| 01/07/2013 | 0 Comments

"Digital Technology Makes its Mark in Cuba"

Through the use of digital technology, filmmakers in Cuba have found a way to liberate their stories and their voices.  Over the last decade, there has been a boom in digital features, shorts, and documentaries from hundreds of brave Cuban filmmakers who are working outside the state governing system that has defined Cuban cinema for much of the Castro era. Despite the fact that the state still carefully controls national press, television, radio and internet access, independent films have become a new means of artistic expression and are finding an audience.

With a little help from friends, inexpensive equipment, and a personal story to tell, the Cuban independent movie industry is being born. But while Cuban films dominate the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, filmmakers still struggle to get their work seen. The local film institute controls Cuba’s theaters and internet access remains rare, too expensive and too slow to download movies. Filmmaker Karel Ducasse made 500 copies of his 2007 documentary Zone of Silence, about censorship, to sell and hand out at festivals. “The state has become afraid of digital media,” he said. “They know anything can be passed around the island.”

Despite the inherent challenges, small production companies have sprung up in recent years and offer camera rental services and help with permits and logistics. Filmmakers are also beginning a hopeful dialog about introducing rebates and putting mechanisms in place to help support this new industry.

Photo credit: twicepix / Foter / CC BY-SA

NYTRead the article at The New York Times


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