Der Kölner Filmemacher Ingmar Trost und sein Projekt EL BASTIÓN
Playa Girón and the Eternal Cuban Revolution
EL BASTIÓN is a feature length documentary about Playa Girón, the arena of the infamous Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.
A week ago I returned from Cuba and I am glad to say that finally we found a way to make it all happen. Behind us are over 6 months of repeated refusals of the Cuban Embassy and negotiations with the Cuban Film Institute ICAIC. And the trip itself was not without trouble either. Once more I had to realize first hand just what filming in Cuba implicates: after only four days in Playa Girón I was asked to present myself at the local immigration office where it was made unmistakably clear to me that I couldn't continue with my research unless absolutely all necessary permissions and a work visa was in place - otherwise I'd be on a plane home the next day and would never enter the county again. Off I went to Havana to try to sort this mess out. After three days of talks and negotiations at the the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industia Cinematográficos) we finally found a way to make it happen. Still, this shoot will be very challenging until its very end, not least since the anniversary in Playa Girón will be a ceremonial act of immense proportions and security measures will be accordingly. But no matter what, in five weeks me and my DoP Thomas Bergmann will board a plane to Havana! Shooting is planned to start on 25th March and last until 25th April.
The uncertainties with regard to the feasibility of the project were also the main reason that financing the project was immensely difficult and we still do not have the required minimum budget in place. And this is where you come in. The link below will take you to our Kickstarter page: there you will find a description of the project and have the opportunity to pledge an amount of your choice to support our film project.
The desired amount ($ 25,000.00) would pay the raw production costs in Cuba (travel, accommodation, permissions & fees, equipment, Cuban producer & sound person). My DoP Thomas Bergmann has agreed to accrue his fee - and we are talking about approx. 30 shooting days.
Your account will only be debited with the pledged amount if we reach the requested $ 25,000.00, in case we don't your account will not be debited at all. In return for your pledge you will receive attractive awards upon completion of the film - from DVDs and premiere tickets to an end credit and a trip to Cuba. You don't just support our film; you become part of the project and get something back in return.
Whoever likes the idea of becoming a film patron has a few dollars to spare and appreciates good documentaries, is warmly invited to support us in this undertaking. We would be immensely grateful if the film could be made with your help!
EL BASTIÓN (The Bastion) is a feature length documentary about Playa Girón, a sleepy village on Cuba‘s south coast - and the location of the infamous Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961. The film observes life in the village as it prepares itself for the 50th anniversary on 19th April 2011: disenchantment with politics clash with the authentic pride about an historic victory, misty-eyed nostalgia with everyday reality.
In April 1961 an army of 1.500 Cuban exiles - trained and equipped by the USA - landed in the Bay of Pigs in order to set an end to Fidel Castro‘s regime. They met their Waterloo: After only three days the invasion was over and the intruders were either dead or taken hostage. The revolution had won a second time - and Playa Girón, became the epitome of the fight between the Cuban David and the imperialistic Goliath USA.
On 19th April 2011 Playa Girón will commemorate the successful abatement of the Invasion for the 50th time. The documentary will follow the countdown up until the festivities and observe how the village prepares itself for the most significant anniversary in its history. The build-up to the anniversary serves as the narrative backbone of the story. Above all, this will be a film about the place and the people who live there today - a film of humble accounts and low-key observations. It is the small stories that tell much about this unique island in the Caribbean - about its history and possible future, about its soul and the hopes of a new generation.