Friday, January 28, 2011

You've heard of "La Yuma"; Get ready for "El Yuma"!

Cafe Fuerte is reporting that the actor Benicio del Toro is heading to Cuba in late February to begin directing a 15 minute portion of a larger documentary project that will include a total of seven different directors from around the world.

The project director and screenwriter is none other than Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, whose screenplay for the film is entitled Seven Days in Havana.  Del Toro's part of the documentary is to be entitled "El Yuma."

Yes, you heard that right, the Del Toro's portion of the film is named EL YUMA.  [Go here for info on the recent Nicaraguan film La Yuma].  Appropriately for a film with such a title, the short will follow the steps of a North American actor in Cuba, much like the film After Hours, made by Martin Scorsese in 1985.  This will be Del Toro's directorial debut.

Wilfredo Cancio Isla, of Cafe Fuerte, also reports that the film is being made in the spirit of similar recent collective productions that relate a virety of interrelated stories all taking place in a single city such as Paris, je t’aime (2006) and New York, I Love You (2009).

In an interview with Cancio, Padura said:

“Havana continues to be an impressive city despite the deterioration it has suffered in the last few decades.  Havana is also filmscape that is already opening up to radical transformations and it is important to capture that on film and recreate the city's stories just as they are lived here today."

Cancio notes that apart from Del Toro, the project will include the French director Laurent Cantet, the Spanish Julio Medem, the Argentine Pablo Trapero, French-Argentine Gaspar Noé, the Palestinian-Israeli Elia Suleiman, and the famed Cuban director Juan Carlos Tabío.

Readers can go to Cafe Fuerte to read the entire story in Spanish.

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