Breaking Glass Pictures has announced the U.S. theatrical run of Carlos Lechuga’s (Melaza) Cuban LGBT film SANTA & ANDRÉS. Set in 1983, during a time of political turmoil and oppression in the Caribbean island, the controversial drama will open on Friday, November 10 at Cinema Village in New York City, followed by a DVD/VOD release on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango, and through local cable & satellite providers on November 14.
Santa & Andrés has been at the center of much controversy during its festival run. The film held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, but was immediately banned in Cuba and was also pulled from competition at the Havana Film Festival New York. Despite the adversity, the film has played over 30 international film festivals including Guadalajara where it won the top award for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actress; San Sebastian; and Miami where it won Best Performance. Santa & Andrés also screened at Frameline in San Francisco and NewFest in New York City.
Santa & Andrés takes place in the rural mountain region of Eastern Cuba where Andrés—a noncompliant gay writer in his fifties (played by Eduardo Martinez)—resides after he has been blacklisted by the government for having “ideological problems.” After a big event occurs someone reliable must be appointed to watch over him and make sure he does not get out and make any public political statement. Santa—a country girl in her thirties who works on a farm—is assigned to the task.
For three days in a row, Santa (played by Lola Amores) will sit in front of Andrés’ hut and keep watch on him. Santa and Andrés are as close as it gets to being true opposites and are not meant to like each other. What they cannot imagine, however, is that they have more things in common than they expect.
“A careful, involving rural drama… the virtues of Carlos Lechuga’s second feature are the quiet, human ones, the script carefully and respectfully training its gaze on two unwilling outsiders struggling to live a life that the system has stolen from them.” —Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter
About the filmmaker: Born in Havana, Carlos Lechuga is a Graduate from Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte, and continued his training at the International Film and TV School in San Antonio de los Baños, specializing in scriptwriting. As a director he has made several award-winning shorts such as Los bañistas (The Swimmers) in 2010 and Cuca y el pollo (Cuca and the Chicken) in 2006. Melaza, his first feature film as a writer-director, premiered in Rotterdam and won several national and international awards along its festival tour. Among them, it was elected Best Latin American Feature at Málaga Film Festival, in Spain and in 2013 it also won the Newcomer of the Year Prize, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival’s main award. Santa & Andrés is his second feature film.
SANTA & ANDRÉS (Cuba/France/Colombia, 2016 105 min. Not Rated. In Spanish with English subtitles). Director: Carlos Lechuga; Written by Carlos Lechuga based on a story by Eliseo Altunaga and Carlos Lechuga; Producers: Claudia Calviño and Carlos Lechuga; Co-Producers: Samuel Chauvin, Gustavo Pazmin; Associate Producer: Alejandro Tovar; Executive Producer: Claudia Calvino; Cinematography: Javier Labrador; Editor: Joanna Montero; Music: Santiago Barbosa Cañón; Sound Design: Daniel “Gato” Garcés Najar; Sound Recording: Raymel Casamayor; Production Companies: Producciones de la 5ta Avenida, Igolai Producciones, Promenades Films. Cast: Lola Amores, Eduardo Martinez, Cesar Dominguez, Luna Tinoco, George Abreu, Ederlys Rodriguez Perez, Maikel Alexi Sanchez. A Breaking Glass Pictures release.