Andy Garcia set for 50s Cuba

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic: Actor/director Andy Garcia is starting work on a new film set in Cuba in the 1950s and has chosen the Dominican Republic as the filming location, his publicist said. Garcia was travelling to the Dominican Republic to begin filming this week, his publicist Stan Rosenfield said by telephone from Los Angeles. In addition to directing his independent film ‘The Lost City’, Garcia also will be one of its stars, Rosenfield said. Other cast members include Bill Murray and — in a cameo role — Dustin Hoffman, he said.

Garcia chose the Caribbean country for filming because “there are cultural similarities, architectural thematic similarities and budgetary concerns,” Rosenfield said. He said the screenplay was written by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, a prominent Cuban writer who opposes Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Garcia, 48, was born in Havana and left Cuba with his family when he was five for Miami Beach, Florida. Garcia said through his publicist that he is making the film “for the love of my country”. Rosenfield said the film centres on a “story of love and betrayal” in Havana in the 1950s, during the transition from the rule of dictator Fulgencio Batista to Castro’s revolution. The film is scheduled for release in 2005. Garcia’s other acting credits include ‘The Untouchables’ and ‘The Godfather: Part III’. — AP