Inside The Havana Film Festival NY Opening Night


The 21st Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) kicked off on Friday, November 5th at The Village East Cinema with the New York premiere of El Olvido Que Seremos by Oscar-award-winning director Fernando Trueba. The film, based on the eponymous novel Memories of My Father, tells the story of Héctor Abad Gómez, author Hector Abad Faciolince’s father, a renowned doctor and human rights activist in the violent 1970s city of Medellin. Following the premiere, Faciolince held a Q&A moderated by Fernando Travesi, Executive Director, International Center for Transitional Justice.

HFFNY’s Carole Rosenberg, President, American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC), and Diana Vargas, Artistic Director, were joined by VIPs from all around Latin America including: Susana Berenguer, Consulate General of Colombia in New York, Ronaldo Enrique Madrigal, Consul General of Costa Rica in New York, Pedro Luis Pedroso, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, and Cora Cabada de Oliveira, Cultural Affairs Coordinator for Consulate General of Spain. Stars from the films being featured at HFFNY 2021 were also in attendance including Jely Reategui, Kika Child and Maite Bonilla.

The evening concluded with an Opening Night party, featuring Cuban piano phenom Dayramir González with singer and artist Willard Morgan. Special guests included actors Soraya Padrao and Rickard Claeson, directors Miguel Rueda, Trueba and Julian Troksberg and Faciolince.

HFFNY 2021 is running from November 5 through November 11, with 33 films being shown, many of which are US or New York premieres. Featured films include 90 Minutos / 90 Minutes, Havana, From On High, and Giselle. The HFFNY 2021 Centerpiece film is A Media Voz / In a Whisper, directed by Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez. Each evening of the festival featured various Q&A’s with the stars and directors of the films, including: Mambo Man star Héctor Noas, La Ciudad de las Fieras / The City of Wild Beasts director Henry Rincón, and 1991 director Sergio Ramirez.



The New York Exclusive by Columnist, Tony Bowles

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