Tribeca success story Una Noche films on location in Cuba
Lucy Mulloy’s Cuban drama Una Noche has found success at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film was shot entirely on location in Cuba, focussing on the capital Havana. It tells the story of two young Cubans who dream of escaping to Miami.
Maite Artieda produced the project: “We spent a year scouting, knocking on people's doors and finding corners of Havana that had not been shot before. We discovered some amazing abandoned buildings and rooftops with incredible vantage points.
“Lucy Mulloy, the director, wanted to let the imagery of Havana speak for itself, almost like a character in the movie.”
Lucy Mulloy, the director, wanted to let the imagery of Havana speak for itself, almost like a character in the movie.
Maite Artieda, Producer
The shoot was ambitious, involving car chases, stunt sequences and water filming to cover the attempt to cross the 90 miles from Cuba to Miami. Having experienced Cuban film crew on hand was useful, especially on the first leg of the shoot when the lack of underwater filming equipment led to the cinematographer using a periscope to get the shots they needed.
Crowds of extras were recruited for some of the more elaborate cultural sequences. Artieda explains: “In one of the scenes we recreated a cabaret so the art department had to add ambience to the location, which was huge. We needed a huge amount of extras, including cabaret dancers and then there was the legendary Cuban singer Anais Abreu singing a song written by the director; a lot of co-ordination was required.”
Cuba - and specially Havana - is a unique place worldwide. It is visually engaging, with its houses, old cars, beaches, people and the sun coming through every crevice.
Maite Artieda, Producer
Artieda lived in Cuba for two years prior to the actual shoot to prepare. The willingness of local Cubans to get involved was a big help and the team even recruited real police officers for scenes where the characters have brushes with the law.
Primera Luz Films was in fact set up in Cuba by Artieda once Una Noche wrapped, offering production services designed to help make Cuba filming easier for international producers.
Artieda concludes: “Cuba - and specially Havana - is a unique place worldwide. It is visually engaging, with its houses, old cars, beaches, people and the sun coming through every crevice. Every corner of Havana shows the Cuban feeling and is impossible to replicate elsewhere.”
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