REVOLUTION, ESPIONAGE,AND REFRIGERATORS ARE NOT THEMATIC ELEMENTS OF YOUR AVERAGE SURF FILM
BUT, OF COURSE, CUBA IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE SURF DESTINATION.
STYLE: FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
DIRECTOR: COREY MCLEAN
DP: SETH BROWN
PRODUCER: TYLER DUNHAM
WEARER OF MANY HATS: MARCO BAVA
In the words of Yaya Guerrero, one of only two female Cuban surfers, “a surfer in Cuba is a fighter”. Overwhelming resistance to the sport from the Cuban government has raised an underground community of surfers who lead a life demanding ingenuity, passion, and persistence.
Havana Libre explores the hurdles of surfing in Cuba, tracing parallels with all pursuits of passion influenced by the country’s one-of-a-kind social and political ideologies. The film also showcases the rapidly changing culture, filmed over three of the island’s most monumental months in the last 50 years.
Two surfers, Frank and Yaya, represent different sides of the unlikely surf community growing in Cuba: Frank the quintessential “surfer boy”, Yaya the activist attempting to popularize the sport for women. Yet as the country enters a new chapter, so does Frank. The birth of his first child Paola (named after waves in Spanish) greatly affects Frank’s outlook on surfing and life on the island he proudly calls home. Yaya and Frank grow united in dreaming of a different future for their sport and their country, with Paola representing a new generation of surfers.
While we begin post-production, Yaya and Frank are spearheading a movement to persuade the Government of Cuba to officially recognize surfing as a sport. The Makewild crew is following the story intently, and plan to film at important meetings in Cuba. The first goal is to get Cubans surfing in the 2020 Olympics, the dream is to legitimize their very way of life.
Interested in watching Havana Libre or helping the cause?
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