Raúl Pérez Ureta Awarded Cuba’s National Film Prize

Raúl Pérez Ureta, one of contemporary Cuban cinema’s main cinematographer, has been awarded the National Film Prize, a distinction that has recognized the lifetime work of such figures as Alfredo Guevara, Julio García Espinosa, Humberto Solás, Daisy Granados, Fernando Pérez, Nelson Rodríguez, and Leo Brouwer, among others. He is described as a cinematographer that “has created a contrasting, paradoxical aesthetic by beautifying unhappiness and casting a shadow over joy.” Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Influenced by images inherited from great international photographers such as Greg Toland, Gianni di Venanzo, Jordan Cronenweth, and Serguei Urusevski, Raúl Pérez Ureta has a peculiar way of illuminating, framing, composing, and moving the camera. Each distinguished reference has nurtured his ability to position light, his great subtlety to design the visual atmosphere of a film.

Pérez Ureta is the head of the Photography Department at the San Antonio de los Baños International Film and TV School, where he actively teaches young generations the secrets of his art. The collaborator of authors like Fernando Pérez (Madagascar, La vida es silbar, Suite Habana) and Daniel Díaz Torres (Otra mujer, Alicia en el pueblo de Maravillas, Quiéreme y verás, Kleines Tropikana, Hacerse el sueco), among others, has been granted the prize in the framework of celebrations for the 51st foundation anniversary of the Cuban Film Industry (ICAIC), in recognition of his relevant achievements within the Latin American film world and his lifetime work.

[. . .] He has worked outside Cuba or with foreign filmmakers more than any other renowned Cuban photographer. His debut feature film was Visa USA (1986), which contributed to consolidate the prestige of Colombian Lisandro Duque; he helped create the García Márquez-like and Caribbean atmosphere of Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes (1989) by Argentine Fernando Birri; and accompanied Cuban Orlando Rojas in his adventure with Spanish TV (Fortuna lo que ha querido, 1991). French Paul Vecchiali used his services in La impura (1990), and Ruy Guerra (Brazil-Mozambique) in the TV series Me alquilo para soñar (1991), starring German Hanna Schygulla.

[. . . H]is latest works are Boletos al paraíso, by Gerardo Chijona, and [Fernando Pérez’s] Martí, el ojo del canario which, according to those who have seen it, revolutionizes the concept of historic film in Cuba, based on the free, respectful reconstruction of José Martí’s childhood and adolescence.

For full article, see http://www.cubanow.net/pages/loader.php?sec=17&t=2&item=8234

For his filmography, see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0702038/

Photo of Raúl Pérez Ureta (left) and Fernando Pérez (right).

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