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Keshet International takes Portuguese Cuban revolution drama Cuba Libre

Beatriz Godinho as Ana Maria Silva Pais in Cuba Libre

A six-part biopic drama about the true story of a young Portuguese woman who gave everything to the Cuban revolution and Che Guevara has been picked up for international distribution by Keshet International (KI).

Cuba Libre is produced by Hop! Films for Portugal’s public service broadcaster RTP with Beatriz Godinho playing Ana Maria Silva Pais, the only daughter of the director general of the PIDE, Portugal’s secret service.

Set against the political backdrop of the Cold War, Silva Pais is described as a legendary beauty who loved music, dancing and French culture, who was also a rebellious spirit with strong-held political opinions that often clashed with her family’s.

While her looks brought her beauty-contest success, it was these political ideals that shaped her life. When her Swiss diplomat husband is posted to Havana, Silva Pais is thrilled to escape the Portuguese dictatorship and falls in love with more than just the vibrant culture – abandoning her life as she knows it to dedicate herself to the Cuban revolution, all the while being secretly in love with Che Guevara.

Said to be the most ambitious series produced in Portugal to date, it is written and directed by Henrique Oliveira (1986) and begins airing on RTP tonight. Its international cast includes Adriano Luz, Margarida Marinho and Pierre Kiwitt.

The series will be available on KI’s slate at Mipcom next month, joining other series such as My Name is Reeva: I Was Murdered by Oscar Pistorius, Rabbit Films’ coming-of-age thriller Summer of Sorrow (10×60′), Woodcut Media’s World’s Most Evil Killers (140×60′) and competition reality format The Perfect Dessert.

Oliveira, producer and MD of Hop! Films, said: “This has been something of a passion project for me, and it’s taken 20 years to bring Annie’s story to screen having first read about her in a newspaper article. This series is quite probably the most ambitious period drama ever produced in Portugal – certainly in terms of its international cast – and I’m thrilled the team at Keshet International is representing it.”

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