CUBA – Havana Int’l Film School to Offer Scholarships to ALBA Countries

St. Johns, Antigua – The International Film and Television School (EICTV) will offer scholarships and audiovisual courses to Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America’s country members. The EICTV programs will be funded by the ALBA Cultural project, Juventud Rebelde daily newspaper reported.

The institution, located in Havana municipality of San Antonio de los Banos, will grant three-year scholarships to youngsters from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The programs applying for the scholarships seek to provide training to indigenous and country women in the fields of audiovisual creation, as well as fostering the preservation of audiovisual heritage.

ALBA Cultural’s general coordinator Ismael Gonzalez said this will be a unique opportunity for talented students who had not been able to take the programs for reasons including their financial situation.

Founded in 1986, EICTV is regarded as the most important educational project of the New Latin American Cinema Foundation, based in Havana and presided by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Each year, around 500 applicants from more than 30 countries compete for just 42 places on its internationally accredited diploma programme.

The three-year course allows students to specialise in one of seven disciplines – directing, scriptwriting, documentary-making, editing, production, cinematography or sound.

Classes are taught by industry professionals from Cuba, Latin America, Europe and beyond, many of whom fly in regularly just to teach their modules.

They are joined by a host of visiting speakers whose ranks have featured some of the biggest names in cinema, including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

One of the most celebrated workshops on scriptwriting is led by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian writer, Nobel laureate and founder of the school.

The result is an extraordinary institution, described by its current director, the Dominican film-maker Tanya Valette, as a “school of cinema and of life”.

Established in 1986, the EICTV is a project of the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, which has its headquarters in Cuba.

Its initial aim was to support the development of national audio-visual industries in countries that lacked the infrastructure or resources to train their own professionals.

It began by providing free courses to students from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. But in 2006, it opened up to fee-paying students from the rest of the world.

Ms Valette said this had made “the experience of the school even more culturally diverse and enriching” without losing its original ethos.

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