Movie about Cuba’s female political prisoners wins best foreign film award at Toronto film festival

A film festival in Toronto has awarded the film “Plantadas” the Best International Feature Film title this year. Plantadas, by Cuban filmmaker Vilo Vilaplana, tells the dramatic stories of the Cuban women who stood firm against the communist dictatorship both outside and inside Fidel Castro’s gulags.

Via ADN Cuba (my translation):

“Plantadas” movie wins Best Foreign Film award at film festival in Toronto

The film “Plantadas,” directed by Cuban filmmaker Lilo Vilaplana and inspired by the stories of political prisoners during the regime of former dictator Fidel Castro, has won another international award. This time as the “best foreign film” at the Toronto Independent Festival of CIFT in Canada.

“We were just notified that we won the award for best international film at this Festival in Canada,” Vilaplana said in a message to ADN Cuba.

The Toronto Independent CIFT Festival was established in the Canadian city in 2015. Over a short period of time, it has become a highly recognized international festival in North America, with over 10,000 sponsors each year. It is now, after TIFF, the most successful local festival. This was its eighth edition, with a hybrid competition structure.

In March of this year, the feature film “Plantadas” won the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival 2023, which concluded on March 12. The film, starring actresses Alina Robert, Yuliet Cruz, Claudia Tomás, Rachel Vallori, Lily Rentería, Larisa Vega, and Amarilys Núñez, among other Cuban artists, also won the Knight Made in MIA award, endowed with $45,000.

“Plantadas also wins the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival! THANK YOU, MIAMI!” Lilo Vilaplana, the director of the film along with Camilo Vilaplana, celebrated on social media,.

The Knight Made in MIA award was shared with “Febrero,” whose script and direction were by the young filmmaker Hansel Porras García. Both films were part of the extensive catalog of films by Cuban directors showcased in the 40th edition of the event.

The film “Plantadas” is inspired by real events and “is a work from the heart and a very important work to honor the female political prisoners who are victims of communism because female political imprisonment is not just a thing of the past in Cuba, it is present. It is an indictment against the crimes of the Castro regime against Cuban women, and it is important that this is clear,” Lilo Vilaplana told ADN Cuba.

According to the legal assistance organization Cubalex, more than a hundred Cuban women today remain in prisons on the island for opposing the Communist Party regime. The 114 cases of political prisoners verified by Cubalex were taken from lists compiled by the human rights organizations Justicia 11J and Prisoners Defenders.

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