The Toronto Independent Festival Awards the Cuban Film ‘Plantadas’

Frame of the film ‘Plantadas’, by Lilo Vilaplana and his son Camilo. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 10 October 2023 — The historical feature film Plantadas (Planted)* by Cuban directors Camilo and Lilo Vilaplana, won the award for best international film at the Toronto Independent Festival of Cift, in Canada, the directors of the event announced on Tuesday.

Lilo Vilaplana celebrated the award on his Facebook page and thanked his entire team for the production of the film. “I am very happy with this award. I really thank Reinol Rodríguez (activist and executive producer of the film) for electing me to do Plantadas.” He also praised his technical and production team, the actors, sponsors, businessmen and “everyone who contributed money, resources and support to Plantadas, but above all the former Cuban political prisoners who gave everything for Cuba, including the Cubans who are imprisoned today for thinking differently and asking for freedom for our beloved homeland.”

The award, added the filmmaker, “will greatly annoy the dictatorship, which will no longer be able to say that it is a film  awarded only in Miami. We are taking the message of the denunciation of castrismo to the whole world.”

The story of the inmates who opposed Fidel Castro after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959 was also awarded last March at the 40th edition of the Miami Film Festival. At the same event, El Caso Padilla (The Padilla Case), by Pavel Giroud, was awarded in the category of best documentary.

This film promises to be at least as valuable as the previous one, because it will collect the experiences of women who have faced the dictatorship

Vilaplana’s feature film was made after the success of his film Plantados, which forms, along with the most recent production, a duo that narrates the human rights violations of the Cuban prison system and illustrates the daily life of the first political prisoners imprisoned by Castro.

“This film promises to be at least as valuable as the previous one, because it will collect the experiences of women who have faced the dictatorship and who, for their actions, ended up in the dungeons of totalitarianism, suffering a systematic violation of their rights, including that of life,” said journalist Pedro Corzo in an article published in 14ymedio.

“The political imprisonment of Cuban women has been, without a doubt, the most numerous and extensive in years that the American hemisphere has suffered. It started in 1959 and it’s not over yet,” he said.

*Translator’s note: Plantadas refers to female political prisoners who resist, refusing to conform to the demands of their jailers. Brief history of plantados [male political prisoners who resist] here

Translated by Regina Anavy 


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