“We must be very brave to leave Cuba but even more to stay,” said Ian Padrón repeatedly to OnCuba reporters. Today the director of Habanastation announced his decision to stay in the United States, beyond the value of what fact implies because “I was exhausted from fighting and constant complications with my work and person” as he said in a recent interview aired on CNN Mexico. “It’s hard for me, having achieved recognition, to start again, start from scratch,” confessed from Los Angeles where he is living.
“I’ve always wanted to live in Cuba,” he said. “I have come to America over 20 times and had never decided to stay and live here, just because I feel a duty, a responsibility to fight to improve my country,” he added.
“When one is recognized in Cuba I think it also has a duty to be a voice for others (…) In my case, no one can criticize me, what I say now not been said before in Cuba,” he said.
“I think there are many things to change, many things to improve and we must respect differences; you have to respect that I can think different, but equally love my country; I can live in a different country, but also love my country and am entitled to collaborate and participate in civic and political life, “he said.
As for his decision he stated: “I sleep quiet, those who criticize me are in their right, but I think no one will help me out with my life. My life is mine to solve, I have to adapt it and I have to fight for it. ”
The director also of dissimilar clips born in Havana in 1976 also referred to the new policy toward the island. “US President Barack Obama is doing something very clever and very pragmatic, to begin the process of restoring diplomatic relations with Havana. I think it’s time to try a new way. ”
The present moment is “very interesting” he added. “I think the Cuban always turns to love, always returns to hope, always returns to reconcile with that girlfriend who is Cuba”, although at times “they have been hard on us”.
“And I think now Cuba has high hopes that its life will change and improve and tensions will be less and will be closer to the peoples of the two countries,” he said.
Late last year, Padrón spoke out against censorship and lack of transparency of the Lucas Awards which so often he had proved worthy of. In 2013 at a meeting of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) he had asked for Miami resident actor Reynaldo Miravalles to be granted the National Film Award. Moreover, in several interviews he expressed dissatisfaction with the institution due to little or no financial support his latest projects received, such as recording the last tour of the Van Van from Cuba and his failed attempt to bring the character known Elpido Valdés, created by his father, into a fiction film, not animated.
Padrón “son” started very young his audiovisual career and treasures numerous awards in his career. Since his acclaimed debut in fiction, Habanastation he hasn’t worked on a big project on the island and had dedicated to recording the work of popular Cuban orchestras such as Van Van and Buena Fe, among others.
Here are some statements made by Ian Padron to OnCuba in interviews …
Did you ever think that the Symposium would not achieve its goal? (regarding the reopening of the Cuban National Baseball Hall of Fame)
We did not have time to think about the defeat, we always thought it was a triumph of sport, culture and Cuban society, because a country that looks to the past cannot have a good future. It’s good to say that all the time we have the support from the Commission, formerly headed by Higinio Velez and now Heriberto Suárez, because from the beginning we let it know we worked with seriousness and absolute respect (Ian Padrón: “A country without looks to the past cannot have a good future “).
In your opinion on what ways is the audiovisual production in our country going? What do you think is missing?
We are missing budget and confidence on young filmmakers. Lack of ethics in those who decide what is filmed or not. There are more than enough stories and there are good technicians and actors. We must legalize Independent Producers and for them to live with the state. We must lose the fear of the new and live with diversity, in all aspects. But we still have a long way to go (Ian Padrón: “You have to lose the fear of the new”).
Any new projects?
“I am very disappointed that in Cuba there is not respect for the popular film, which manages to connect with the Cubans. I thought that after making Habanaestation it would be simpler to re-shoot a second film, but that has not been the case (Ian Padrón seeks funding to film Elpidio Valdés with actors).