An architectural mix of styles and ages gives shape to its urban environs dotting a natural landscape blessed with beautiful beaches, dense forests, arid plains, and magnificent mountains.
It is a place where you can replicate the French Riviera, just as producers of the Triple Piano did for this Stella Artois campaign. Cuba can also double for Paris, Madrid, Seville, New York, and Washington DC. Its Capitol is almost identical to that of the US capital city. The Castle of the Royal Force is one of Latin America’s oldest fortresses and only accessible by crossing a wooden bridge over its wide moat. The Palace of the General Captains houses an exquisite courtyard. The Paseo del Prado, the Cathedral, the Castle of the Three Kings, the Malecon, and Havana neighborhoods are peppered with buildings where Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Greco-Roman, French and North American styles are expressed in Baroque, Neoclassical and Eclectic architecture.
Beyond Havana there are the French buildings of Cienfuegos, the façades, colors and stone streets of Trinidad, the narrow streets with high slopes leading to the mountains surrounding Santiago de Cuba, and the small coastal city of Baracoa where Europeans first settled at the mouth of beautiful rivers feeding from the dense vegetation covering mountain plantations of coconut, coffee and cocoa.
Transparent waters home to delicate coral reefs caress the shores of Cuba’s sandy beaches ranging in color from white to black on the main island and keys.
Forested mountains reaching 2000 meters coupled with the extensive plains invite filmmakers to stage locations in Africa, Central and South America as well as rural areas of many European countries. Areas of extreme aridity can simulate deserts in Africa, Asia and Eurasia.
Cuba’s eternal summer weather makes for efficient filmmaking. There are between 10.45 and 13.40 hours of daylight year-round. The remarkable proximity of diverse locations is a bonus to these long days.
Filming on the road from Baracoa to Maisí you can imagine yourself in Hawaii or Fiji just as the desert plains of San Antonio del Sur recall African territories bordering the Sahara. The inner courtyards of Old Havana are reminiscent of Spanish and Arabic Andalusia. The vast cane plantations and their machinery remind us of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan and more.
Traveling between them in style are the classic mid-20th century cars. The renowned resourcefulness of Cubans ensures the 40’s and 50’s continue to motor along the roadways.
Equally talented technicians handle the lighting, camera and grip equipment put to the test by renowned creeatives like Kabir Khan, Aseem Mishra, Sophie Becher and Frederik Bond.
Construction in Cuba remains an artisan stage craft displaying the skills of carpenters, painters and blacksmiths experienced at reproducing the most complicated designs an art director can dream up at the down-to-earth cost’s filmmakers enjoy in Cuba.
Talent backstage sets the scene for performing artists. Cuba’s musical culture runs deep and wide. Dancing skills that seem a birth rite make it easy to cast extras for dance scenes normally shot with professionals.
The faces of Cuba’s well-educated population reflect an ethnic diversity of peoples from many different corners of the world. They are the citizenry that welcomes filmmakers to enjoy exemplary hospitality and distinct gastronomic heritage as they work in this most secure of Latin American nations.
Luis has provided production services with his own Cuban company since 2007.
Over a career spanning three decades he also has produced different independent projects, advised projects of the San Antonio International Film School in Havana, worked on the valuation and feasibility of projects to film in Cuba and has acted as an independent producer for different Cuban production companies such as ICAIC and RTV Comercial.
Luis learned the trade at the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC). From 1993 until March 2001 he served in the positions of Production assistant, Production coordinator, Production Assistant, Location Manager, Unit manager, Production director, and Producer.
His first opportunity to produce came in 1998 for the Canadian children’s film Matusalem II. The years that followed saw him work as Producer at ICAIC on Service projects, Co-productions and Cuban features with international film personalities like Directors Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Humberto Solas, Producers Raffaella de Laurentiis and William Vince, and actor Jorge Perugorría, among others.
Independent since 2001, Luis focused on projects that interested him from an artistic point of view rather than follow the industry trends.
He is currently a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). Luis put his early computer engineer training to work at building a budget and accounting system in tune with the film industry.
Helen Kenny, Managing Director MJZ & Sonny London.