The Tikrit is a Cuban fiction short-film of approximately 27 mins currently in pre-production. The story is set in Havana, during an alternative present. The locals live with the Tikrits, creatures shaped like a sea cucumber but with the size of a cachalot. The Tikrits make human life very difficult, but no one gets rid of them. People is more likely to adapt and get used to having them around. The animals segregate a dark and dense liquid that has created an epidemic.
Walfrido Larduet is a shy middle-aged guy that works as an inspector for the Electricity Corporation. Since his divorce, he lives alone in an old rundown house. He has a daughter that he seldom sees and has neglected his physical appearance. In his house there’s also a Tikrit that is causing him problems but it’s his only company.
One night, Walfrido dreams of a woman that dances for him: it’s the Red Woman. Even awake he can feel her presence and keep the sight of her lullaby tattoo. In the house, he finds strange clues: she might have visited him the night before. In the course of a day, Walfrido will follow her trace, as he wanders around the suburbs of the city – a landscape plagued with diseases, intense heat and the smoke of fumigation.
Our project is related to the artistic tradition of film noir and its contemporary iterations. We will recreate marginal and decadent suburban ambiances, with an emphasis in fatalistic and doomed atmospheres. A key influence is the work of painter Edward Hopper, as well as the films of directors like David Lynch, Roman Polanski and Nicholas Winding Refn.
The fantastic genre, despite its strong presence in world cinema, is a refreshingly new aesthetic for Cuban films, more traditionally focused on social realism and folk comedies. The island’s context will be presented as a limbo, an almost apocalyptic landscape. The surreal elements, in our short, possess a symbolic nature. The Tikrit, for example, is a reflection of a social cancer, made of strong drives and strong walls, that keeps Cuban people in underdevelopment. The creature is an extension of the character, the objective evidence of his paralysis… What can we do with that portion of ourselves?
Meet the team!
The production staff of The Tikrit is integrated by filmmakers graduated for Cuba’s University of the Arts (ISA) with experience in shorts, feature films, documentaries, music videos and advertising, including national film industry and independent cinema.
The last short-film by José Luis Aparicio (director) and Leila Montero (producer) is El Secadero (Dryland, 2019), successfully crowdfunded in Verkami. This film won the Best Production and Audience awards at the 18th Muestra Joven of Cuba, the Best Fiction award at Bannabáfest in Panamá and the Best Screenplay award at Almacén de la Imagen, Cuba. It has also been selected in film festivals of USA, Chile, Germany, Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala.
The short would be starring Mario Guerra, one of the most important actors of Cuban cinema and theater, known for his work in films like Chico & Rita (2010) of Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba and Cuban films like El Benny (2006, dir. Jorge Luis Sánchez), La obra del siglo (The Project of the Century, 2015, dir. Carlos M. Quintela) and Sergio & Sergei (2017, dir. Ernesto Daranas).
Director: José Luis Aparicio Ferrera
Screenwriter Carlos Melián Moreno
Producer: Leila Montero Hernández
Director of Photography: Gabriel Alemán
Sound Editing and Mixing: Glenda Martínez Cabrera
Production Designer: Pepe Reyes
Visual Effects: Daniel Alemán
Cast: Mario Guerra / Neisy Alpízar / Laura Molina / Eduardo Martínez
How we will use your contributions
Our project has the support of Cuban independent film production companies Estudio ST, dB Studio and The Moon Productions in relation to services and equipment for filming and post-production. Your contributions will be used to guarantee the logistics of the seven days shooting and to cover the Art Department expenses regarding scenography, costume, make-up, etc., as well as the Lighting requirements.
In Cuba, due to the lack of funds to support film productions, it’s very complicated to obtain funding for independent pictures. Crowdfunding has become one of the key initiatives to help the island’s young artists to get their projects made.
September of 2019 – January 10th of 2020
January 11th – Janury 18th of 2020
January 28th – April 30th of 2020
May of 2020
We’ll start sending the rewards in May of 2020.