Colombian films Wasting Time (Alexander Giraldo) and A Matter of Land (Patricia Ayala) are among eighteen Latin American films which will compete to win the Havana Star Prize for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay, as well as that for Best Documentary at the 16th Havana Film Festival in New York, which this year is taking place between April 9 and 17.
Wasting Time is a fictional story centred around five unconnected people with simple lives, all brought together by the same theme – being unhappy because of wasted time in their pasts. Documentary A Matter of Land deals with the Victims and Land Restitution Law which reduces from 10 years to one year the time which people who have been displaced by the armed conflict have to wait to regain their properties.
Other countries which have submitted entries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. The awards will be announced on the festival’s final night, April 17, at the Directors Guild Theatre. The jury includes film producer and director of Festival International del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de la Habana, Ivan Giroud, and other important figures from Latin American culture and the film industry.
The festival is recognised as an opportunity to share Latin American culture with the United States – all of the competing films reflect themes of strong cultural and social identities within both the Latin American community and the wider American society.