Ana Golja’s Award-Winning Film “The Cuban” to Play at Sunset Barrie Drive-in Theatre

Ana Golja’s latest project is headed to the big screen in a special way…

The S.N.A.P. Films Inc. production The Cuban, starring the 24-year-old part-Spanish Canadian actress, will play at Ontario’s Sunset Barrie Drive-in Theatre on Tuesday, August 11.

Ana Golja

The film, the third feature from director Sergio Navarretta co-starring legendary Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., follows the film’s 2019/2020 festival run, including a World Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, where the film won a Borsos Award for Cinematography, followed by a U.S. premiere in February at the Pan African Film + Arts Festival, where the film won both a Special Programmers Award and the coveted Audience Favorite for Feature Narrative Award.

The Cuban, which Golja produced, had originally been slated to open theatrically in April, but like all film and cultural events had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ana Golja, The Cuban

However, following a successful and warmly received screening as part of the virtual edition of the Canadian Film Festival on Super Channel, the filmmakers and team at A71 have decided to bring the film to Canadian audiences.

The drive-in release is a natural follow-up to the film’s Toronto premiere event on July 20, opening the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival presented by the Italian Contemporary Film Festival.

The Cuban is a touching story of a friendship that blossoms through music and the power of the imagination – and the film is incredibly topical at a moment that the world has its eyes on the realities of long-term care.

A naive pre-med student named Mina (Golja) gets her first job in a nursing home and meets an elderly Cuban jazz musician named Luis (Gossett). When the young woman realizes music triggers Luis’ memories, she uses it to break him out of his dementia and to create moments of lucidity and joy.

At the heart of The Cuban is music. In the film, music dissolves the boundaries of age, ethnicity, gender, culture and politics. It bridges the present with the past and has the power to trigger memory and awaken long-forgotten emotions. Afro-Cuban Jazz, permeates The Cuban, drawing in the audience in the same way it draws in the characters. It brings vibrancy and joy to a previously stale environment and it triggers the pulsating, sensuous and colorful world of Luis’ own imagination.

The film’s incredible soundtrack was composed by multi Juno Award winner and Grammy nominated artist, Hilario Duran. Duran grew up and received his musical training in Havana and has since gone on to work with legendary musicians like Chucho ValdesDizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval. He is a widely respected piano virtuoso on the international jazz scene.

In addition to Golja and Gossett, The Cuban also stars Shohreh AghdashlooLauren Holly and Giacomo Gianniotti

“We are extremely excited to finally be bringing this beautiful and affecting drama to drive-in theatres this summer”, says A71 CEO, Justin Rebelo. “Sergio Navarretta has crafted a thoughtful and moving film with a powerful central performance from one of the truly great actors of our time, Louis Gossett Jr., surrounded by an incredible cast of Canadian and international stars. Another star of the film is the incredible original score by Afro-Cuban artist Hilario Duran. The warmth and lyricism of the music feels like a perfect fit for a hot summer drive-in experience.”

The Cuban was written by Alessandra Piccione and lensed by Celiana Cardenas.