‘Milagros’ Nabs Top Prizes At New Latin America Cinema

Mexico’s “El Callejon de los Milagros” (Big Street of Miracles) took the big prizes at the 17th Intl. Festival of New Latin American Cinema, winning the Coral Award for best feature film, best direction and best script. The Salma Hayek starrer is from helmer Jorge Fons and scripter Vicente Lenero.

Second prize went to “Guantanamera,” a Cuban, Spanish and German co-production by Cuban co-directors Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio (“Strawberry and Chocolate”). Mexico took third prize for “Sin Remitente” (Anonymous Letter) by Carlos Carrera. An honorary Coral also went to Gutierrez Alea.

While Cuba’s No. 1 film buff, Fidel Castro, was away arranging rice shipments from Vietnam, more than 1,000 of his fellow Habaneros – and more than 100 Americans – turned out for the fest. Havana’s roomy pre-1960s theaters showed 142 feature films in competition from 17 countries including two 16mm features from the U.S.: “Angeles Immigrantes,” by Alejandro Gedeon; and “El Reino de los Cielos” by Patricia Cardoso. Among the U.S. films shown at special screenings were “Pulp Fiction,” “Malcolm X,” “Don Juan de Marco,” “Georgia” and “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway.”

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