Sin La Habana by Kaveh Nabatian won the award for Best Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

Here is what the jury, made up of Lyana Patrick, Pascal Plante and Madeleine Sims-Fewer, had to say about the film: “For its perfect balance between visual experimentation and narrative proficiency. For its rich gallery of complex characters, flawed yet profoundly endearing, looking for love and belonging in the context of a disorienting change of scene – between sunshine and snow. For its timely commentary on fragile masculinity. And finally, for its fresh take on a simple but extremely relevant story that resonates within our globalized contemporary world, the award for the Best Canadian Film goes to Sin La Habana by Kaveh Nabatian.”

Last week Sin La Habanawas also awarded the Grand Prix du Jury at Festival Les Percéides. The film continues its tour of national and international festivals. It will be on the BendFilm Festival program, taking place in Oregon from October 7 to 17, before being presented on the opening night of the Reelworld Film Festival in Toronto (October 20), and on the closing night of the UK Jewish Film Festival in London (November 18).

In Quebec, Sin La Habana is showing for a 4th week at Cinéma Beaubien and Cinéma du Parc. The film will be released in theatres elsewhere in Canada in October.


Leonardo and Sara, a young Afro-Cuban couple, are desperate to leave the island. They decide that the best way to emigrate is for Leonardo to seduce a foreign woman, get legal status in another country, and then send for Sara. The woman they choose is Nasim, an Iranian-Canadian divorcée who is running from an oppressive past and yearning to have fun for the first time in her life. When Leonardo convinces Nasim to marry him, he is able to move to Montreal, but his plan derails when real emotions get in the way.


Based on an original story by Pablo D. Herrera Veitia

Feature Fiction. Quebec/Canada, Cuba. 94 minutes. 2020.

Original English, Farsi and Spanish version with French or English subtitles

Directed by Kaveh Nabatian | Written by Kaveh Nabatian | Cinematography: Juan Pablo Ramírez AMC | Sound Design: Sylvain Bellemare | Sound Mix: Hans Laitres | Editing: Sophie Leblond | Art Direction: Valérie-Jeanne Mathieu | Original Music: Kaveh Nabatian | Costumes: Patricia McNeil | Choreographer: Julio Hong | Producers: Gabrielle Tougas-Fréchette, Ménaïc Raoul | Production: Voyelles Films | Distribution: Maison 4:3