14ymedio, Havana, 24 December 2016 – Cuban Faces of 2016: The film Molasses (2013), director Carlos Lechuga’s debut, garnered much applause, but it was his second feature which placed him at the center of public attention. The film Santa and Andrés was excluded from the 38th edition of the Havana Film Festival, for political reasons.
The film tells the story of a homosexual writer who, at the beginning of the 1980s, is isolated from society in a remote spot on the east of the island. The authorities there assign a peasant woman to watch over him, but after a time, an unforeseen relationship between them is born.
Lechuga spoke out against the censorship of the film from his Facebook profile and also raising their voices were the directors Jonathan Jakubowicz, Fernando Perez, Enrique Alvarez and film critic Dean Luis Reyes, among others. However, the president of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), Roberto Smith, claimed a “question of principles” to prevent its distribution.
Santa and Andrés has been exhibited in prestigious festivals such as Toronto, San Sebastian and Chicago, but in the native country of its director it will have to circulate by alternative methods through the popular “weekly packet” in which Cubans receive much of their entertainment.