The 10th annual Gasparilla International Film Festival is screening at the Muvico Centro Ybor. The festival boasted everything from Hollywood stars to local filmmakers. For Canadian director Ron Chapman, this was a chance to showcase his newest work, “The Forbidden Shore.”
“He’s just an amazing filmmaker. And he’s become a close friend to the Gasparilla (International) Film Festival,” Michelle Canas, the festival’s marketing coordinator, said.
“He does a lot of the film festival route and he has a lot of projects coming up so I’m very excited to see it.”
Over four-and-a-half years of filming culminated into the feature exploring Cuban culture and musical heritage. Even though leaders have vowed to improve ties between the United States and Cuba, Chapman believes that a verbal agreement leaves much to do to strengthen relations.
“This is certainly the beginning of a path that’s going to help them, but it isn’t like you snap your fingers and there’s change,” Chapman said.
“Change will take a long time.”
“The Forbidden Shore” screened to a sold out crowd and Chapman later won the best documentary feature award. Not too bad for only his second Gasparilla entry. Despite the accolades, his real focus remains on the Cuban people. Chapman said that exchanging cultures is key to success moving forward.
“When you’re not having a political discussion, you’re only having a creative discussion then that opens the doors for people understanding that they have so much in common,” Chapman said.