Well-known Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute is a member of the jury of the Tenth International Low-Budget Film Festival.
Aute returns to Cuba. This time he does not come as a singer-songwriter to offer his songs, or as an artist to exhibit in any of our museums or galleries, like he did in 2008 at the National Museum of Fine Arts with his show Transfiguraciones (Transfigurations). Many are the ties of affection that have linked him to Cuba since he came in contact with prominent figures of the Nueva Trova like Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés. He has paid many visits to Cuba, but never as a juror and, at the same time, to exhibit one of his films. The International Low Budget Film Festival was the first to achieve this and the village of Gibara will be the scene where, in addition to enjoying his melodies on one evening, it will be possible to see his film Un perro llamado dolor.
Luis Eduardo Aute emerged more than four decades ago in the universal cultural scene. Ever since and up to our days, his followers continue to keep track of his daily and tireless activities. Appraised by many as a kind of Renaissance man due to the versatility of his work, this artist simultaneously covers reality and what is imaginary in the majority of his creations, which exhale an inquiring and somewhat chimerical breath. Poet, singer-songwriter, painter and even filmmaker, he is the well-known author of anthological themes like Rosas en el mar and La Belleza.
It would be useless to list the albums, exhibitions and other top moments of his career; the truth is that the unquestionable quality of this creator’s work speaks for itself.
His forays into cinema and his experience in that so-called seventh art suffice to have him as one of the jurors of this event and in addition exhibit this original animation film in which he worked for five years pencil-drawing the almost 4,000 stills that make it up.
This feature film and low-budget cinema, among other topics, were discussed in our conversation:
Why make a film of this kind?
The idea occurred to me by accident; it would be too long to tell the whole story of what made me do it. I never thought that such an “accident” would lead me to create —with almost 4,000 pencil drawings, all mine— a film in tribute to artists who have been references in my work. The movie also intends to be a tribute to silent films and that is why all the drawings were made with pencil and are obviously black and white.
How did you managed to involve so many relevant figures of universal culture in the script?
These characters appeared gradually. There was no script, I let myself go (or not) by the drawings. There was a leitmotiv, which is the film’s subtitle: The Artist and His Model.
What was the greatest challenge in Un perro llamado dolor?
The greatest challenge was to finish it and that it would draw the attention of festivals throughout the world, without having had the least previous intention of attaining those objectives.
What does your participation as a juror in this Festival mean to you, and, besides, to be invited to exhibit your work in it?
It’s a double pleasure, because it does not happen very often —actually I think it has never happened— that a juror also presents a film, even out of competition. I am terribly curious to see those independent, daring and courageous films made by persons who truly love the cinema as a language and not as a business.
What do you think of low-budget films as a creative strategy for those who, lacking great material resources, carry out their film dreams?
I think they deserve all possible support (and more) in a world that is dangerously beginning to despise culture. A human being without creativeness or without the capacity to appreciate it, is bound to disappear as a rational, intelligent, reflexive species, and starts to resemble beasts.
As a juror, what do you think it takes to make a good film?
A good film should be imaginative, original, surprising, sensitive to the terrible contradictions of human beings. It must be creative, ground-breaking, transgressor, capable of supplying a different view of reality.
What art form pleases you most as a creator and why?
I have been painting since I was a child, and it is in art where I feel more at ease to express myself. However, in my opinion, cinema is the most complete of all the arts because it contains them all, and besides, it discovers a new language.
What has cinema meant to you throughout your life?
I have been a film fan since I was very small. The first movie I saw was The Wizard of Oz, and I clearly remember what I felt looking at those images that carried me away to a world of dreams… and of nightmares. From that moment on, cinema has helped me to dream and to have a better understanding of the meaning of life.
Translated by: Olimpia Esperanza Sigarroa Santamarina
Revised by Emilio R. Febles Hernández