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Film Series

The Cuban: Advance Screening and Conversation

July 26, 2020

A musical journey of love, friendship and the power of the imagination.

When a naïve pre-med student gets her first job in a nursing home, an unexpected friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician, reignites her love of music and changes her life forever.

FOLCS was pleased to offer an advance screening of The Cuban, ahead of a Conversation on the film with Academy Award-winning actor, Louis Gossett Jr., and internationally acclaimed director, Sergio Navarretta, on July 26, 2020.

Louis Gossett Jr.
Actor

Louis Gossett Jr. is one of today’s most respected and widely beloved actors on stage, screen and television who also serves as an accomplished writer, producer and director. Offscreen, he is a passionate social activist, notable author and speaker who is dedicated to enriching the lives of others through storytelling, as well as creating a better world through his Eracism Foundation.

Gossett recently concluded several projects. In the face of the COVID19 pandemic, is currently digitally traversing the country for discussions and promotional appearances regarding one of his films, The Cuban, which recently premiered at the world’s first pandemic-era virtual film festival, Canadian Film Fest.

Forthcoming projects include HBO’s “Watchman,” debuting October 20, 2019; and the independent films “Foster Boy,” “The Cuban,” and “The Reason” (2020). Gossett was the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his unforgettable performance as drill Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” Among his other awards are an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Fiddler in the groundbreaking ABC series “Roots,” a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for “The Josephine Baker Story,” and a Golden Globe for “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

He has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Academy Award, five Images Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards and in 1992 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gossett has also received numerous other honors throughout his illustrious career.

His film debut was in the 1961 classic movie “A Raisin in the Sun” with Sidney Poitier. Other film credits include “The Deep,” “Blue Chips,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” “Firewalker,” “Jaws-3D,” “Enemy Mine” and “Iron Eagle” 1-4, among many others. Television credits include “Extant,” “Madam Secretary,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Family Guy” and “ER,” among dozens of others.

Gossett is the author of the bestselling autobiography “An Actor and a Gentleman,” in which he chronicles the challenges and triumphs of his 50+ year career. He is equally markedly recognized for his humanitarian efforts as he is for his accomplishments as an actor. In 2006, Gossett founded The Eracism Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating racism. The foundation provides young adults with tools to live a racially diverse and culturally inclusive life. Programs focus on fostering cultural diversity, historical enrichment, education and anti-violence initiatives.

Gossett was born in Brooklyn and made his stage debut when he was 17 in “Take a Giant Step,” which was selected as one of the 10 best Broadway shows of 1953 by The New York Times. He has two adult sons and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sergio Navarretta
Director

Sergio Navarretta is an internationally award-winning director who is fiercely passionate about bringing meaningful content to the screen. He draws inspiration from Italian neorealism and considers his work an exploration of the human condition. Navarretta’s projects are touching, relevant, inclusive, often humorous, and most importantly, entertaining. He is currently hard at work innovating creative ways for his projects and the film industry at large to press on during the unprecedented COVID19 crisis.

Navarretta made his directorial debut with LOOKING FOR ANGELINA, a true crime feature that tells the story of one of the most sensational murder cases in North American history.  LOOKING FOR ANGELINA won numerous awards, was showcased at festivals around the world, played to sold-out theatres in fifteen Canadian cities, and ranked amongst the top
five in box office revenues for Canadian films at the time. A social action campaign and learning guide to raise awareness and spotlight issues of domestic violence were created and released alongside the film.  Navarretta’s follow-up feature, THE COLOSSAL FAILURE OF THE MODERN RELATIONSHIP, starring Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me), traveled on the festival circuit, and premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Oscar weekend.  COLOSSAL is currently available on all VOD platforms in the US/ Canada and around the world.

Between features, Navarretta has directed a number of award-winning short films, including THE FORTUNE COOKIE, OVER A SMALL CUP OF COFFEE and EN PLEIN AIR, an homage to the Group of Seven.  He also worked as a producer, service producer and executive producer under his own company banner, S.N.A.P. Films Inc., as well as for various international clients.

He executive produced (for Canada) the sci-fi movie, ANDRON starring Danny Glover and Alec Baldwin.  He is an executive producer of the biopic LAMBORGHINI, starring Alec Baldwin and Antonio Banderas, and was a consulting producer on TRADING PAINT, starring John Travolta.  Navarretta is proud to have executive produced and overseen all aspects of production and casting for the star-studded animated theatrical feature ARCTIC DOGS, now on Netflix, featuring Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Anjelica Huston, Alec Baldwin, John Cleese and Heidi Klum.

Currently, Navarretta is back in the director’s chair with his passion project, THE CUBAN, starring: Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. (AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN); Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG); Ana Golja (Degrassi: Next Class); Lauren Holly (DUMB AND DUMBER) and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy).  THE CUBAN tells the story of a naïve pre-med student named Mina (Golja) who develops an unlikely friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician with dementia (Gossett Jr.).

Just prior to the quarantine orders necessitated by COVID19 all over the world, THE CUBAN screened at the Whistler Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, winning top awards at each.  After the COVID19 shutdown began, the film also served as the opening feature to Canada’s first nation-wide virtual film festival, the Canadian Film Fest, on Super Channel to great success. THE CUBAN is slated for North American release in 2020 and features the music of Grammy nominated piano virtuoso, Hilario Duran.

Navarretta received his education at York University in Toronto and has a background in music from the Royal Conservatory.  He has done extensive training in both acting and directing, learning under the guidance of actor Nick Mancuso and renowned acting coach Rose Dubin, and directing at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre.  He has attended various master classes, including one led by director Robert Altman, and has shadowed both directors and cinematographers over the years, including the legendary Piotr Sabocinski.  Navarretta sat on numerous panels to raise awareness about domestic violence and issues of racism during the release of LOOKING FOR ANGELINA, a film that has subsequently been utilized by universities, government and police services across Canada.  He is proud to sit on the boards of several arts organizations, including the ICFF Film Festival in Toronto and is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada. He is Vice President of S.N.A.P. Films Inc., and currently has a number of live action and animated projects in development. He divides his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.