The final cut of Matt Dillon’s long-gestating Cuban music documentary “El Gran Fellove” (“The Great Fellove”) is primed for completion by next year.
Co-produced by Dillon’s Pregon Films, Fisher Stevens’ Insurgent Media, Radical Media, Jonathan Gray and Mexican producers Viento del Norte Cine and Paloma Negra, “Fellove” is Dillon’s second directing gig after his 2002 Cambodian-set drama “City of Ghosts,” which he also co-wrote.
Dillon, a fervent collector of Latin Music from the 1920s-50s, and Cuban music in particular, had been developing the documentary about Cuban scat musician Francisco Fellove for quite a number of years. In it he pays tribute to a little-known group of Cuban musicians like Fellove who greatly influenced Mexican music. It delves into the Cuban musical genre dubbed “filin” (feeling) that created a strong bond between Mexico, Cuba and the U.S.
“I met [Dillon] in Spain in 2009 through our mutual friends Barry Gifford and Ray Loriga. That same day he told me about his experience in Mexico with Fellove, about his passion for Cuban music and his idea of making a documentary about Fellove and the ‘filin’ genre,” said Carlos Sosa of Viento del Norte Cine. After meeting again in 2011, further discussions led to the project’s formal start in 2012.
Back in August, at the Santiago Int’l Film Fest, Dillon said of the docu: “It’s a personal story and journey for me and a friend of mine, who is a musician.”
“I think that it is very symbolic for an American actor to pay deep homage to Cuban music,” said Sosa, impressed by Dillon’s scholarly knowledge of the subject matter. “This will be a tribute to a group of musicians, mainly Fellove, who never had great media exposure but whose contribution to Latin music was highly significant,” he added.
Talks are underway with potential sales and distribution companies.