In 1492 Christopher Columbus sighted Cuban soil. While the history books pinpoint his landing at the Bay of Bariay, locals in Gibara will tell you his galleons actually sought shelter in their bay.
The town was officially founded in 1817. The privileged bayside location, together with the surrounding rivers, favored the transportation of cedar and mahogany. Additionally, tobacco, banana and sugar plantations, plus cattle farms, brought prosperity to the village.
Today Gibara - also called La Villa Blanca (the White Village) - is a small city with a rich history and palpable culture.
It’s an understatement to say that Cubans are fond of cinema. Passionate moviegoers, Cubans carry film in their genes and blood.
When prominent Cuban filmmaker Humberto Solas founded
the Festival Internacional de Cine Pobre in 2003, he chose Gibara as its headquarters – an unexpected selection. After all, this is a small town 800km from Havana and at the time, didn’t have adequate tourism infrastructure. Solas however, felt a kindred affection for this city since the filming of “Lucia”, part of which takes place in Gibara.
The International Low-Budget Film Festival (generally held in April) is one of the most popular events on the alternative film circuit and considers movies made with a budget below $300,000.
The first festival in 2003 kicked off with a lively parade along Calle Independencia and included international artists, along with approximately six thousand people, most of them from Gibara. The parade is repeated every year and every festival the number of participants increases.