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Award-winning movie The Cuban hits the drive-in screen Tuesday

'We are extremely excited to finally be bringing this beautiful and affecting drama to drive-in theatres this summer'
Giacomo Gianiotti, Ana Golja, and Louis Gossett Jr. in The Cuban
Supplied image

A71 Releasing Inc. is excited to announce that the S.N.A.P. Films Inc. production THE CUBAN, — the anticipated third feature film from director Sergio Navarretta starring legendary Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. — is headed to the Sunset Barrie Drive-in Theatre Aug. 11.

This follows the film’s 2019/2020 festival run, including a World Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival where the film won a Borsos Award for Cinematography, followed by a U.S. premiere in February at the Pan African Film + Arts Festival where the film won both a Special Programmers Award and the coveted Audience Favourite for Feature Narrative Award.

The film had originally been slated to open theatrically in April, but like all film and cultural events had to be postponed due to the pandemic. However, following a successful and warmly received screening as part of the virtual edition of the Canadian Film Festival on Super Channel, the filmmakers and team at A71 have decided it was time to bring the film to Canadian audiences.

The drive-in release is a natural follow-up to the film’s Toronto premiere event on July 20, opening the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival presented by the Italian Contemporary Film Festival.

A naive pre-med student named Mina gets her first job in a nursing home and meets an elderly Cuban jazz musician named Luis (Gossett). THE CUBAN stars Ana Golja, Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly and Giacomo Gianniotti, alongside Gossett Jr. When the young woman (Golja) realizes music triggers Luis’ memories, she uses it to break him out of his dementia and to create moments of lucidity and joy.

THE CUBAN is a touching story of a friendship that blossoms through music and the power of the imagination – and the film is incredibly topical at a moment that the world has its eyes on the realities of long-term care.

At the heart of THE CUBAN is music. In the film, music dissolves the boundaries of age, ethnicity, gender, culture and politics. It bridges the present with the past and has the power to trigger memory and awaken long-forgotten emotions. Afro-Cuban Jazz, permeates THE CUBAN, drawing in the audience in the same way it draws in the characters. It brings vibrancy and joy to a previously stale environment and it triggers the pulsating, sensuous and colourful world of Luis’ own imagination.

The film’s incredible soundtrack was composed by multi Juno Award winner and Grammy nominated artist, Hilario Duran. Duran grew up and received his musical training in Havana and has since gone on to work with legendary musicians such as Chucho Valdes, Dizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval. He is a widely respected piano virtuoso on the international jazz scene.

“We are extremely excited to finally be bringing this beautiful and affecting drama to drive-in theatres this summer”, says A71 Chief Executive Officer, Justin Rebelo. “Sergio Navarretta has crafted a thoughtful and moving film with a powerful central performance from one of the truly great actors of our time, Louis Gossett Jr., surrounded by an incredible cast of Canadian and international stars. Another star of the film is the incredible original score by Afro-Cuban artist Hilario Duran. The warmth and lyricism of the music feels like a perfect fit for a hot summer drive-in experience.”

THE CUBAN is written by Alessandra Piccione, lensed by Celiana Cardenas, and features original music by Grammy nominated, Juno winning Cuban-Canadian artist, Hilario Duran. Sound for the film was designed by Nelson Ferreira and his Oscar nominated sound team. THE CUBAN was produced by Alessandra Piccione, Sergio Navarretta, Ana Golja and Taras Koltun, executive produced by Ryan Kimel, Paul Golini, Divya Shahani, James O’Donnell, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Louis Gossett Jr. and funded in part by Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates.

“…a carefully crafted creation weaving together neuroscience, romance, coming of age, and a bit of cultural conflict with the threads of trumpets, congas, guitars
and vocals…an entertaining tapestry that both taps your toes and tugs at your heart.”