Between historic rock concerts, Hollywood film shoots, high-level diplomatic visits, and high-fashion runway shows, 2016 has been a wild year for Cuba. But in case you thought Cuba fever was starting to die down with all this election business, the folks at Black Factory Cinema have just announced an international workshop that will put the eyes of the entire global film community squarely on one small film school on the outskirts of Havana.
That’s because the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV) in San Antonio de los Baños will be hosting Oscar-nominated filmmaker-mystic-adventurer Werner Herzog for a 10-day “practical realization workshop” slated for March 6-16, 2017. In layman’s terms, that means 50 budding directors from around the world will be invited to the Cuban countryside to make a short project under the guidance of one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers. And if you know your way around non-linear editing software and have a passion for seeking out ecstatic truth, one of those 50 coveted slots may have your name on it.
For his part, Herzog made his first splash in the public consciousness with his unsettling 2005 documentary Grizzly Man before securing his first Oscar nomination a year later with his Antarctica-themed doc Encounters at the End of the World. But in truth, the German-born LA resident has been a darling of the art house film circuit since he emerged as a principal figure of New German Cinema in the 1970s. His early masterpieces Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo brought him to South America where he explored Latin America’s history of colonialism and conquest. His latest fiction film, the Bolivia-set ecological thriller Salt and Fire, stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a scientist sent to investigate the rapidly expanding salt flats.
So dust off your pens and start working on those personal statements; because this is the first time Herzog has ever given a workshop of this sort – and it may very well be the only time this goes down in a place like Cuba. Just make sure you have around $4,500 handy, plus money for airfare. If not, hey, this Master Class on Youtube is free.
Applications for the Filming in Cuba with Werner Herzog workshop are due December 20, 2016.