Several films are currently being produced. Some are in the pre-production process, others in production and several are undergoing the longest stage: post-production, where edition and other processes enrich what was filmed on the set.
Conducta, a film by Ernesto Daranas, will be premiered on February 4th and will afterwards be shown nationally. Starring Alina Rodríguez and children without acting formation, the film is made to make people feel and think. According to its director, it tells the story of Chala, an eleven-year old boy whose life is very difficult. Carmela, his teacher, is his only guide. The plot of the film starts to develop when she gets ill and has to abandon teaching. At her return, she will see that everything has changed, including the boy's conduct.
Juan Carlos Cremata, for his part, is putting the final touches to Contigo pan y cebolla, a film to be premiered on March 24th, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC). The plot of this film is very well-known as it deals with one of the most publicized plays of our Cuban theatre. As the filmmaker said, this film version is a tribute to its author, maestro Héctor Quintero.
Crematorium, also by Cremata, will likewise be enjoyed by the audience. The film is composed of three stories: "En fin, el mal," "Más allá del bien y del mar" and "En el mal la vida es más sabrosa." According to the prolific filmmaker, he chose that title because it represents life beyond death. "That is, it starts in a funeral, continues in a cemetery, and ends in heaven or hell. The three stories are independent but are connected through the plot." The film is narrated in the tone of a comedy and deals with the current Cuban reality.
About to be premiered is Alejandro Gil's most recent production, La emboscada, which, as he said, is not at all a war film, in spite of its title. The warlike theme is just a pretext for talking about human relationships and generational conflicts, among other contradictions between the characters.
Leontina is a film Rudy Mora will be offering us very shortly. Pretty close to his first work, the film tells the story of a group of children who participate in a painting contest and who need to use the blue color. But this color can only be found in the town of Palma Blanca, a place where laughter disappeared and its inhabitants walk slowly – except in the store El Legionario. Without a doubt, this is a different but very interesting film.
Fernando Pérez, one of our most outstanding filmmakers, is still working together with Edesio Alejandro on the sound track of La pared de las palabras, the most recent project of both artists we can enjoy this year. The film tells the story of the difficult life of a psychomotor-disabled sick man, his relationship with his family and with other people whose lives are no less stormy, as part of an excellent investigation into the human condition. This film might represent a rupture with the rest of his work, as it calls for a more dynamic film production, but without neglecting the Cuban context.
Fátima, the most recent film directed by actor Jorge Perugorría, is already in the final stage of post-production. Starring Carlos Enrique Almirante, it is based on Miguel Barnet's tale "El parque de la fraternidad," and tells the story of a genuine transvestite who proclaims herself queen of the Havana nights.
Also in post-production is Omega 3, the first Cuban science fiction feature film. Directed by Eduardo del Llano, this post-apocalyptic film, which stars Carlos Gonzalvo and Daylenis Fuentes, deals with tolerance, a key in the interpersonal relations between the characters and the film's main thesis.
Young filmmaker Jessica Rodríguez will show this year her first work, Espejuelos oscuros. Luis Alberto García and Laura de la Uz are the protagonists, each playing four different roles. As the director says, "the film takes place in four different periods of Cuban history and always has to do with the conflicts of a woman between her desires and what society expects from her. These conflicts, though they are under the skin of apparently mediocre and ordinary women, have an extraordinary nature."
Venecia, the recent film of Kiki Álvarez, talks about the challenge of being a woman in today's Cuba, about femininity and hope. The film narrates the adventures of three young hairdressers who decide to accompany one of their friends to buy a dress the very same day they were paid. That's the starting point of a series of incidents that will happen during their exotic itinerary – which will last until the next day – including a night that will leave them without a penny to their names. At daybreak, with no money but with lots of hope in their pockets, they dream of opening a private beauty parlor which they will name after the seductive city of gondolas.
Supported by the excellent performances of Laura de la Uz, Luis Alberto García, Jorge Perugorría and Isabel Santos, filmmaker Marilyn Solaya offers us Vestido de novia. The film talks about the conflict of Rosa Elena, a nursing assistant, and Ernesto, head of a construction team, in Havana of 1994. They fall in love, get married and try to be happy until a secret of Elena's life threatens to end that harmony and turns them into victims of violence, prejudices and stereotypes that characterize a society still governed by male chauvinist and patriarchal attitudes.
Gerardo Chijona's next film will be a comedy inspired by Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway, but which follows the road of native, though refined, humor. La cosa humana, the title of the film, approaches the world of Cuban delinquency in a satirical and ironical way, as the delinquents are educated, quoting Joyce and philosophy all the time. Chijona takes the risk with experienced actors who have very little experience in comedy, such as Laura de la Uz and Carlos Enrique Almirante.
Pavel Giroud, for his part, will start shooting El Acompañante – one of the most award-winning Cuban films during its development stage – in mid-2014. The story takes place in 1988 and as the filmmaker said, its protagonist is a great boxer who is caught unaware by testing positive to doping during the Olympics and is sanctioned. As part of the sanction, he has to do a kind of social service at the Los Cocos Sanatorium, as the attending person of the most conflictive patient. Both characters have interests that are poles apart, so they need to have an agreement. The boxer wants to return to the ring, for which he must train in secret. The patient wants to escape the sanatorium. A very intense relationship is derived from that pact.
And as a coda to all the films mentioned in the list, we are "advertising" Vuelos prohibidos, the production title of the most recent film of Rigoberto López. Starring popular singer Paulo FG, this film is currently being shot in locations in Havana and Paris.
By Cecilia Crespo, Translated by Yanely Interian García, Revised by Susana Hurlich