Fandango Launches Sales on Cuba-Set Venice Days Opener ‘Oceans Are the Real Continents,’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

Italy’s Fandango Sales will launch international distribution at the Venice Film Festival on Tommaso Santambrogio’s “Oceans Are the Real Continents,” set and shot in a run-down contemporary Cuba. The film opens the festival’s independently run Venice Days section. Variety is debuting the trailer exclusively.

The timely drama shot in black-and-white is Santambrogio’s first feature but expands from the director’s well-received short by the same title about a Cuban couple in their 30s and the daily gestures of their love story.

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“The first time I went to Cuba, I was eight years old. As I approached customs, I remember witnessing a desperate and endless embrace – with deep sobs and tears – between a father and his daughter who evidently had found a way to leave the island and would never come back,” Santambrogio, who is Italian, said in his director’s statement.

“It was a farewell, a separation, poignant and unjust yet at the same time terribly common in Cuban society, which today is experiencing the most serious migration crisis in its history (almost 8% of the population has left the country in the last year and the flow is constantly growing),” he added.

“Oceans Are the Real Continents” owes its inspiration to this image, “a moment that settled in my memory and eventually created a connection between Cuba today and my artistic quest,” he went on to note.

“Oceans” centers on Alex and Edith, a young thirty-something couple nurturing a relationship “made up of small gestures and tenderness among the ruins of Cuban buildings,” according to the provided synopsis.

Milagros, an elderly retired woman, survives selling peanut cones on the street and spends her days listening to the radio and reading out old letters. Frank and Alain, two nine-year-old best friends, go to school and dream of emigrating to the U.S. to become Major League Baseball players. In San Antonio De Los Baños, a town in inland Cuba where time seems to stand still, three worlds flow and unfold.

“Over this contemporary reality, together with the characters’ dreams and memories, hovers the constant spectre of separation and its defining force in shaping Cuban lives and destinies.”

Here is the trailer:

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