. Favorites among the audience were Peter Luisi’s mad comedy “Why We Try,” which caused great laughter, while Fredi Murer’s “Full Moon” won over the Cubans’ hearts and received frenetic applause.Taking part in the competition at the most important festival of Latin American cinema, is the Swiss production “Memoria del saqueo” by Argentinian Fernando Solanas, which is said to have a fair shot at winning the prize for Best Documentary. The film “Nocaut” by Stefano Knuchel and Ivan Nurchis, which features Cuba’s fascination with boxing, is presented in the “Hecho en Cuba” section.
This year’s Swiss presence in Cuba received much attention with the media. One of the major highlights for the Swiss film delegation was a visit to the International School of Film and Television San Antonio de los Baños, which receives exemplary support by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), along with a meeting with the president of the school, Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Marquez spoke very favorably of Switzerland’s cultural engagement for countries of the Southern hemisphere. Based on her presentation, films such as Ursula Meier’s “Strong Shoulders” were invited to additional film festivals, while Fredi Murer will guest lecture at the School of Film and Television. Also, Peter Liechti’s willful portrait film “Signer’s Suitcase” has become part of the training program at the Havana Art Academy. Three Swiss films will remain in Cuba and be shown in movie theatres across the country. This cultural exchange was made possible thanks to the cooperation with the Havana Film Festival along with contributions of the Swiss Federal Office for Cultural Affairs (FOC), the SDC, SWISS FILMS, and the trigon-film foundation. In the past, trigon-film has successfully distributed Cuban films in Switzerland and has now organized the Swiss series for this event in Havana.
Zurich, December 13, 2004