Cuban filmmaking has always been characterised by a high artistic level, while at the same time reflecting the contradictions and problems of the national reality.

The Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV de San Antonio de los Banos (EICTV) is considered one of the most important institutions of its kind in the world. Founded on December 15, 1986, with its founders including Colombian writer and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Argentinean filmmaker Fernando Birri, EICTV is celebrating its 25th. Anniversary this year.

The Havana Film School has played a vital role, over the past quarter century, in developing the best of young Cuban filmmaking talent. The School uses established filmmakers as mentors, capable of transmitting their knowledge and experience of practice and helping to ensure the remarkable artistic standard and social relevance of the students’ work.
This year LLAFF is happy to present a wider retrospective to mark its 25th anniversary.

Subject matter ranges across illegal immigration, bullying, and corruption in the army, Chinese cuisine in Havana, and an extraordinary observational piece on the work of wedding photographers. Must-sees include “Those Who Stay”, based on a riveting interview with a mother who cut contact with her son after the dramatic events at the Peruvian Embassy in Havana in 1980, and has not seen him since, while “Neighbour” develops a basic scenario using an unrelenting audio-visual logic, building into a shattering commentary on the plight of immigrants everywhere. Marvellous stuff.

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