HGFF 2019 programme of events


Welcome to our 5th Havana Glasgow Film Festival!

Twinned in 2002, our two vibrant cities share a richness of culture and identity that we invite you to celebrate with film, dance, music, food, social events and discussions. This year, our theme ‘Film Can Change the World’ focuses on two iconic filmmakers – Tomás GutiérrezAlea and Jorge Perugorría – whose radical films helped to shift societal attitudes. Join us and our special guests from Cuba at HGFF19 – your #passporttocuba– Eirene Houston & Hugo Rivalta, Festival Directors


24 – Oct – Thu


A Cuban Food Revolution

18:00 -20:00 Kinning Park Complex

In partnership with Küche and Glasgow based Cuban cook Dani Acosta, join us for a community meal, sharing Cuban food, its flavours, politics and history. Speakers screenwriter Hugo Rivalta and academic Helen Yaffe will draw upon personal experiences of Cuban food and how the complex Cuban plate has formed since the revolution of 1959 – following the collapse of the soviet union, the food crisis, trade embargo, an energy revolution and community farming, as well as a nation’s genuine love for both eating and feeding.

02 – Nov – Sat

Exhibition Opening: Como Veo Cuba/ As I See Cuba 

roberto_chile_glasgow_Dougie Souness

13:00 – 15:00 Trongate 103

Photography exhibition celebrating 500 years of Havana, from the personal perspectives of Roberto Chile (Havana) and Dougie Souness (Glasgow).

03 – Nov – Sun


HGFF Launch Party with Tumbao Salsa School

18:30-23:30 Boteca

Join HGFF 19 at this Special Salsa Party at the exotic Boteco do Brasil, to launch our 5th edition of Havana Glasgow Film Festival.

06 – Nov – Wed


Sencillamente Korda / Simply Korda 

Roberto Chile / 2011 / Documentary / N/C / 25mins

18:30-20:30 Unite Office

Roberto Chile presents his documentary film on Alberto Korda, (1928-2001) a chronicler of the Cuban Revolution until the late 60s and who, on March 5, 1960, took the photograph which immortalized the face of Ernesto Che Guevara. The documentary is based on an unpublished interview Chile made with Korda six months before he died (in May 2001), in which the photographer tells how he first met the guerrilla icon.

08 – Nov – Fri


Cuban Music Video Production – Behind the Scenes

18:00-21:00 Refuweegee

Havana-born Alejandro Valera has directed music videos for some of Cuba’s top salsa bands and has just finished his first documentary film – De Vuelta al Barrio / Back to the Neighbourhood – which has its world premiere at HGFF19. Join him for an exciting session where he will screen some of his favourite work, discuss production techniques and lead practical exercises which reveal the processes he uses. For everyone interested in filmmaking, Cuban culture and/or salsa music and dance. Aimed at 18-30yr olds, but open to all.

09 – Nov – Sat


Children’s Salsa with Tumbao Salsa School

13:30-14:30 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Bring the family along and dance to energetic Cuban rhythms at our well-loved annual dance workshop for all ages. Drop in – no booking needed.

09 – Nov – Sat


Talk: Film Can Change the World 

16:00-18:00 Refuweegee

A talk by Glaswegian music and film journalist Brian Beadie, followed by discussion. Brian will trace the history of radical film from the 20s until the present, looking at the legacy of filmmakers such as Harun Farocki and Santiago Alvarez. 

10 – Nov – Sun

Workshop: DOCMA Filmmaking Challenge


13:30-15:30 Refuweegee

A DOCMA is a 5-minute documentary film made by 5 filmmakers in 5 different documentary styles. The process is designed to get our creative juices flowing. No experience necessary.

10 – Nov – Sun

Talk/Workshop: Screenwriting – a Cuban perspective


16:00-18:00 Refuweegee

A unique chance to learn about the filmmaking industry in Cuba, from the perspective of professional screenwriter Hugo Rivalta (also Co-Director of HGFF)


12 – Nov – Tue


Fátima o El Parque de la Fraternidad / Fatima of Fraternity Park 

Jorge Perugorría / 2015 / Fiction / 18 / 90mins

18:15-20:15 GFT In collaboration with Africa in Motion

Based on a story by Miguel Barnet, Fatima tells the tale of a young queer Cuban known as Manolito (Carlos Enrique Almirante) who moves to the capital after spending their early life in a small provincial town. In Havana, they meet and fall in love with “Vaselina” (Tomás Cao), who encourages them to start a new life as a trans woman and sex worker, where they become Fátima, Queen of the Night. The first film directed by acclaimed Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría (star of Fresa y Chocolate), Fatima was screened at Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, 2016. This screening will be introduced by Mirtha Ibarra, who plays herself in the film.

13 – Nov – Wed


Habanastation / Havana Station – School Screening

10:10-12:00 CCA Cinema

Ian Padron / 2011 / Fiction / N/C / 95mins

Tracing the lives of two Cuban classmates from different upbringings, Habanastation tells the story of how a privileged student, Mayito, blindly enters into the dangers of Carlos’s neighborhood, La Timba. What follows is an unforgettable journey full of discovery and the formation of a strong friendship. Followed by Q + A by Julie Valdes from ICAIC (Cuban Film Institute)

13 – Nov – Wed

Camera Chica Glasgow  – invite only


13:00-14:30 CCA Cinema

Screening and presentation of new short films by Glasgow schoolchildren

Camera Chica is a community-based film education programme, developed in Cuba. After a visit and screening last year from the Cuban group, HGFF, in partnership with the International Schools Department of GCC, devised Camera Chica Glasgow to strengthen and extend the links between Glasgow and its twin city Havana. This year we have worked with four Glasgow primary schools and one secondary school in areas where inclusion and diversity are at the forefront of teaching and learning, offering children an opportunity to learn basic filmmaking techniques and develop narratives relating to their communities. The children are excited to be presenting their films in a cinema for the first time. These films will then be shown in Cuba when HGFF goes to Cuba!

13 – Nov – Wed

Meet our Cuban Guests 


17.30-19:00 CCA Saramago Bar

Join us to welcome our Cuban guests to Glasgow and hear a fascinating informal talk by Julie Valdes from ICAIC (The Cuban Film Institute) about the History of Cuban Cinema on the 60th anniversary of ICAIC. Complimentary drink and snacks provided (ticket holders only).

13 – Nov – Wed

19.30-21:30 CCA Cinema


Classic and new Cuban Shorts  

Classic Short and Short films from world-renowned International Cuban Film School (EICTV) + Panel discussion on challenges for film / art students post-graduation

14 – Nov – Thu


Habanastation / Havana Station – School Screening

Ian Padron / 2011 / Fiction / N/C / 95mins


Tracing the lives of two Cuban classmates from different upbringings, Habanastation tells the story of how a privileged student, Mayito, blindly enters into the dangers of Carlos’s neighborhood, La Timba. What follows is an unforgettable journey full of discovery and the formation of a strong friendship. Followed by Q + A by Julie Valdes from ICAIC (Cuban Film Institute)

14 – Nov – Thu


Civic Reception (by invitation)

18:00-19:30 City Chambers

Celebrating the twin cities of Havana and Glasgow

14 – Nov – Thu


Fresa y Chocolate / Strawberry and Chocolate 25th Anniversary

Q&A Stars Mirtha Ibarra, Vladimir Cruz

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea / 1994 / Fiction / 18 / 108mins

20:15-22:45 GFT

This Oscar-nominated groundbreaking film tells the story of two men – one gay, the other straight, one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist, one suspicious, the other accepting – and how they come to respect each other.

15 – Nov – Fri

Old Reel Entertainment Retro Cinema Movie Film

Lecture by Glasgow School of Art 

11:00-13:00 GFT

Our annual GSA lecture on Cuban culture

15 – Nov –  Fri 


Cuban Social

17:00-18:00 CCA Saramago Bar

Get into the Cuban vibe before our evening films with live Cuban music. Complimentary drinks courtesy of Caledonia Worldwide (evening ticket holders only).

15 – Nov – Fri


De Vuelta Al Barrio / Back to the Neighbourhood – World Premiere

Alejandro Valera Losa / 2019 / Documentary / 16+ / 80mins

18:15-19:55  CCA Cinema

Acclaimed Cuban salsa band El Niño y La Verdad return to their roots in the barrios of Havana to find inspiration for their latest album. Followed by a Q + A with Director Alejandro Valera

15 – Nov – Fri


Se Vende / For Sale

Jorge Perugorría /2012 / Fiction / N/C 18+/ 95mins

20.15 – 22:00 CCA Cinema

A dark comedy about contemporary Cuba, where people are forced to go to extreme measures to make a living.

16 – Nov – Sat


Workshop: Make and play your own Cuban instrument – for families

10:00-11:30 CCA Theatre

Inspired by footage from the 1950s Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez of people making and playing their own instruments from household objects and scrap materials, you will work with Glasgow-based musician Alan Bryden to make instruments out of recycled materials and create a group soundscape based on Cuban rhythms. Parents will be expected to stay with and help their children for the whole session. Aimed at 3-5 yr olds.

16 – Nov – Sat



Lourdes Prieto / 2015 / Doc / 12 / 44mins

11.30-12.30 CCA Cinema

Our special guest at HGFF19, Mirtha Ibarra is one of Cuba’s greatest and best-loved actors. Her humanity, wit, intelligence and humour shine through in this warm and intimate portrait.

16 – Nov – Sat


DOCMA Challenge Screening 

12:30-13:30 CCA Theatre

Screening and feedback session of the short documentary films made as part of the DOCMA filmmaking challenge. Screening open to all.

 16 – Nov – Sat

Titon y Mirta Ibarra_800

Titón: De La Habana a Guantanamera

Mirtha Ibarra / 2008 / Documentary / 15 / 90mins

15:30-17:30 CCA Cinema

A documentary about revolutionary filmmaker Tomas Alea – known as Titón – written and directed by actor Mirtha Ibarra, his widow, and wife of 23 years. Titón talks about his films, his cinematic approach and life in Cuba. Includes interviews with directors, writers and actors who worked with Titón. Followed by an audience with Mirtha Ibarra, a rare treat.

16 – Nov – Sat

Hasta_cierto_punto_II_800 x 450

Hasta Cierto Punto / Up to a Certain Point 

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea /1985 / Fiction / 68mins

18.30 -20.10pm CCA Cinema

A clever, self-reflective satire about the battle of the sexes in contemporary Cuba. Oscar, an educated, liberal filmmaker who, in doing research for a film about the social problem of machismo in Cuban society, finds himself falling in love with the sassy, liberated Lina, a sassy, liberated, pioneering female dockworker. What starts out as a funny and tender love story causes chaos as Oscar finds he can’t choose between his wife and his new lover. A film which shows the conflict between ingrained machismo and the idealized image of liberated women under communism. Followed by a panel discussion focusing on gender equality – the ideals vs the reality in Cuba and Scotland.

16 – Nov – Sat


La Muerte de un Burócrata / Death of a Bureaucrat

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea / 1966 / Fiction / 85mins

20.30- 22.00 CCA Cinema

La Muerte de un Burócrata is a 1966 comedy film by Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea which pokes fun at Communist bureaucracy and red tape and how it affects the lives of common people – who have to waste time and overcome hurdles just to get on with their ordinary lives.

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