Brussels, December 8, 2017 (SIGNIS). This Friday, December 8, begins the 39th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, Cuba. As every year since 1984, a SIGNIS Jury will give its prize to a film from the official section of the Festival.

In this trajectory of prizes, which began with a jury of the International Catholic Film Organization (OCIC), the OCIC Prize stands out in 1987, for the co-production of Chile and Spain, In the name of God by director Patricio Guzmán. We can also highlight the OCIC award in 1993 to the Cuban feature film Strawberry and Chocolate, co-directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío.

In the last edition of the Festival, the SIGNIS Award went to Aquarius (2016), by Kleber Mendoça Filho, a co-production of Brazil and France.

The jury decided to award this film “because it tells the story of a woman fighting with dignity on behalf of her sense of belonging to a space representing her memory and roots. She also opposes with sensibility and determination the economic game of capitalism in Latin America'. The jury also notes 'its masterly care for every cinematic detail, its excellent direction, production design and performances.”

In 2017, the SIGNIS Jury in the 39th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, will be integrated by:

Douglas Fahleson (Ireland) Writer, director and North American producer. Graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and from Screenwriting by the USC. He began his career as an actor in London. He writes for various publications, including San Francisco Chronicle, The Lincoln Journal Star, Southern California Review and Alive! He is a member of the board of SIGNIS Europe and responsible for communication. He has represented SIGNIS in multiple international festivals.

Frank Padrón (Cuba). Critic of art, narrator, poet, essayist and audiovisual communicator. He has collaborated with the Havana Film Festival since its initial editions as a press editor, jury, special presentations, etc., especially through his column "La Luneta Indiscreta", of the Festival Diary. Author of about twenty books, many of which have been awarded inside and outside of Cuba, in which the film occupies a notable role; as it is the case of the one that will be presented in this edition of the festival: The filmmaker that I have inside (Ediciones ICAIC, 2017), an anthology of his texts published in the magazine Cine Cubano for more than thirty years, among which the ones related to the Festival. In close contact with this, he has been driving and writing the popular television show De Nuestra América for eighteen years. He has taught film at the EICTV. In October 2015, he received the Distinction for National Culture granted by the Ministry of Culture of Cuba.

Aristides O'Farril (Cuba) Member of SIGNIS-Cuba and the Cuban Association of the Cinematic Press. Programmer of the cinema space of the Loyola Center, attended by the Jesuit fathers in Havana. He has been editor of the ECOS magazine from its beginnings to the present. He has integrated the SIGNIS jury in five editions of the New Latin American Film Festival; as well as the ICAIC Youth Show and the Caracol Festival of the UNEAC on numerous occasions.