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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Humberto Solas

He was born in Cuba. He was one of the great filmmakers of revolutionary Cuba. He entered the film industry as a teenager, and made his first short at 18. After taking a film course at Centro Sperimentale de Cinema in Rome, he made a big impression with his 1966 medium-lenght fiction « Manuela », the first of many films dedicated to the Cuban woman. In 1968 his masterpiece « Lucía » won many prizes and brought him international recognition. But the so-called « parametrización » (discredit or persecution of homosexuals and other « anti-socials ») during the early 70’s, prevented him from making more personal films. In the 80s he had a big success with « Cecilia », followed by a big controversy due to his free adaptation (along with this longtime friend and collaborator, editor Nelson Rodríguez, and Norma Torrado, editor of documentalist Santiago Alvarez’ classics « LBJ » and « Now ») of « Cecilia Valdés o La loma del ángel », considered the « national novel » in Cuba. After this scandal, he proved he could make a film on time and under budget with « Amada » (co-directed with Rodríguez) and had another big hit with « Un hombre de éxito », which won first prize in the Havana and Cartagena film festivals. In 1992 he realized an old dream, when he filmed Alejo Carpentier’s epic novel « El siglo de las luces » for French television. He died in 2008.