Winner for Best Documentary, Playing Lecuona, led by Spanish Juanma Villar and Cuban Pavel Giroud, had its world premiere at the Montreal International Festival of 2015. However, its official presentation was in this 2016. The film pays tribute one of the most recognized composersof the island of all time, Ernesto Lecuona, on the 120th Anniversary of his birth.
Playing Lecuona was filmed in several cities: Havana, New York and the Canary Islands. It features performances of famous pianists such as the Cubans Chucho Valdes and Gonzalito Rubalcaba; and Michel Camilo, representing the Dominican Republic. To them, the voices of the Spanish Ana Belen and our Omara Portuondo, Xiomara Laugart and Muñequitos de Matanzas, among others were added.
For Pavel Giroud, Lecuona has been the most powerful composer Cuba has ever had. "The documentary was not invented by me. When I got into the project, artists, repertoire and cities were defined. Its producer and co-director, Juanma Villar, felt there should be a Cuban filmmaker in the project and knocked on my door. "
The filmmaker recognizes that the filming was complicated. "Matching the schedules of these three pianists and at the same time ours, meant little inconveniences. Traveling from town to town made the music more invigorated. Each city printed on the film more than just the landscape. "
After the award in Montreal, Playing Lecuona was in the IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), and then participated in the Seminci, International Film Week in Valladolid. Recently it won the award for Best International Album at the Cubadisco Festival 2016.