You may remember from a previous post that I was in Cuba in December 2014 conducting a Story Lab workshop at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television. During my free time, I used my iPhone to shoot a little documentary with a young man, Alejandro, and his friends, entitled In Waiting (12 minutes).
Inspired by the questions he raises about the situation he and his friends find themselves in, I was moved to act spontaneously and shoot this film. This is something I do once in a while and I use whatever tool (camera) comes to hand – in this case, an iPhone 6 Plus. The film was shot in one afternoon and one evening. I have made several short films in a similarly spontaneous way, including Vanilla Chip, A Dog’s Farewell To His Master and The Yoruba Tree. There is also a direct connection between this documentary and my photographic essay on Cuba, Cuba In Waiting, which recently exhibited at the Dean Clough Gallery in Halifax, UK.
Despite recent signs of a thawing relationship between the United States and Cuba, many in Cuba feel stuck and despondent about their situation. Since the revolution in 1959, nothing much has changed. Many have left Cuba, and continue to leave, particularly the young, and the country continues to exist in a state of limbo. This short documentary, In Waiting, tells the story of Alejandro, a young educated man in San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba, frustrated by the repressive stasis of the country, concerned for his future and, above all, torn between the idea of leaving Cuba – like all his friends intend to – and staying to change it. Alejandro meets up with his friends one evening and asks himself: how will Cuba change if young people do not stay to change it?
In Waiting is now complete and will be made available soon on this site. At the moment it is being considered for the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival 2015 and cannot be screened until they have made a decision whether to include it in this year’s festival. Either way, it will be made available soon and it may coincide with the release of The Raven On The Jetty in April 2015.