Pic is Cuba's entry into foreign-lingo Oscar race

Rive Gauche Films has acquired worldwide rights for “El Benny,” Cuba’s entry in the Academy’s Foreign Language Film competition.

The film, directed by Jorge Luis Sanchez, centers on the life of Benny More and his Afro-Cuban jazz big band sound sweeping the nation in the pre-Castro ’50s through his death in 1963. Renny Arozarena toplines in his first starring role.

The film was produced by ICAIC and Coral Capital Entertainment Ltd., with the participation of the Ibermedia program. Iohamil Navarro was the producer and Camilo Vives, Simone Haggiag and Alexandre de Lesseps exec produced.

“El Benny” was released in late August in Cuba and had generated more than half a million admisssions by late September.

Rive Gacuhe is offering the film at the American Film Market.

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