Conceived as a tribute to the “inexhaustible talent” of a country “much larger than its own geography,” the documentary Cuba crea (Cuba creates) discovers the island from within, in the voice of a dozen of its most recognized artists, and takes flight with Iberia as part of the airline’s Talent on board program.
The film, which had its world premiere this Friday in Havana, opens as part of the celebrations for the 500 years of the Cuban capital and the 70th anniversary of the first flight to Cuba by Iberia, which plans to screen Cuba crea on its airplanes starting summer.
“We wanted to bring together in a single documentary an important selection of Cuban creators who have triumphed internationally, and still maintain a strong link with the island,” Spanish journalist Jorge Moreta, the film’s scriptwriter, told EFE.
Moreta, director Eduardo Margareto and producer Rafael Monje recognize they are “three Spaniards deeply in love with Cuba,” a sentiment they have wanted to transmit in the film about a country far from archetypes.
“We wanted to pay a tribute, make a reflection and send a message. The reflection on how it is possible that a small Caribbean island has been larger than its geography thanks to the inexhaustible talent of its people and a message of hope, that Cuba can open itself to the world through the universal language of culture,” said Moreta.
Filmed in two months, during three trips by its filmmakers to the island, Cuba crea brings together the essential names of the most important branches of Cuban arts and literature, which tell in the first person how it is to create and live in Cuba.
Appearing on screen are such acclaimed names as Leonardo Padura, Jorge Perugorría, Wendy Guerra, Eliades Ochoa, Carlos Acosta, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, Marco Castillo and Roberto Fabelo, to emerging figures such as pianist Roberto Fonseca and singers Daymé Arocena and Danay Suárez.
1. Danay Suárez
2. Daymé Arocena. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini
3. Photo: Ricardo Maldonado Rozo/EFE
5. Roberto Fonseca. Photo: Alejandro Ramírez Anderson
6. Wendy Guerra
The original music composed by Fonseca enriches a some-100-minute-long visual tour that will take the viewer through Cuban heritage cities, on a journey from east to west, “which is a bit the direction in which the most important events in Cuba have historically taken place.” Eduardo Margareto said.
“You will see images of Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Camagüey, because in addition to having people who do things at a very interesting cultural level, Cuba also has impressive world heritage cities,” said the award-winning photographer and documentary maker.
The film also highlights the meeting points between the Spanish and Cuban cultures, united by centuries of “Cuban history, but also of Spain,” insisted Margareto, who underlined the “great opportunity” to collaborate with Iberia on the project, which has become for travelers a sort of letter of introduction to the island.
“We saw the opportunity to collaborate, that Iberia could show, together with Cuba crea, the immense and wonderful talent that Cuba and Cuban creators have, much more this year that marks the 500th anniversary of Havana and the 70th anniversary of Iberia’s first flight to this capital,” Juan Cierco, director of communication of the airline, told EFE.
He explained that the company’s Talent on board program serves to disseminate and promote Iberian-American culture through the audiovisuals it projects on its flights.
After the world premiere in Havana, the documentary will be shown on the screens of the airline’s airplanes starting summer, when it will become a “very good platform for those who come to Havana,” where the company “travels seven times per week and intends to increase its presence,” said Cierco.
And while it crosses the skies, Cuba crea plans to return to the island in July for the Gibara International Film Festival, and its filmmakers hope to premiere it in Spain in the official section of the International Film Festival of Valladolid (Seminci) next October.