Sat, 28 May 2022

Havana's film festival opens amid COVID-19 pandemic

04 Dec 2021, 14:30 GMT+10

HAVANA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The second phase of the 42nd International Festival of New Latin American Cinema kicked off in the Cuban capital of Havana on Friday, after being postponed in March 2021 due to surging coronavirus infections.

Without the traditional snaking lines outside movie theaters, the event runs through Dec. 12 under mask mandates and physical distancing guidelines.

This year's showcase features 125 entries, largely from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, according to festival organizers.

Ivan Giroud, president of the festival, said that measures had been taken to keep auditoriums disinfected, stressing the importance of strict enforcement of sanitary guidelines in the context of a health emergency.

"It has never been suspended. The COVID-19 pandemic could not stop this event from happening," he said, citing the fundamental role of the support provided by filmmakers, actors and actresses for the festival.

As the COVID-19 Omicron variant remains a threat, the oldest film festival in Latin America sticks to 50 percent capacity as moviegoers must take body temperature checks before entering cinemas.

From animated movies to documentaries and thrillers, the films will be screened indoors at movie theaters in Havana's entertainment district.

The Caribbean nation opened movie theaters in early November as the country gradually eased lockdown measures, thanks to high vaccination rates and a decline in daily coronavirus infections.

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