Habana 3 A.M. with the character Max Vogue premieres at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. This fashion film was the first fashion film to film in Cuba. This film creates a fashion journey with drama, adventure, and culture. Director Antonio Contreras Aviance takes a moment to discuss this history making fashion film.
- What makes this a fashion film?
Fashion is what inspired the main character of this film, Max Vogue. He is an angst-ridden fashion superhero who seeks for the truth.
- How does location play into the screenplay of the film?
I had in mind filming in Cuba to capture the glamour and luxury. Cuba provided a perfect backdrop for 1950s and juxtapose the traditions. The mysticism and folklore of Cuba. The location of the film gave birth to the film’s title Habana 3 A.M.
- What is your background in film and direction?
I am a plastic artist, fashion historian and film enthusiast. I grew up watching Mexican Golden Age of Cinema films. Later I developed a love for the Italian neo realism. My formal education was in the films of David Lynch, Almodovar, John Waters, Gus Van Sant among others. When I direct, produce, the film is my canvas.
- This fashion film had the opportunity to film Cuba. What were some of the struggles and benefits to filming at this location?
In Cuba, people have a way of making things out of nothing, and that seems to work in a very surreal way. If you try to do things the way you are used to, you will fail but if you surrender to the forces of the supernatural you might have a chance. My cameras did not work and the location I had a permit for filming was closed for renovation.
Suddenly a priestess of Santeria, a mystical Afro-Cuban tradition, opened her doors to my cameras and brought with her an entire Cuban cast. This cast was willing to participate in my film. The cameras worked thanks to a very creative cameraman who knew how to read Chinese (the only language that the camera directions had). Then the filming finished in 5 days.
- When creating this film what was the advantage of being a short film?
The advantage to creating a short film is being able to intrigue a lot of people with a little dose of fashion, music, luxury, and folklore. I did not have to explain more, and that is always a good thing, “Leave before you are left.”
- This film collection includes an animation called Max Vogue what is the back-story to creating the animation?
Yes, if you want to know what happened to Max Vogue after his Cuba trip, you will find out in the animated comic. Max is pushed down the stairs after winning an award, and then he goes into an “Alice in Wonderland” type of experience. He is able to travel through time and meet his icons such as Dali, Kahlo, Hemingway, Schiaparelli etc.
Max in the comic educates and amuses about fashion history, pop culture and art. Did you know: Yves Saint Laurent was in a mental institution for a while, Thierry Mugler was an architect and photographer, Coco Chanel spent her childhood in an adoption center and never was adopted, and Alexander McQueen had planned to commit suicide in front of a live audience? All these mysteries Max will reveal during the upcoming episodes.
· What other locations this film will be screening?
The film will show in South Africa, this is the 5th edition in 2018. I am a regular guest of the festival. This is the location I met the designer Hendrik Vermuelen she designed the gowns for Habana 3 A.M. The festival of Havana in Cuba, a digital library. They will put the film in their digital library honoring the first fashion short filmed in Cuba.
Habana 3 A.M. received the International Fashion Film Award Best Jewelry to PK Bijoux. Her couture jewelry is the last piece you want to take off. The fashion film drama brings fun, history, and culture to screenplay.
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