Hot summer has come to their tiny village in the Cuban countryside, Leonel and Antuán intimately explore their universe far from adults. With a considerable difference in age, their unique friendship is torn between games and fights, conversations about everyday life, existentialist questions, simple pleasures, and boredom. As his older friend is drawn to the busy life of the city, Leonel is forced to examine his life and place in the world.
While the Cuban society is going through a transitional period, the two friends also come to a crossroads.
Pablo Briones and Jace Freeman
(one half of The Moving Picture Boys) met at a workshop while shooting in Cuba with Abbas Kiarostami; Jace working as a cameraman on PEZCAL. That was how they discovered the perks of working together, along with Leonel and Antuán. At the end of the workshop, PEZCAL was unanimously chosen “Best Film of the Workshop” and showed that Pablo belonged to this rare species of filmmakers, capable of bearing a just, tender and lucid gaze on childhood, without contempt or condescension. The short film made its way to festivals such as Locarno, La Havana and Oberhausen, and obviously, all parties involved felt the need to continue this beautiful companionship with the young Cubans Leonel and Antuán, this time for a feature film.
Thus, C-Side Productions, The Moving Picture Boys and Playlab Films pooled again their resources and skills for BARACOA.
A collaboration out of the ordinary was born. A collaboration that not only emulates a rock band (“Pablo Briones & The Moving Picture Boys”), but also works as such.
With Pablo leading the project in a comprehensive way, Jace and his associate Sean Clark brilliantly operated the image and sound of the film while being collectively involved in the filmmaking process.
The result is a product with a very special value added; extraordinary natural performances documented with exceptional touch and beauty.
Born in 1983 in Tucumán, Argentina, Pablo Briones is a film director, film editor, and cinematographer based in Geneva, Switzerland. During his early film studies at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, he collaborates as a film curator for Cineclub La Quimera & Agencia Córdoba Cultura. Within his Master’s degree in Film Direction at ECAL/HEAD, he directed A BEIRA DE LISBOA (Silver Mikeldi Award
at ZINEBI’55, Bilbao) and A BARCA, a diptych of
essay short films screened in Visions du Réel, Jihlava IDFF, FIDBA, Arkipel IDEFF and IndieLisboa among others. In 2016 he takes part in the workshop Filming in Cuba with Abbas Kiarostami, where he directed
PEZCAL (Best Workshop Film) screened in Locarno FF, La Habana FF, and Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen among many others. BARACOA is his first feature film.
À BEIRA DE LISBOA, 8 min, 2013 (Silver Mikeldi Award ZINEBI’55,IndieLisboa’13, FIDBA 2013).
A BARCA, 21 min, 2015 (Visions du Réel2015, Jihlava IDFF 2015, Arkipel IDEFF 2015).
PEZCAL, 11 min, 2016 (Locarno 2016, La Habana 2016,
BARACOA (Berlinale Generation 2019, Malaga 2019, CPH:DOX 2019).
We are narrative nonfiction directors working in the documentary tradition of direct cinema. We operate without “directing” in the traditional sense, letting life unfold before us, anticipating the direction of the story. We were excited to team up with Pablo, and apply an outside imposed “direction” to this style. After working together in a workshop taught by Abbas Kiarostami, we found out that we were all interested in making a minimalist, doc-style narrative with a child protagonist that mixes fictional and documentary elements. Pablo developed a script that served as a guideline for preproduction, but on the ground it was our intention to let the narrative unfold as it may. Using the observational documentary method, we captured scenes naturally letting the “actors” dictate their dialogue, blocking and movement. Jean Renoir’s words were our guiding light, “It is the cameraman’s duty to make it possible for us to see the spectacle, rather than the duty of the spectacle to take place for the benefit of the camera.” However, we had Pablo acting like a little devil on the shoulders of our non-actor talent making them say and do things that spurred on and heightened their natural behavior. Working together with Pablo, we had an idea of the scenes we wanted to capture, but as it unfolded quickly and in a foreign language we relied mostly on our documentary instincts to “see the spectacle”. The resulting film is a work that feels more like a documentation of a film or a film observed; one with cinematic qualities but with the heart of a documentary.
C-Side Productions was founded by the end of the 20th century in Geneva, Switzerland, by independent artists emerging from the "alternative" scene.
The company has been active in producing documentaries, short films, new media and audio-visual installations. These productions were screened at festivals and museums worldwide (Berlinale, Locarno, Sao Paulo, Nyon, etc.), released in theaters and broadcasted in Switzerland and Europe.
Our editorial line favours author’s driven ambitious projects that cast a personal light on aspects of our modern society.
PLAYLAB FILMS: creativity in movement by unstoppable creators.
We are a production company that aims at nurturing imagination through cinema.
We believe that playing is the driving force of great ideas and a key element in all creative processes. We boost an innovative and alternative production model based on the importance of playing to experiment with creativity and dynamism to discover new horizons.
PLAYLAB FILMS is a bridge to be used by those who are talented, so they can create and show their work under a different perspective: integrating knowledge, production, financing and distribution into a sustainable and swift cinema model.
Jace Freeman (07/07/1983, USA) and Sean Clark (11/21/1981, USA) are award-winning directors creating narrative nonfiction documentaries in the American South. Utilizing a direct cinema approach, the duo has independently created several films including The Ballad of Shovels and Rope (2014) which won Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Port Townsend Film Festival and Best Tennessee Feature at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival. Previously, The Moving Picture Boys created Nashville Docujournal, an innovative web series of cinematic journalism. Selected works from the series screened in the Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked” as well as included in the duo’s feature Nashville 2012 (2013) which won the 2013 Nashville Film Festival award for Best Feature in Tennessee. They are currently finishing the forthcoming Saint Cloud Hill (2019), a new cinéma vérité feature shot exclusively in a narrative observational style.
GENERATION 69TH BERLINALE
The selection focuses on films that take young people seriously in their narratives and their cinematic languages.
22 Málaga Film Festival
Winner of "BIZNAGA DE PLATA PREMIO DEL PÚBLICO"
Selection In cph:dox FILM FESTIVAL
2019 Sheffield doc|Fest
youth Award winner 2019