By Lynn Cruz
HAVANA TIMES – A crowdfunding campaign on Verkami to bring the movie El Trikit to life is about to close. In an alternative universe, people live with a monster that fattens and grows depending on where it lives and who it lives with. This provocative storyline was written by filmmaker and journalist Carlos Melian.
Jose Luis Aparicio, who launched the campaign, has taken the reins of this story, getting a team together which (judging by the trailer I’m sharing with this article) aspires to have a bright and stylized cinematography. Meanwhile, Gabriel Aleman carefully designed the special effects in El Triket. Mario Guerra plays the lead of this movie’s cast, while the femme fatale role will be played by young actress Neisy Alpizar.
Why have so many filmmakers choose crowdfunding campaigns as a way to get their projects off the ground? There are funds destined for film, that come from mainly European cultural institutions, as well as their embassies, on the island. However, it’s not enough, and they mostly go towards arts movies, with social themes, but without touching on the hard truth. It is also hard work to raise funds for genre movies, such as El Trikit.
Why do movies need our help? Film on the island needs to free itself of the stunted umbilical cord that connects them to institutions. The Cuban State has not only controlled reality, but also how it is portrayed on screen. Movies are very important, which is why the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) was created in 1959. Some members at the time had made films independently, before then.
Any help is welcome when it is a question of making a dream come true. In this instance, it’s supporting Aparicio’s dream. For those of you who don’t know him, I will tell you a little bit about him. Aparicio was born in the Santa Clara province in 1994. In the last year of his pre-university course, he was awared the Critical Award for Mid-years, at the National “Mario Rodriguez Aleman” Workshop of Film Critique. He has a degree in Director of Film, Radio and TV from the Faculty of Arts, at the Audiovisual Communication University (FAMCA). His short movies have been screened at festivals in Cuba, the US, Spain, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Panama, Uruguay and Guatemala.
His short movie El Secadero won the Best Fiction Movie award at the Bannabafest (Panama, Best Production and Audience Choice Award at the 18th edition of the Young Filmmakers’ Festival (Cuba) and Best Script at the 2019 Almacen de la Imagen awards (Cuba). He was a member of the Mezcal Jury at the 33rd Guadalajara Film Festival. He was chosen for the 3rd “Castello Errante” International Film Residency, Italy, 2019.
Making a film is like going on a journey. Going inside a world created by someone, inviting similar people along the way, who are able to understand the artist’s inner world, is the best way to do it. On the other hand, art, and in this instance film, tries to reveal the darkest side of human nature, and thereby of society on the whole. El Triket is this monster that we live with, that we are afraid to stand up to.