When Omar Franco recently won the Performance Award at the Festival of New York (for the film Pablo) I really craved to write. I was held back because his career is very linked with mine in recent times. Now, however, I cannot avoid celebrating once again his having obtained the highest distinction as a performer in the first edition of the International Film Fest & Convention, which just gave out their awards in Puerto Rico.
Other media will give the news in detail. Besides Omar’s, the film by Charlie Medina Penumbras –a film version of my theater work Penumbra en el novena cuarto swept with much of the distinctions. Congratulations to Charlie, Omar Ali, and Ismercy Solomon and the rest of the winners.
What happens is that this chronicle dwells on other side. The artistic quality of the performance of both the Omar Franco in the theater-in the staging by Osvaldo Doimeadiós in 1984 as well as in Medina’s film is an event in our cultural life. And passion, baseball knowledge, infatuation shared by baseball, had much to do with his work as a performer robust. The innkeeper Pepe, for all a marginal loser that assumes he is saved or at least relieve out is painful life by his admiration and friendship that engages with a large pitcher, which in fiction is named Lazaro Prado and has much of relationship with Lazaro Valle.
Now that Valle is one of the ten mythical Industriales players involved in the baseball and nostalgic celebration of Miami, I confess that I had stepped in theatrical character even though I am not an Industriales fan-for the quality of his pitches and charisma, his legend. There is a text that I quote from memory-like alien, and says something like: “It’s not to throw hard and the hitter standing there not see it, it’s the style, the grace of a great pitcher … That comes to earth once every thousand years “.
These are the arguments of the original work which Omar endorses to defend the uniqueness of the pitcher and would be applicable to his condition of exceptional actor.
We will have to recognize the importance of Industriales in Sentimental Education of the last generations of Cubans.
I applaud the avalanche of awards for this film on other matters but also definitely on the ball and the passions that surround it, that coincided-to the delight of the many players who celebrate the birthday of their team along with fans like writer Padura and actor Omar Franco, a team one can hate in nine innings of the game, but then there is no way I can banish it from memory.
Awards at the inaugural Puerto Rico International Film Fest & Convention …
Best Support actor (international)
– Omar Alí / Penumbras
Best Support actress (international)
– Isabel Fernández / Sin Sangre Nunca
Best Actress Short-lenght film international
– Fely Manzano / Dulce
Best Actor Short-lenght film international
– Jasmin St. Sauver / Un Fils
Best Actor Feature film international
– Omar Franco / Penunbras
Best Actress Feature film international
– Ismercy Salomón / Penumbras
Premio Especial Del Jurado Por Actuación Destacada
• Categoria I international
– /Alberto Sasson + Carlos García/
Best Actress National
– Joa Tous / Jessica
Best Actor National
– Leonardo Castro / Man
Best Música Feature film international
– Cruz del Sur
Best Edición Feature film international
– Pedro Suarez / Penumbras
Best Guión Feature film international
– Yerko Espinoza / Sin Sangre Nunca
Best Edición Short-lenght film international
– La Mirada Perdida
Best script Short-lenght film international
– Un Fils / Patrick Moriu
Best international mid-lenght film
– Sum Ba Kokjil
Best Documentary international
– Who Will be a Gurkha
Best Short-lenght film with Social Awareness
– Upside Down
Best Director Photography Short-lenght film international
– Adam Etherington / Driftwood
Best Director Photography Feature film international
– Roberto Otero Martínez / Penumbras