Benicio Del Toro set to spend ‘7 Days in Havana’

He’s one of seven directors signed for omnibus film, Variety reports.

Benicio del Toro is among seven directors attached to direct a segment for “7 Days in Havana,” a collective feature capturing contemporary Cuba. He will be joined by France’s Laurent Cantet and Gaspar Noe, Argentina’s Pablo Trapero, Palestine’s Elia Suleiman, Spain’s Julio Medem and Cuba’s Juan Carlos Tabio.

The Spanish-language “7 Days” is produced by Spain’s Morena Films and new Gallic shingle Full House, an international production house created in 2009 by former Films Distribution head of sales Didar Domehri and Wild Bunch execs Gael Nouaille and Laurent Baudens. Morena’s Alvaro Longoria, Fabien Pisani, Domehri, Baudens and Nouaille will produce.

Presented Wednesday at the Havana Festival, this first major take on Cuba differs from most omnibus pics by having main characters in one short appearing as secondary characters in others. “This is one connected and collective film. ach director shoots one episode, which takes place from morning to night,” said Domehri.

“Havana is a city where people keep on bumping into one another and lead double lives,” Longoria said.

Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura will co-ordinate screenplays, co-writing Medem’s and Tabio’s films. Cuban thesps Ana de Armas (“Sex, Party and Lies”), Mirta Ibarra, Vladimir Cruz and Jorge Perugorria, all stars of “Strawberry and Chocolate,” play linking characters.

“7 Days” records’ tourists’ visions of Havana and portraits of its day-to-day life, said Domehri.

Del Toro will helm a sometimes fictionalized documentary on a U.S. tourist’s first 24 hours in Cuba; Medem portrays a love triangle; Trapero tracks an international actor who arrives in Havana to receive a prize; Suleiman has a foreigner, which he himself plays, wandering through Havana, waiting for something to happen; Cantet chronicles a family’s offering to the ancient religion of Yoruba; Tabio looks at Cubans’ daily trials and joys while Noe follows an exorcism.

Barring Medem, all directors have experience in Havana — Del Toro visited it to shoot “Che,” for instance.

But for “7 Days,” Pisani gave them an insider’s view of Cuba, introducing them to an eclectic young Havana and its music scene, Nouaille said.

Budgeted at €3 million ($4 million), “7 Days” will shoot from early 2011.

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