Official competition call 2017

The Cuban Institute of Art and Cinematographic Industries (ICAIC), the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) and the Direction of Cinema in the Province of Santiago de Cuba, are calling all documentary filmmakers, from all over the world, to attend the 15th edition of the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL “SANTIAGO ÁLVAREZ IN MEMORIAM”, to take place in Santiago de Cuba, March 6-11, 2017, having PERÚ as Guest Country.

Devoted to the memory of Santiago Alvarez, one of the greatest documentary filmmakers in history, and an example of artistic creation and of commitment with just causes, the Festival promotes works devoted to main issues in contemporary world and to the reflection on the role of documentary films in present times.

At a time in which media power is attempting to establish a globalize culture and a single line of thought, documentary filmmaking, while ratifying itself as an artistic genre, revalidates its resistance capacity to confront manipulation, and rescues the multiple realities that have been silenced or twisted by the big media.


Filmmakers from any corner of the world are invited to take part, with works filmed in 35mm, 16 mm or digital, at any time after the year 2011. DVD copies from works done in 35 or 16 mm are also admitted. All works should be originally in Spanish language or with Spanish language subtitles. DVD copies shall be in NTSC or PAL, DVCAM format (the latter only in NTSC). BETACAM copies will not be accepted.

Projects for documentary films will be also accepted in the competition. Projects shall be accompanied by a synopsis and a detailed description. The Registration form is attached.

The Official Jury, formed by personalities in the field of cinema and culture in general, shall grant the “Santiago Álvarez” Main Award and also a First, Second and Third Prizes, as well as awards for direction, script, editing, photography and sound design. New creators shall get an award for the Best Opera Prima and a Special Awards will be granted to the best work done collectively by a group of filmmakers under 35 years of age.

The International Cinema and Television School in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, will grant a Special Award consisting of a scholarship to attend an International Workshop specialized on documentary filmmaking.

The Oficina “Santiago Álvarez”, from ICAIC and the Fundacion Amazonia Films, will present the "Santiago Alvarez" Main Award.

Other cultural institutions will present awards granted by their own juries.


The best work capable of expressing a high aesthetic and ethical sense will get an award. The theme shall be: Children and Peace.


Cinema and video halls in Santiago de Cuba will present parallel showings and the University of Oriente and other study centres will do the same, in order to enrich information on documentary film and to foster debate between participants and the public in general.


Theoretical conferences and seminars offered by important world-level figures will contribute to the making of this Festival one of the most popular in present times. On this occasion the themes for debate will be: Cinematographic journalism; Documentary filmmaking and our histories; the importance of Take 1 in the work done by Santiago Alvarez.


Deadline for registry and sending of materials is November 30, 2016. The registration form to be filled is annexed to the call. The works that have been accepted will be informed before January 31, 2017.

All data requested in the registry form shall be supplied in order to facilitate the work done by the Selection Committee and to ensure all required information is included in the Catalogue of the Festival.

Registry for the works is free of charge. Accreditation for filmmakers either presenting works or not is 30.00 Cuban pesos for Cuban citizens and 30.00 CUC for foreign participants. National students will pay 20.00 Cuban pesos while foreigner ones will pay 20.00 CUC. The event’s credential grants access to all projection halls of the Festival, participation in the Theoretical Seminar and it is an invitation for any other meeting organized during the Festival.

No work will be accepted without Spanish subtitles, either for competition purposes or just for its screening.

For additional information please refer to:
Oficina Festival Internacional de Documentales "Santiago Álvarez In Memoriam"
Phone: (53 7) 830 1548
Chairperson: Ms. Lázara Herrera
General Coordinator: Ms. Teresita Herrera

Registry forms and works shall be sent to:
Oficina “Santiago Álvarez”
Edificio ICAIC
Calle 23, No. 1155, entre 10 y 12
Vedado, La Habana 10400, Cuba

For the sending or works:
It is recommended to send works via DHL or TNT.

Information regarding air tickets reservations:
Cubana de Aviación airline is the official carrier for the Festival and offers preferential tariffs to participants:
Contact: Organizing Committee

Information regarding hotel reservation in Santiago de Cuba:
HAVANATUR and Paradiso-ARTEX agencies are the Official Tour Operators of the Festival and they offer a professional service with preferential tariffs to participants.

Contact HAVANATUR (Santiago de Cuba):
Evangelio Venero
Phones: (53 22) 68 7250, 642219, 687280, 643603

Contact Paradiso-ARTEX
Lenay de la Barca