37 years ago in Matanzas, the Vigía Award was handed over, in other words, during the activities of the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, an event awaited by lovers of the seventh art and who had a post in this city.
The surprise of many spectators by the existing tradition and among those who assiduously attended the meeting and the repeated warning of others, this 2018 will close the doors of the Velasco theater cinema centennial and the cinemas of the territory for the premieres that already announce the 40th edition of the most important film event in Cuba. In Matanzas you can only see proposals for documentaries and films from previous editions.
We cannot classify this as an unknown or unknown fact to the majority. Rather, in its latest installments, the Festival in Matanzas showed its vocation to become the chronicle of an announced end, paraphrasing Gabriel García Márquez. For years the difficulties, instability, lack of resources and priority attention to the issue, have contrasted with the pride with which we knew protagonists of the event as a sub-site for more than 35 years.
We have witnessed the efforts of the Provincial Film not let die the branch in Matanzas, the efforts of the organizers, the continuous trips of Mario Rodriguez Naite in “bottle” to Havana to bring from there in a backpack, the most novel cinematographic proposals and that the people living in Matanzas did not miss anything. All this this year, sadly, was left in broken bag.
What is the reason? The non-existence of technology, expensive and capable of supporting modern formats and projecting films, because the world develops, the cinematographic universe also advances, but our teams remain the same.
In previous editions the Provincial Film Directorate rented these devices to individuals in order that the population was not affected, but their prices are increasingly high and currently do not have the resources to finance them. I think it would be more effective in the long term to guarantee a budget capable of financing the projector, which, year after year, we have suffered.
“Hopefully those with future responsibility for this Festival returns to the public of this city and in the last 36 years, have cultural will to consider it part of our audiovisual heritage,” said Mario Rodriguez Naite to Granma newspaper in 2016 It seems that there were deaf ears to his reflection.
Hopefully this is not the final destination of the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Matanzas, given the importance of the Vigía Award, the only prize of the contest that is delivered outside the capital.
It becomes only the painful warning of the irreparable loss, which would mean its permanent disappearance in times when there is so much talk of neoliberal globalization, of standards imposed from all cultural manifestations and of the permanence of banal, but widely disseminated, offers. in the weekly package.
Matanzas cannot afford to keep losing spaces in the culture. The Festival Cubadanzón resists, year after year, before the inexistence of economic funds for its realization. Thanks to the cost of the ones which dance Danzón, who contribute the essential resources of their fatigued pockets, the oldest of the events dedicated to the national dance in the Athens of Cuba has not disappeared.
Culture requires attention that goes beyond the creative and organizational capacity of artists. If we do not set foot on the ground soon these and other cultural offers of value will become a dead letter collected only in the history of one of the cities that exhibited the greatest cultural movement in other decades.