poster of VIVAVIVA

Cuba/Ireland, 2015, Spanish with English subtitles | 100′

Director: Paddy Breathnach

Tickets on sale NOW!


Tuesday, January 31,
6:30 PM

The Cinematheque,
1131 Howe Street
(btw Helmcken and Davie)

Viva stars Héctor Medina as Jesús, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub for drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama, Jesús finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when Angel, his estranged father, abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. The macho Angel, recently released from a 15-year stint in prison, tries to squelch his son’s ambition to perform in drag. Father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, struggling to understand one another and reconcile as a family. Shot in a gritty neighbourhood far from the Havana most tourists know, Viva is a heartrending story of music, performance and survival.

Cuban drag has a certain emotion to it. Maybe it’s the circumstances of the place that give it that type of energy. There’s a raw performance of emotion and power. Paddy Breathnach

Esta vivaz historia de crecimiento personal acompaña a Jesús, un joven estilista pobre que sueña con ser estrella de un show drag, en La Habana. Cuando reaparece su padre, Ángel (Jorge Perugorría), después de muchísimo tiempo, con afán de reconectarse con él pero desaprobando por completo la sexualidad del muchacho, llega la hora de que Jesús decida dar los pasos necesarios para su autorrealización.

Paddy Breathnach (Dublin, Ireland, 1964) is an Irish film director and producer. Both his first feature Ailsa (1994) and his second feature I Went Down (1997) starring Brendan Gleeson, won the Best New Director award at the San Sebastián Film Festival. In 2016, Viva was nominated for the Premio Maguey at the Guadalajara International Film Festival.


Producers: Benicio Del Toro, Rebecca O’Flanagan, Robert Walpole
Writer: Mark O’Halloran
Cinematographer: Cathal Watters
Editor: Stephen O’Connell
Cast: Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García, Héctor Medina, Luis Manuel Álvarez