Nine-year-old Esteban and his single mother struggle to make ends meet in modern-day Havana. But when the boy finds himself drawn to piano music emanating from the house of an embittered teacher, he becomes determined to pursue his new passion—even if it means going behind his mother’s back. With an original score by Grammy-winning jazz great Chucho Valdes, Jonal Cosculluela’s directorial debut was filmed on location in his native Havana, and it stands as a gentle, inspiring tale of nurturing one’s gifts and overcoming obstacles to transform multiple lives.
AWARDS: Bronze Horse, Stockholm Junior Film Festival (Sweden); Audience Choice Award, Chicago Latino Film Festival (USA); Jury Award, Huelva International Film Festival (Spain); Audience Award, Huelva International Film Festival (Spain); UNICEF Award, International Festival for New Latin American Cinema (Havana, Cuba)
Born in 1977 Havana, Jonal Cosculluela has spent over a decade working in national television as an editor for TV series, documentaries, and teleplays. His feature film directorial debut is ESTEBAN, a co-production between Cuba and Spain.
Havana native Maritza Ceballo, a former journalist, makes her debut as a producer with ESTEBAN.
Unlocking Upstate Locations (6/11, 10:30 AM – 12 PM – Whiteface Lodge)
Ever wonder how a particular barn or village diner shows up in a movie? In every script there’s usually one scene that makes producers and directors lose sleep. That’s when they rely on experts like location managers and public officials who can help unlock key locations and turn those challenging moments into movie magic collaborations. Preparation is key.
Locations manager/scout, Mike Camoin, whose recent upstate credits include the Sundance lab project, We The Animals, As You Are (2016 Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize), Place Beyond the Pines, HBO Films’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, among others, will share a case study scene that includes two rivers, one damn, a highway, a bridge, a village, a town, a variance in the county law, an international land owner and an undersheriff all needed to get one key shot. Jerry Stoeffhaas of the NYS Governors Office of Motion Pictures will join Camoin and share why upstate NY is one of the most camera ready film friendly locations in the U.S. and how emerging directors can secure key locations for their next motion picture, television series, or short film.
Who should attend this Master’s Class?
Anyone from property owners to county, historians to village tourism officials seeking to better prepare and attract the motion picture industry to their upstate communities will benefit from this master class, as well, filmmakers and producers who want to learn how to secure access to key locations, shut down highways and turn the director’s vision into reality on a tight schedule and limited budget.
Denial (6/11, 6-8 PM – Palace Theatre (Palace One))
Produced by Elizabethtown-based filmmaker Aaron Woolf and directed by Saratoga-based Derek Hallquist, the film is making its North Country premiere at one of the flagship venues whose transition to digital projection was supported by the Adirondack North Country Association’s Go Digital or Go Dark campaign in 2013.
“It’s a great honor to be sharing this project at the Palace after collaborating on the Go Digital project that helped preserve so many of our North Country cinemas,” Woolf remarked. “Films that touch on pressing social issues are important conversation-starters in our communities and I am very grateful to the Adirondack Film Society for giving us this opportunity.” Woolf continued, “The fact that this screening of Denial, with its themes of climate change and facing reality comes at a moment in which concerns about our national climate focus have taken on renewed urgency feels more timely than we could have imagined.”
The film had its world premiere at the Los Angeles film festival last summer and this June marks the release of the Denial on numerous PBS affiliates across the nation in a shortened, hour-long version.