Who would have guessed that this year Havana’s Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano would be inundated by Americanos? Yeah, no one’s really surprised – especially since 2015 was essentially an unending parade of high-profile celebrity visits to the island. It seems after nearly 60 years, Cuba has once again turned into a playground for the U.S.’ glitterati class, and what better excuse for a weekend romp in the Caribbean than an international-caliber film festival?

The recent and historic opening of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. presents a unique opportunity for…

Posted by Sundance Film Festival on Friday, December 11, 2015

Among the many big-time North American movers and shakers wowing festival crowds and striking backroom deals at this year’s XXXVII edition (that’s 37 if you’re not good with Roman numerals), Ethan Hawke possibly takes the crown as most visible Hollywood superstar. Ostensibly, the 45-year-old Boyhood star is attending the festival as part of a team representing the Sundance Institute, but he’s probably really there to hang out for a few days in Havana.

Sundance Institute’s Michelle Satter, Ethan Hawke, Sebastian Silva and Erin Cressida Wilson at the Screenwriting Panel in Havana, 2015. Photo by Adolfo Adiel Mena Cejas.

Posted by Sundance Film Festival on Friday, December 11, 2015

Like just about everyone else, Hawke has publicly expressed his fascination with the island, but took things a step further when he revealed his desire to shoot a film in the still-embargoed Perla del Caribe. In a recent interview, Hawke pointed out that not many American directors have made movies in Cuba, and mentioned that the project he has in mind is an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams’ play Real Path.

Sundance Institute’s view of the Havana Streets, 2015. Photo by Paul Federbush.

Posted by Sundance Film Festival on Friday, December 11, 2015

Of course, this sounds like a wonderful idea, but maybe he didn’t get the memo that the U.S. trade embargo still technically makes U.S. film productions a near impossibility on the island. Now we can only hope our Republican-controlled Congress has a soft spot for Tennessee Williams when it comes time to vote this antiquated policy down once and for all.

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