Irish Film: New images for Paddy Breathnach’s Oscar contender Viva

Irish director Paddy Breathnach spoke to Indiewire about the making of his new Spanish language drama Viva. The article contained fascinating insight into the film, as well as a host of new images from the extraordinary looking feature.

Viva, which was primarily filmed in Cuba with some Irish shooting, is the story of Jesus, a young man growing up in Havana, who works as a hair and make-up artist for drag acts. His secret desire is to perform on stage, but he must choose between pursuing his dream and reconnecting with his father, who is newly released from prison.

Héctor Medina stars in the lead, alongside writer Mark O’ Halloran (Adam and Paul), as well as Jorge Perugorría (Strawberries and Chocolate) and Luis Alberto García (Che). Cathal Watters (One Million Dubliners) is Director of Photography on the film, while Production Designer Paki Smith reunites with Breathnach, having previously worked together on Man About Dog.

Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole produce for Treasure Entertainment, with funding from the Irish Film Board, Windmill Lane Pictures, RTÉ, and Treasure Entertainment. Nelson Navarro Navarro from Island Films in Cuba co-produced

Earlier this year Viva was selected to be the Irish entry for Best Foreign Language Film, by a panel of the Irish and Film Television Academy. The film played at the prestigious Toronto and Telluride film festivals, acquiring the Academy Award winning actor Benecio Del Toro as Executive Producer prior to the latter festival.

Magnolia Pictures acquired the US distribution rights and will release the film there February. No Irish release has been set as of yet.