Diana Vargas – Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY)
Q: It´s been a while from the I Edition of your festival, how has it changed through the years?
A: The first year, the festival was a showcase of Cuban films but since its second year HFFNY has been a window for Latin American cinema with a program of classics. Maybe it sounds cliche, but to understand the present you need to look into the past and Latin American cinema has a rich, fruitful history. The program includes also 20 features in competition, awards winning films and many free events in different cultural institutions around the city.
Q: Tell us about some great moments lived at the festival.
A: Each year the festival brings something that we’ll make us smile or roll our eyes for the years to come. However, the most important part is that we always receive emails from the audience telling us how deeply a film touched them or how good was to know of something unknown to them. Directors are also great. They support us, they always want to come back and usually they become friends.
Q: How is the welcoming in NYC?
A: New Yorkers are sophisticated in their taste and always looking for new things. They come to the festival with their eyes open. The response is always amazing. Directors love Q&As because the questions are smart and profound. NY is a place where people are well informed so you can’t present just anything. It has to be of high quality but the last 15 years HFFNY has brought that and our audience trust us.
Q: What are you more excited about this year?
A: We’re paying tribute to Cuban CInema past and present but also we offer a selection of films from Latin America that are very compelling. Stories of immigration form a youth point of view such as La Jaula de Oro from Mexico; stories of feminine redemption such as No Robaras, from Ecuador; stories that constitute the “under worlds” of a place diverse and innescrutable called Latin America, such as Angels & Dust (Panama) or Conducta (Cuba); hilarious films such as Tercera Llamada (Mexico), La Pelicula de Ana (Cuba) or Thrillers like A Wolf at the Door (Brazil). HFFNY has a delegation of 20 directors, actors, producers, parties and many free events.