The Crossing

  • Otávio Almeida
  • Cuba
  • 2019
  • 14 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
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“An outsider struggles through the wild nature of the Sierra Maestra.” This is how director Otávio Almeida describes The Crossing himself. The harsh journey through the highest mountain range in Cuba leads over a vast lake. Nature becomes increasingly dominant in this stark, high-contrast black-and-white film, which unfolds without dialogue, but is supported by an expressive soundtrack filled with sounds of nature.

The hardships that the man experiences take on extra significance if you know that the Sierra Maestra was the cradle of the Cuban Revolution more than 50 years ago. It was here that Fidel Castro first set foot on Cuban soil on his return from exile, and his revolutionaries hid in these mountains.

Almeida, who developed the film at the Cuban national film school EICTV, isn’t only responsible for the direction, but also the screenplay, camerawork and editing. He produced the film with Violena Ampudia, who also made the sound recordings. Almeida dedicates the film to his grandfather, “the traveler Benedito Passos.”


  • 14 min
  • black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Otávio Almeida
Otávio Almeida, Violena Ampudia
Otávio Almeida
Otávio Almeida
Sound Design
Marisol Cao Milán
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history