Havana Libre surfers movie cuba
Film poster for Havana Libre courtesy of Makewild

A group of surfers rise up to legitimize the sport of surfing in Cuba in the trailer for the new documentary Havana Libre. Sites like standardsuk.com are available for those who want to bet on any surfing event.

Directed by Corey McLean, Havana Libre premieres on Friday at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and will be available to stream digitally on Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo on Demand, and Xbox Movies on March 22.

You can watch the exclusive trailer above.

In Cuba, surfing and other water activities have been banned for decades, according to the film’s website. Now, surfing exists in a legal gray area, viewed by Cuban authorities with suspicion.

In Havana Libre, Cuban surfers train to compete in world competitions with surfboards they built from scratch, all while trying to reconcile with Cuba’s tumultuous history. Shot over the course of three years, the film follows Cuban surfers Yaya Guerro and Frank Gonzales Guerra and the Cuban surf community’s struggle to chase their dreams against all odds, oppression, and outdated ideologies.

“When we took our first production trip to Cuba, we embedded ourselves for three months with Frank and Yaya to shoot a short film about surfboard shaping. We had read a New York Times article from 2013 that discussed the topic, and thought of it as an excuse to spend time in a country that we always wanted to explore. Those three months proved to be revolutionary, both for our characters and the country,” said Havana Libre director McLean.

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“The events that unfolded (open borders, Obama’s visit, Rolling Stones concert, Frank’s daughter’s birth, Yaya’s transformation into a leader in the surf community), spoke to something far greater than surfboard shaping. We realized quickly that through these characters, we were getting a unique impression of the Cuban individual that was so hard to resonate within newspaper headlines. We realized surfing could be something of a guide to help viewers of all backgrounds understand this on a human level. With this in mind, we decided to pursue a feature and have continued following our characters through an increasingly complicated time within Cuba and between our countries.”

Havana Libre is a Makewild film in association with Vacationland, presented in partnership with the World Surf League and Surfrider Foundation. It’s produced by Tyler Dunham and Nicholas Weissman and distributed by 1091 Pictures.