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The Cinema of Small Nations$
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Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625369

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625369.001.0001

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(p.179) 10. Cuba
The Cinema of Small Nations

Mette Hjort

Duncan Petrie

Edinburgh University Press

For a small nation Cuba has been a major player in the context of the Caribbean region. Following the 1959 revolution Cuban cinema emerged at the forefront of cultural production, facilitated by the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC), the first organisation of its kind in Latin America. For thirty years it played a key role, both nationally where it provided the resources for Cuban film-makers, and in relation to the pan-continental New Latin American cinema movement. Beyond the institute alternative Cuban cinemas also emerged, some funded by bodies such as the Radio and Television Institute and even the armed forces. Amateur production, linked to regional cultural centres, also became significant in the 1980s. Even more important has been the Cuban International Film and Television School (EICTV), inaugurated in 1986 as part of they New Latin American Cinema Movement, which became an important laboratory for innovation and experiment. The cultural field in Cuba changed in the 1990s following the end of the cold war, leading to a reduction in local production. But it has also generated new kinds of cinematic engagement through allegories of disconnectedness, and low and no-budget film-making utilising new technologies, leading to a more porous national cinema in Cuba.

Keywords:   Cuban cinema, ICAIC, New Latin American Cinema, EICTV, low and no budget production

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