CHICO & RITA, set in the jazz worlds of Havana, New York, and Europe, opens its US theatrical run on February 10 at NYC's Angelika Film Center (18 W. Houston St., 212-995-2570) before expanding nationally. The film by Academy Award® winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) won Best Animated Feature at the 2011 European Film Awards as well as Spain's Goya Awards, has been nominated for an Annie Award, and is vying for an Academy Award® in the Best Animated Feature category. CHICO & RITA has been released internationally to wide critical acclaim and is currently 95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the highest rated film in the current Animated Oscar® race.
CHICO & RITA is the result of a collaboration and longtime friendship between director Fernando Trueba and internationally renowned designer and illustrator Javier Mariscal. The film is a celebration of their mutual passion for the people, culture, and music of Cuba and is based loosely on the life of legendary Cuban pianist and composer Bebo Valdez, who records for Trueba's Calle 54 Records. The film is being released in the US by specialty distributor GKIDS under their adult-skewing LumaFilms banner, due to nudity and other mature content.
About the film: CHICO & RITA is an epic story of love, passion, and heartbreak. Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and desire unite them as they chase their dreams and each other from Havana to New York to Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. With an original soundtrack by legendary Cuban pianist and five-timeGrammy®-winning composer Bebo Valdés, CHICO & RITA captures a defining moment in the evolution of history and jazz, and features the music of (and animated cameos by) Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, ColePorter, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, Chano Pozo, and others. The soundtrack is available on Trueba's Calle 54 Records label and Sony Music Latin.
Fernando Trueba is a filmmaker, author, and music producer, and was a film critic for Spain's leading daily newspaper El Pais. Among other awards, he has won the Academy Award® for BestForeign Language Film with Belle Époque in 1994, the Spanish Goya Award as Best Director three times and a Silver Bear for Year of Enlightment at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival. As a music producer he's won two Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards. Javier Mariscal is a Spanish artist and designer whose work spans a wide range of mediums, from painting, illustration and sculpture to architecture and furniture design. A sampling of work includes eleven New Yorker covers, the Barcelona Olympic mascot, Trueba's Calle 54 Club in Madrid, and the Gran Hotel Domine adjacent to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.