Based on texts by playwrights Henrik Ibsen and Virgilio Piñera, the young actor and filmmaker Raúl Capote Brana made a short-length film named Café templado that will represent Cuban cinema at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival which begins on May 26.
“I still have not gotten past the shock of being selected to participate in this important festival,” Capote, who has just arrived to the famous event of the French Riviera, told OnCuba. “I hope that events like these help to restore confidence in less experienced filmmakers in the country,” said the director graduate of the ISA and of almost twenty EICTV workshops in various specialties, including directing, photography and production.
The film, produced independently by The Manigua Films in collaboration with Theatre Apropose was exhibited at the First Festival Socially Relevant Film Festival of New York in March and a few days will debut at the prestigious event in Cannes, in the section Short Film Corner, out of competition.
Café templado tells the story of two women who are lost in Havana in a sort of transatlantic drama. It works as a counterpoint of monologues of two very different characters together, but that develop in similar circumstances where there is the possibility of finding true parallelism and analogy.
The loss, loneliness, friendship, home, and redemption serve as unambiguous edges of the material that has not been shown yet in any national film event, as it was not chosen to participate in the last Young Sample of ICAIC where it was introduced by his creator.
“I never knew for sure that the short was not chosen for the sample. All I know is that I was not in Cuba at that time and the friend who made me the music we used went to ask why I was out of competition and someone said it was very cumbersome to explain, so there should was that “for reasons cumbersome”, you have to see which is cumbersome for them. Other colleagues in the sample have told me that they did not even come to see it, anyway … The truth is that many people find this fact very funny and even after having participated in several international festivals. The truth is I would have loved my Cafe… being able to show it in the Chaplin for my friends and to anyone who wanted to see it, ” the novice filmmaker said.
It took Capote almost a year to conclude the short due to funding difficulties since the late 2012 Solvei Stoutland, actress and director of Bergen Byspill-Apropose Theater of Norway reached Cuba, with whom he had worked previously and they started on the project that developed from the theater.
“Solvei came to Cuba to present the work of Morning Mood Theater based on texts by Henrik Ibsen which is about two characters living on the street and in their dialogues they reflect on freedom, loneliness and friendship. For this work we invited Cuban actress Alegnis Castillo who took the second character with Solvei, and I did the direction. Completing these functions, in December, my colleague Milena Almira called me to invite me to second meeting of directors that she was organizing at the time: Kinocuba 2012.
There everyone would take what they had, from a camera to an idea and work teams are formed and in five days we already had a short half ready. This meeting was one of the key initiatives for the development of young audiovisual anywhere in the world but Cuba was very important because there are no resources to make movies. It’s a shame that they have not continued to support this event. To be possible to make something out of this meeting, which was cooler was working with these two actresses who wanted to accompany me on this crazy shooting almost without a previous script, carried away by my instinct and friendship, which started always from the work that we had developed previously.
How did you merge Piñera and Ibsen texts on the script?
To the text of the play by Ibsen I added Virgilio with that great poem of his that touches me much: La isla en peso in the voice of the Cuban actress. What I have always had very clear was the idea of establishing a common dialogue between these two cultures, the Norwegian and Cuban, as distant in geography but human at the end, because all suffer the same evil. Loneliness is one thing, and freedom, friendship and the desire to go further always. Thus how we made Café templado, this transatlantic short co-produced with Norway and armed mostly with friends.
Why did you choose this name ?
Cafe because it is a fairly universal and known all over the world drink. It is a legal drug used by many. Cafe is also a place where people gather, it is a place of communion. This “coffee” is warm because it is mixture of hot and cold (Norway and Cuba) . It’s like the balance between the two extremes, something I always look for in my work.