Last month, Cuban Art News introduced many readers to the island phenomenon known as Lucas, which almost single-handedly revived the independent Cuban music video industry. Late last month, the Lucas Awards celebrated that thriving creative scene in a weekend of concerts and presentations in Havana’s Karl Marx Theater.
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the 2012 awards belonged to graphic artist-turned-video auteur Joseph Ros, who not only directed Eme Alfonso’s Buscando la inspiración (Looking for inspiration)—winner of Video of the Year and Best Fusion Video—but also picked up Best Art Direction for the clip. Omar Leyva won for Best Visual Effects for his work on the video (the first of the three videos at the end of this story).
A second video directed by Ros, Joaquín Clerch’s Canción triste (also below), won for Best New Artist. An homage to the 1964 film Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba) by Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov, the clip is dedicated to the memory of Carlos Fariñas (1934-2002), who composed the score for Soy Cuba. Ros also won Best Photography for his camera work on this project, which is strongly evocative of the Soviet film. Two of Ros’s other videos took prizes as well: Isis Flores’ Me gusta won for Best Pop Video, and Aquí, hoy by Tesis de menta won for Best Rock and Pop-Rock Video.
Although at times it didn’t seem like it, Ros wasn’t the only winner at this year’s Lucas Awards. Juan Formell and Los Van Van took the honors for Best Pop Dance-Music Video with Un año despues (la costurera) (One year later – the dressmaker), directed by acclaimed feature-film director Ian Padrón (Habanastation). Schola Cantorum Coralina’s Afroritmos, directed by Rudy Mora and Lucas organizer Orlando Cruzata, won Best Instrumental and Choral Video, and earned a Best Production of the Year award for Rosita and Best Editing for Octavio Crespo.
Quisiera volver by Descemer Bueno and Baby Lores, with direction by Alejandro Pérez, won for Best Song and Trova. Alexander Abreu and Havana de primera were the winners in a new category, Video Choreography, for Al final de la vida, directed by Kerry Ribchester, with a touch of West Side Story, in the streets of Havana.
A second clip directed by Ian Padrón, Pi 3,14 by Buena Fe, picked up the award for Best Traditional Music and Folklore. Watch it below, along with Joaquín Clerch’s Canción triste and Eme Alfonso’s Video of the Year, Buscando la inspiración.