I owe my training as a filmmaker to the documentary. It was through this genre that I developed my knowledge of film language. To participate today in the jury of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and to share cinema with the Japanese audience, at this time which is so difficult for Japan, will be for me not only a disturbing professional and artistic experience, but also a human one.
Fernando Pérez graduated from the University of Havana with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature. He began working at Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) in 1962 as an assistant director and went on to direct more than 20 documentaries between 1974 and 1984.
His feature debut was Clandestinos (1987), which won the prize for first film at the Festival of New Latin American Cinema and the prize for best film at the Festival of Cartagena. His subsequent films, Hello, Hemingway (1990), Madagascar (1994), La vida es silbar (1998), Madrigal (2006), and Jose Martí: El ojo del canario (2010), have also received numerous awards.
His book Corresponsales de guerra (War Correspondents) was awarded the Casa de las Américas prize in 1982 in the genre of testimony, and was published the same year. Since its founding, he has taught at the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños, established by Gabriel García Márquez. He was chosen most outstanding Cuban filmmaker of the 1990s by the Cuban Association of Film Critics. In 2007, he received the National Award for Cinematography in Cuba.
Havana SuiteSuite Habana
CUBA, SPAIN / 2003 / Spanish / Color / 35mm / 84 min
Director, Script: Fernando Pérez
Photography: Raul Pérez Ureta
Editing: Julia Yip
Sound: Jorge Luis Chijona
Music: Edesio Alejandro, Ernesto Cisneros
Producers: Jose Maria Morales, Camilo Vives
Production Company: ICAIC, Wandavision Production
World Sales: Wandavision
From a rainy dawn to morning, then to day and then night . . . Images and music sweep this lyrical cine-poem along at a leisurely pace, just like the mundane everyday rhythms in the lives of 12 Havana-ites. A plaza after the rain, the toil of work, family moments, birds taking flight, a child’s smile, the love for art, the bent back of an old woman. Including an episode of an emigrating man, the film fills this day of everyday life with a rich breadth of human emotions and captures sacred moments that shine amid the modesty of the subjects’ lives.