Films from Cuba and Peru Top the Rotterdam Film Festival

Two Latin American films were awarded today with the top prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival: the Cuban film La obra del siglo / The Project of the Century by Carlos M. Quintela and the Peruvian film Videofilia (y otros síndromes virales) / Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) were awarded with the Hivos Tiger Award for Best Film.

In total 13 first or second films by international filmmakers were competing for the Tiger Awards, which comes with a prize of €15,000. The Hivos Tiger Awards Competition jury was comprised of writer, director and producer Rolf de Heer, producer Ichiyama Shozo, director Maja Miloš, art photographer and director of Spanish Film Archive Jose Maria Prado Garcia and actress Johanna ter Steege.

Drifting effortlessly between raw psychological realism and dreamy surrealism and loaded with unique Cuban archive footage, Quintela’s The Project of the Century (pictured right) portrays three generations of Cubans. In their apartment in the workers’ quarters at a half-built nuclear power station, they are forced to simply carry on. A fresh voice from, and about, a country in a stalemate. The jury stated that "in dealing with both living and broken dreams, The Project of the Century confronts themes both intimate and epic. With its wonderful performances, with its humour and poignancy and boldness of execution, the film resonates with history."

Internet cafés and slackers, not-so-innocent schoolgirls and amateur porn using Google Glass, Mayans and the end of the world, acid trips and guinea pigs as extras in an exorcism: things in Lima, the Peruvian capital, are pretty similar to contemporary reality, virtual or otherwise, in the rest of the world.

In the ‘comedia tragedia’ Videophilia (pictured left), multi-talent Juan Daniel F. Molero takes us on a digital trip down all the perfidious byways of 'the interwebz'. Peruvian schoolgirl Luz looks a lot more innocent than she is. She meets Junior online, who spends most of his days gaming in Internet cafés. His ambition is earn a living making amateur porn.

In their statement, the jury said that the Peruvian "explores the relationship between the young and the rapidly changing world with unflinching truth. Its anarchy and visual flair reflect its subject matter. The film dives deep into disturbing, necessary waters."

Additionally, another Cuban project was awarded in the CineMart section of the Dutch festival, dedicated to films in development. The Cuban film Santa y Delfín by Carlos Lechuga was awarded with the Wouter Barendrecht Award, with a cash prize of €5,000.