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Project Binario at Gibara 2018 -- Imagining the Possibilities

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Lights, Camera, Gibara!

Project Binario's Carlos Busquets and Eddy Perez visit the 2018 Gibara International Film Festival near Holguín, Cuba

The 14th edition of the “Festival Internacional de Cine de Gibara” (FICGibara), founded by beloved Cuban director Humberto Solas, once again took over the small Holguín province beach town. “Gibara”, as the festival is known by folks in Cuba (similarly to how “Sundance” and “Cannes” are internationally recognized by their respective locations) was a vibrant example of the vitality and potential of Cuba and the Cuban people. We're extremely thankful to our dear friend Jeison Orovio Pino from JYD Solutions for inviting us to attend!

 Cuban pop singer Raul Paz dazzles the crowd at Gibara.

Cuban pop singer Raul Paz dazzles the crowd at Gibara.

From its origin as el “Festival del Cine del Pobre” highlighting low-budget films, Gibara has evolved into something much larger featuring top Cuban and global musicians, artists and actors while showcasing innovative films from around the world. This year’s edition was no exception. Under the leadership of Jorge “Pichi” Perugorría Gibara is blossoming, promoting a dialogue across film mediums, viewpoints and countries. 

Walking the streets of the town during the festival one finds art, music and film on every corner -- modern dance in front of picturesque settings (such as one we viewed in front of a church), animation shorts in the central plaza, electronic dance parties, and concerts by some of the hottest acts in Latin American music. All is accessible. One could easily chat with an Academy Award nominated actor (Benicio del Toro) to watching World Cup matches with Cuban musical artists and actors (Polo Ibañez, Pancho Cespedes, Raul Paz, Pichi, Carlos Almirante, etc) and experiencing concerts from Latin Grammy winners (Roberto Fonseca, Silvio Rodriguez). With the beautiful white city as a backdrop the festival takes over and fosters dialogue across distinct communities, breaking down walls and building friendships.

As Cuban-Americans and part of Project Binario an organization that helps entrepreneurs and artists in emerging tech ecosystems to make projects go from idea to reality, we came to Gibara with open minds, not knowing what to expect. What we experienced was openness, kindness, and inspiration. Frankly, we had a blast! The combination of traditional film festival with arts and music as well as beautiful natural setting, not to mention great food and drink, is the perfect setting to spark discussions, help launch new ideas and foster partnerships.

 Benicio del Toro was once again the guest of honor at the festival.

Benicio del Toro was once again the guest of honor at the festival.

Gibara has inspired us to “dream big” for the 15th edition in 2019 and launch an Innovation Forum, a day long discussion on how technology is influencing the arts. GIC is the perfect setting to spark and launch ideas on digital entrepreneurship and arts that aim to improve the lives of communities all over the world. Understanding the power of technology to disrupt existing practices – both positively and negatively – the Forum will be an opportunity to discuss how to make technology work for good and in socially-responsible ways.

More information to follow, but for now thank you to the FICGibara organizers and friends and we look forward to an even more memorable 15th FICGibara.

Check out some more pics from our epic trip to this year's (2018) edition below.

Eddy Perez