When hot summer comes to their tiny village in the Cuban countryside, Leonel and Antuán intimately explore their universe far from adults. With a considerable difference in age, their unique friendship is torn between games and fights, conversations about everyday life, existentialist questions, simple pleasures and boredom.
As his older friend is drawn to the busy life of the city, Leonel is forced to examine his life and place in the world.
While the Cuban society is going through a transitional period, the two friends also come to a crossroads.
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
2019 World Premiere: Berlinale – Generation Kplus Competition,Glashütte Original Documentary Award nomination
2019 Festival de Málaga, Cine en Español – Documentary Competition
2019 International Premiere: CPH:DOX – Highlights
2019 Sheffield Doc Fest
2019 Locarno Film Festival – Panorama Suisse
2019 Nashville International Film Festival – Documentary Competition
2019 Duhok International Film Festival – Documentary Visions
2019 FIDBA – Latinoamerican Documentary Competition
2019 Filmar en America Latina – Opera Prima Competition
2019 This Human World – International Competition
2019 Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano
2020 55èmes Journées de Soleure – Panorama Documentaire
2020 Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse – Compétition documentaire
2020 El Ojo Loco – Compétition documentaire
2020 IDF West Lake International Documentary Festival (Chinese Premiere)
2021 Mi Primer Festival
Also: Instituto Cervantes/Festival de Malaga documentary cycle “Documentary Zonazine”
- Biznaga de Plata (Audience Prize) at Malaga Film Fest, Spain, March 2019
- Youth Jury Award at Sheffield Doc Fest, UK, June 2019
Reviews: Le Monde, The Guardian, Cineuropa (EN), La Gaceta (ES), NotiCine (ES), Deutsche Welle, Cine Arte Magazine (ES)
“Following Leonel and Antuàn, a pair of friends who grew up in the small Cuban town of Pueblo Textil, this mesmerising promenade through abandoned landscapes doubles as a journey to the cusp of adulthood.”Phuong Le, The Guardian
“this is a rewarding film, a study of urban spaces that acutely evokes the loneliness of childhood”
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Born in 1983 in Tucumán, Argentina, Pablo Briones is a film director, film editor and cinematographer based in Geneva, Switzerland. During his early film studies at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, he collaborates as a film curator for Cineclub La Quimera & Agencia Córdoba Cultura. Within his Master’s degree in Film Direction at ECAL/HEAD, he directs A BEIRA DE LISBOA (Silver Mikeldi Award at ZINEBI’55, Bilbao) and A BARCA, a diptych of essay short films screened in Visions du Réel, Jihlava IDFF, FIDBA, Arkipel IDEFF and IndieLisboa among others. In 2016 he attends the workshop Filming in Cuba with Abbas Kiarostami, where he directs PEZCAL screened in Locarno FF, La Habana FF and Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen among many others. BARACOA is his first feature film.
À BEIRA DE LISBOA, 8 min, 2013 (Silver Mikeldi Award ZINEBI’55, IndieLisboa’13, FIDBA 2013).
A BARCA, 21 min, 2015 (Visions du Réel 2015, Jihlava IDFF 2015, Arkipel IDEFF 2015).
PEZCAL, 11 min, 2016 (Locarno 2016, La Habana 2016, Oberhausen 2017)
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS (UNITED STATES)
Jace Freeman and Sean Clark are award-winning directors creating narrative nonfiction documentaries in the American South. Utilizing a direct cinema approach, the duo has independently created several films including The Ballad of Shovels and Rope (2014) . Previously, The Moving Picture Boys created Nashville Docujournal, an innovative web series of cinematic journalism. Selected works from the series screened in the Smithsonian exhibit The Way We Worked as well as included in the duo’s feature Nashville 2012 (2013) which won the 2013 Nashville Film Festival award for Best Feature in Tennessee.
Nashville 2012, 2013
The Ballad of Shovels and Rope, 2014
Saint Cloud Hill, 2019
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Benjamin Poumey studied filmmaking and theater at University of Bordeaux III. In 2001 he starts working for Quo Vadis Cinéma in Paris, where he makes his first steps in film production. Settled in Geneva, in 2006 he starts working with C-Side Productions (then still known as Perceuse Productions Image), a company created in the 90’s by artists emerging from the alternative scene. With an inclination for Cinéma Direct, Essay forms and bold experiments, he develops and produces documentaries selected and awarded at festivals worldwide like the recent Hotel Jugoslavija by Nicolas Wagnières (Sao Paulo Mostra, Berlinale, TIDF, Thessaloniki, etc.) and Baracoa by Pablo Briones & The Moving Picture Boys (Berlinale, CPH:DOX, Sheffield Doc Fest, Locarno, FIDBA, etc.).
In between projects as a producer, he likes to conduct personal experiments with Super 8 film.
+41 22 800 38 90
Coulouvrenière, 8 – 1204 – Genève, Switzerland
+41 22 800 38 90
C-Side Productions was founded by the end of the 20th century in Geneva, Switzerland, by independent artists emerging from the “alternative” scene. The company has been active in producing documentaries, short films, new media and audio-visual installations. These productions were screened and won awards at festivals and museums worldwide (Berlinale, Locarno, São Paulo, Sheffield, Nyon, CPH:DOX etc.), released in theaters and broadcasted in Switzerland and Europe. Our editorial line favours author’s driven creative documentaries, with an inclination towards Essay forms and bold experiments.
The Moving Picture Boys (USA)
Playlab Films (Spain)
Estephania Bonnett Alonso
Image Jace Freeman
Sound Sean Clark
Editing Damián Plandolit
Sound Design Riccardo Studer
Music Pablo J. Garmón
Producer Benjamin Poumey
Co-producers Jace Freeman, Sean Clark / Estephania Bonnett Alonso
With the support of Cinéforom et la Loterie Romande, Fondation Engelberts, Swiss
Films, Office Fédéral de la Culture (DFI)
DIRECTOR’S NOTE – Pablo Briones
Why a fictionalized reality?
Because I am more interested in composing within the complexity of reality and thus by trying to organize it into an emotional narration rather than documenting a reality that, in any way, will be altered and disturbed once a camera is introduced in someone’s intimacy. Or by showing an imagined and simplified reality that will
be even more impoverished by an artificial setting that belongs solely to my imagination, in addition to the budget and technical (im)possibilities.
Because through staging, natural actors will innocently devote to solely “performing” without the pressure of having to carry out a mimesis performance and without the fear of feeling exposed to the vulnerability of their own reality, as opposed to a
Documentary tradition. When one is collectively committed to obtain a positive result, natural actors feel at ease at the idea that all bad or ugly aspects will be left outside — thanks to the professionals working in the production — and thus carrying out
their performance effortlessly.
Because I am interested in having real characters speaking with authentic jargon, dressing and acting in their most natural way. I am interested in the richness and complexity of reality, more than in a simplified archetype version of reality. Because natural actors who are immersed in their own reality have more to give than
professional actors placed in foreign realities. Because the ambiguity of what is shown (Is it improvisation or acting? Reality or fiction? A fictional or documentary scene?)
allows credibility to be equally placed throughout the whole narration and increases the audience’s capacity of “believing” and empathizing with what is being shown. Because I could not have thought of a better way of making a film about Cuba other than by trying to come as close as possible to Cubas authentic people and by “playing” while making a film. Camera in hand and natural light save time as opposed to a small technical shot, thus preserving the natural actor’s energy so they can solely devote to doing their work more enthusiastically, with the conviction that they are only “enjoying the time” in front of a camera. By being practically in their own reality (without having to wait for technical support or answering to the directors remarks about the character’s psychology) they perform the task in a natural way, they simply “are” and “do” therefore achieving authenticity and naturalism.
I am interested in getting authentic reactions throughout the shootings, reactions that cannot be scripted and are hard to reproduce. This is something I have learnt from Abbas. It is not about asking the actor to reproduce something, but rather trying to
produce something similar by using a different means. As per the production, I am in the game of engaging with the audience. Beginning with the instauration of a regime in which what you see and happens is a documented reality. Then, subtly move
towards a fictionalized narration in which the same “real” characters that were introduced in the initial documentary become protagonists of a bigger emotional story. Characters we can identify with and see ourselves either as part of the past or the
uncertain future that awaits them.
DIRECTOR’S NOTE – The Moving Picture Boys
We are narrative nonfiction directors working in the documentary tradition of direct cinema. We operate without “directing” in the traditional sense, letting life unfold before us, anticipating the direction of the story. We were excited to team up with Pablo, and apply an outside imposed “direction” to this style. After working together in a workshop taught by Abbas Kiarostami, we found out that we were all interested in making a minimalist, doc-style narrative with a child protagonist that mixes fictional and documentary elements. Pablo developed a script that served as a guideline for pre-production, but on the ground it was our intention to let the narrative unfold as it may. Using the observational documentary method, we captured scenes naturally letting the “actors” dictate their dialogue, blocking and movement. Jean Renoir’s words were our guiding light, “It is the cameraman’s duty to make it possible for us to see the spectacle, rather than the duty of the spectacle to take place for the benefit of the camera.” However, we had Pablo acting like a little devil on the shoulders of our non-actor talent making them say and do things that spurred on and heightened their natural behaviour.
Working together with Pablo, we had an idea of the scenes we wanted to capture, but as it unfolded quickly and in a foreign language we relied mostly on our documentary instincts to “see the spectacle”. The resulting film is a work that feels more like a documentation of a film or a film observed; one with cinematic qualities but with the heart of a documentary.