Benicio del Toro is among seven helmers attached to direct a segment for “7 Days in Havana,” an omnibus feature capturing contempo Cuba.
He will be joined by France’s Laurent Cantet and Gaspar Noe, Argentina’s Pablo Trapero, the Palestinian territories’ Elia Suleiman, Spain’s Julio Medem and Cuba’s Juan Carlos Tabio.
Spanish-lingo pic is produced by Spain’s Morena Films and Gaul’s Full House, set up in 2009 by former Films Distribution head of sales Didar Domehri and Wild Bunch execs Gael Nouaille and Laurent Baudens. Morena’s Alvaro Longoria, Fabien Pisani, Domehri, Baudens and Nouaille will produce.
Presented Wednesday at the Havana Festival, this first major take on Cuba differs from most omnibus pics by having main characters in one short appearing as secondary characters in others.
“This is one connected and collective film. Each director shoots one episode, which takes place from morning to night,” said Domehri.”Havana is a city where people keep on bumping into one another and lead double lives,” Longoria said.
Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura will coordinate screenplays, co-writing Medem’s and Tabio’s films. Cuban thesps Ana de Armas, Mirta Ibarra, Vladimir Cruz and Jorge Perugorria play linking characters.
“7 Days” records’ tourists’ visions of Havana and portraits of its day-to-day life, said Domehri.
Del Toro will helm a sometimes fictionalized docu on a U.S. tourist’s first 24 hours in Cuba; Medem portrays a love triangle; Trapero tracks an actor who arrives in Havana to receive a prize; Suleiman has a foreigner, whom he will play, wandering through Havana, waiting for something to happen; Cantet chronicles a family’s offering to the ancient religion of Yoruba; Tabio looks at Cubans’ daily trials and joys; Noe follows an exorcism.
Barring Medem, all directors have experience in Havana — Del Toro visited it to shoot “Che,” for instance.
But for “7 Days,” Pisani gave them an insider’s view of Cuba, introducing them to an eclectic young Havana and its music scene, Nouaille said.
Budgeted at €3 million ($4 million), “7 Days” will shoot from early 2011 per Domehri.