Buying Authentic Cuban Film Posters
As more and more people are becoming interested in Cuban film posters it is inevitable that copies and fakes will come onto the market. Unfortunately there are people out there who blatently want to cash in on the popularity of Cuban art. They wouldn’t get away with it if the copyright belonged to a Western company. This review is intended to clarify certain questions of authenticity.
Genuine Cuban film posters are only produced by ICAIC: Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia in the their Taller Seriagrafia (silkscreen workshop). The majority are silkscreens in 20x30inch (52x76cm) format. However, this is not always the case. Occasionally ICAIC will produce a litho/offset poster in their offset print shop where they produce video sleeves, book jackets, postcards and the occasional poster. These posters do not have the impact of the silkscreens so epicentregallery tends to stick to the silkscreens.
The 20x30inch format is not always adhered to either. I have posters both oversize and smaller than the usual format. For instance ICAIC produced a wonderful silkscreen for the 18 Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latino Americano (1996) measuring 22x38inch (51x94cm). They have also produced smaller posters like Alicia Leal’s Gemas poster which measures 15x22inch (38x56cm). In addition to these excursions to the norm ICAIC have produced portfolios of miniatures for film festivals. For e.g. ICAIC produced a folio or posters for a retrospective of Santiago Alvarez documentaries in 2003. These mini-posters measure 12x18inch (30x45cm)
Vintage Original, Contemporary Original, Official Reprint
Vintage Originals date from between 1959-1992, from the inception of ICAIC to the time they started to reproduce posters commercially for sale to tourists and people like me! epicentregallery. In most cases posters classified as Vintage Originals originate from the design date. However, this may not always be the case. Occasionally designers took editions with them to biennials, festivals and exhibitions world wide. As ICAIC keep NO RECORDS exact dating is difficult. At epicentregallery we asses the posters age by looking at several factors including paper type, paper ageing, condition of the poster and designer’s mark.
Contemporary Originals these posters tend to be for Cuban films or Cuban co-productions or relaunches of Cuban classics (e.g. Lucia, Nosotros la Musica). They are produced in the ICAIC taller seriagrafia and the designs come from the new generation of designers including Eduardo Molto, Nelson Ponce and Paris Volta.
Official Reprints are authentically produced in the same workshop as the other category posters. Since 1992 ICAIC have produced editions for commercial purposes and envisaged sales through ICAIC outlets in cinema foyers and agencies such as Publications Exchange and Cuban Poster Project. These organisations run by academics made important headway in finding ways through the US embargo for art works and posters (classified as informational material).
It has taken a few dedicated individuals with a passion and determination to bring these wonderful works of design to the market. epicentregallery, ‘capitalist in form - socialist in content’ is one such business dedicated to bringing you the widest range of Cuban Film Posters possible.