Deadline is reporting that, ahead of its world premiere at the Telluride Film festival, Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro has joined Paddy Breathnach’s new film Viva as an Executive Producer.

Viva, which was primarily filmed in Cuba with some Irish shooting, is the story of Jesus, a young man growing up in Havana, who works as a hair and make-up artist for drag acts. His secret desire is to perform on stage, but he must choose between pursuing his dream and reconnecting with his father, who is newly released from prison.

Héctor Medina stars in the lead, alongside writer Mark O’ Halloran (Adam and Paul), as well as Jorge Perugorría (Strawberries and Chocolate) and Luis Alberto García (Che). Cathal Watters (One Million Dubliners) is Director of Photography on the film, while Production Designer Paki Smith reunites with Breathnach, having previously worked together on Man About Dog.

Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole produce for Treasure Entertainment, with funding from the Irish Film Board, Windmill Lane Pictures, RTÉ, and Treasure Entertainment.

The marks Del Toro’s first production of a film that he has not starred in since Lovesickness in 2007. He has acted as Executive Producer of Escobar: Paradise Lost, as well as producing Che and The Wolfman.

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