×

Cuba on Best ‘Behavior’

Alina Rodríguez and Ernesto Daranas Serrano present breakout Cuban hit

“Behavior” was a standout at April’s IFF Panama. Since then, it has closed France, with Bodega Films, and South Korea, with CAC Ent., the distribution branch of the Busan Intl. Film Festival and snagged a Best Picture nomination for the 2015 Platino Awards.

Cuba and Panama City have very much been in the news of late, and helping to cement good relations are a visit to the festival by Cuba’s acclaimed actress, Alina Rodríguez, and Ernest Daranas Serrano who directed her in “Behavior” (“Conducta”), the film Cuba put forward for the Academy’s foreign language category in 2015 and which was also short listed for a Goya for best Ibero-American film.

The film, which has become a festival favorite and won best feature at the 15th Havana Film Festival in New York, with Rodríguez winning for best actress, has also been registering solid sales prior to Panama having been licensed by Latido Films to Dreams Factory Europea in Spain; Fabula Medya in Turkey: Trigon Films in Austria and Switzerland; Kairos Filmverleih in Germany; Promotora Audiovisual MZ / Macondo in Mexico; Cirfony in Venezuela; Esfera in Brazil; and MR Imporataciones in Paraguay.

Daranas Serrano’s feature depicts the friendship between a young boy and a woman more than five decades his senior (played by Rodríguez) and exposes how bureaucracy, dogma and poverty are eroding Cuba’s oft-envied education system. Daranas Serrano’s credits include the short “Los últimos gaiteros de la Habana” and the features “¿La Vida en Rosa?” and  “Fallen Gods” which, like “Behavior,” was put forward to the Academy by Cuba. His long form music video, “Bluechacha,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

The star of the piece is Rodríguez. Born in Havana she graduated as a pathology technician before studying at the Instituto Superior de Arte from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 1982. Her character in “Maria Antonia,” directed by Sergio Giral, established her in Cuba as a film actress. She is also known for her performances on stage in “Contigo pan y cebolla,” by Cuban playwright Hector Quintero, and “En el parque”, by the Russian writer Alexander Guelman.

Rodríguez is also widely recognized for her performances in popular Cuban telenovelas, most notably for her portrayal of the character Justa in the soap “Tierra Brava.” She also finds time to teach acting and has directed amateur and professional actors in community theater projects and is part of Cuba’s Teatro Estudio.

Rodríguez and Daranas Serrano met with the local media and presented three screenings of “Behavior” during the Panama Film Festival, including a free outdoor screening to an audience of over 2,600 at the Mirador de Pacífico.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Kent Jones Directs 'Diane'

    Kent Jones to Exit New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a surprise move, New York Film Festival’s director and selection committee chair of seven years Kent Jones will step down following this year’s 57th edition, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. The departure comes as Jones’ feature filmmaking career is taking off. Issues of potential conflicts of interest have arisen as his work has moved [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Fox Searchlight Buys Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch'

    Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” extending the indie studio’s long collaboration with the filmmaker. The company has released four of Anderson’s films, including his two most recent pictures, “Isle of Dogs” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “The French Dispatch” is described as “a love letter to journalists” [...]

  • If I Were a Rich Man

    Filmax Nabs Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Filmax has taken international rights to Álvaro Fernández Armero’s comedy “If I Were a Rich Man.” Produced by Telecinco Cinema, Think Studio and Ciskul, and backed by Mediaset España and Movistar+, “If I Were a Rich Man” is a Spanish remake of Michel Munz and Gerard Bitton’s French comedy “Ah! Si j’étais [...]

  • Baby

    Latido Takes Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s 'Baby' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Latido Films has taken world sales rights outside Spain on Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s “Baby,” a drama with a psychological thriller narrative thrust starring Rosie Day (“Down a Dark Hall”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Phantom Thread”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), Charo López (“All Night Long”) and young actress Mafalda Carbonell (“To Live Twice”). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content