The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia
June 16, 2019
Grand Jury Prize: New Directors Competition
Stuck in a rut, former schoolteacher and planetarium guide Celeste Garcia is chosen to begin a new life on the planet Gyrok, leading to an unexpected journey to the center of her own life in this warm, funny debut feature.
Ignored by her careless son, mistreated by her selfish sister, and with her days as a beloved schoolteacher behind her, Celeste Garcia (Maria Isabel Diaz, Volver) sits idly as the days of her drab workaday life pass by, her only bit of happiness coming from her part-time job as a guide at the famous Havana Planetarium. But when the government reveals that aliens from the planet Gyrok have been living in Cuba—her "Russian" neighbor is anything but Russian—and are ready to return the favor by taking select citizens back to their home planet, she unexpectedly finds herself chosen to make the intergalactic trek alongside failed musician Hector Francisco (Nestor Jimenez), insomniac butcher Augusto (Omar Franco), and husband-hunting Perlita (Yerlin Perez, also seen in the SIFF 2019 film Yuli). Soon, Celeste finds herself face-to-face with the joys and fears of renewal—and her own long-buried secret—in this warm, funny directorial debut by acclaimed Cuban screenwriter Arturo Infante that proves you don't always have to travel to a distant galaxy to find yourself…but it certainly helps.
One of the most prominent screen writers in Cuba, Arturo Infante grew up watching '80s fantasy films, which, he says, may help explain his taste for the extraordinary, the wonderful, and the rare. He spent his childhood around family members and neighbors all sharing their stories, dreams, secrets, and visions about the reality and politics of Cuba. Infante graduated from the University of Arts in Havana, where he majored in performing arts, before he started the screenwriting program at the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños. He then completed his education at the European Audiovisual Writing Conservatory in Paris.
- Original Language Title: El viaje extraordinario de Celeste Garcia
- Director: Arturo Infante
- Principal Cast: Maria Isabel Diaz, Omar Franco, Nestor Jimenez, Yerlin Perez
- Country: Cuba, Germany
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 92 minutes
- Producer: Claudia Calvino, Ernst Fassbender
- Screenplay: Arturo Infante
- Cinematographers: Javier Labrador Deulofeu
- Editors: Joanna Montero
- Music: Magda Rosa Galban, Juan Antonio Leyva
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Spanish
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: The Match Factory