U.S. sales company Shoreline will launch international sales at Berlin’s EFM on “Havana Kyrie,” a drama toplining iconic Italian actor Franco Nero (“Django Unchained”) as a down-on-his-luck Italian orchestra conductor, and featuring Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”) in a supporting role.
The Italian-language pic, which marks the first official co-production between Italy and Cuba, just had its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival after world premiering in December at the Havana Film Festival.
Set mostly in Havana and partly in Southern Italy the tale, which aims to tug at the heartstrings, sees Nero playing a crabby aged Italian maestro with a wounded ego who reluctantly winds up in Havana to conduct the Cuban National Children’s Choir. Once there, he intersects with a son he fathered decades before. Perlman plays the now grown son’s surrogate father.
Nero, who came up with idea in tandem with the film’s director Paolo Consorti, also co-produced via his Rome-based Opera Totale shingle.
“Havana Kyrie” is a 50/50 co-prod with Havana-based Vedado Film, headed by Gabriel Beristain, the Mexican multi-hyphenate who recently served as cinematographer on Marvel’s upcoming “Black Widow,” directed by Cate Shortland.
It is the first film produced by Beristain, who has several other Cuba-based projects in the pipeline.
Consorti, an Italian video-artist making his feature-film debut, said that after he and Nero came up with the idea he travelled to Cuba where he wrote the first draft of the screenplay. “While my previous work [as a video-artist] was quite cerebral, this time I kept things simple and down to earth,” he noted, adding that his goal was to make “a feel-good film for all ages.”
Though Italy and Cuba have had a co-production treaty in place for years, “Havana Kyrie” is the first project that completed the official co-prod paperwork that involves considerable red tape which Nero’s networking efforts helped to clear.
“When I went to Cuba, I had dinner with [Raul] Castro’s daughter Mariela Castro…I told her the story and she said: ‘We have to make this movie,’ Nero said, adding: “We were a bit privileged.”