13 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Production Begins on Treasure Entertainment’s ‘Viva’ in Cuba
18 Dec 2014 : Seán Brosnan
Production has begun on the new Irish Film ‘Viva’, written by IFTA-winning Irish writer Mark O'Halloran (‘Adam and Paul’, ‘Garage’), and helmed by director Paddy Breathnach (‘I Went Down’, ‘Man About Dog’, ‘Shrooms’).

‘Viva’ reunites Paddy Breathnach with Treasure Entertainment (‘The Stag’, ‘The Eclipse’, ‘Man About Dog’, ‘I Went Down’) and sees Cathal Watters (‘One Million Dubliners’, ‘Dare to Be Wild’) as Director of Photography and Paki Smith (‘Eamon’, ‘32A’, ‘Man About Dog’) as Production Designer.

Mark O’ Halloran also stars in the picture and the film also features Jorge Perugorría (‘Strawberries and Chocolate’), Luis Alberto García (‘Che’) and Hector Medina.

Set in Cuba, ‘Viva’ tells the story of Jesus, an eighteen year old Cuban, who is lost and struggling to realize his true identity. Unsure of himself or his future, he works at a local Havana drag club where he entertains dreams of becoming a performer. At home he finds solace listening to the records his mother and grandmother left him: romantic torchsongs by the great names of Latin music. Into his life, however, comes a force to challenge his direction and tentative freedom: his long lost father, a celebrated boxer, released from a 15 year prison term having killed someone in a street brawl when Jesus was a child. Through this uneasy relationship, ‘Viva’ becomes a tender love story between father and son as both men struggle to understand each other and escape the burden of expectation, duty and past sins.

Producer Rob Walpole of Treasure Entertainment said about the film: ‘This is a beautiful and moving story, with universally compelling and relatable themes. We are delighted to have got this project off the ground. It has been a labour of love for all concerned and that makes the experience all the more satisfying. We are particularly excited to be working with Paddy again and Mark is a great talent so we feel we really have a top grade team on this one.’

The majority of the film will shoot in Havana and there will be a short shoot in Dublin. The project is supported by the Irish Film Board, Windmill Lane Pictures, RTÉ and Treasure Entertainment. It is produced by Robert Walpole, Rebecca O'Flanagan and Cathleen Dore.

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