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With the act of founding the ICAIC, the Cuban Institute for Film Art and Industry, on March 24, 1959, shortly after the Cuban revolution, the history of a new Cuban film culture began. With the goal of the “audiovisual alphabetization” of the population, the government created the ‘cine móvil,’ which brought cinema into even the most isolated areas of the island, on trucks, mule-drawn carts, or boats. Por primera vez is a testament to this film educational program. We see the inhabitants of a remote mountain village watching a film for the very film time thanks to the mobile cinema. Interviews before their first encounter with film and shots of their faces during the screening of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times portray the cinema as a world of illusion and a means of enlightenment.

Octavio Cortázar, born 1935 in Havana, died 2008. Worked as director and production leader of cultural broadcasts, starting in 1959 production assistant for the ICAIC. Between 1961 and 2005 directed 12 films, including El Brigadista (The Teacher 1971), which won the Silver Bear for outstanding artistic achievement at the 28th Berlin International Film Festival.

Format: HD
Running time: 9 min
Script: Octavio Cortázar
Cinematography: José Lopez
Sound: Ricardo Istueta
Editor: Caita Villalon
Music: Raúl Gómez
Production: ICAIC

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur