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Feature Film Synopsis

For Simon Lim, a trip to Cuba promises achievement and adventure. The young executive is on his way to close a huge telecommunications deal with the government there. One that will save his job. And he has visions of mojitos, pristine beaches and sultry salsa dancers in his head.

But for 18-year-old Lorena Cordova, the Cuba of Simon’s dreams doesn’t exist. Living in a small town south of Havana, her Cuba is one of hardship, scarcity and suspicion. In her head, all she nurtures are visions of escaping her island prison.

Simon’s simple curiosity about life in Cuba set he and Lorena on a collision course that have consequences neither of them could imagine.

From shaking his government shadow to watching the daily suffering, Simon’s peek behind Cuba’s curtain is shocking and sobering.

For Lorena, her chance meeting with Simon transforms her everyday life at the same time as it opens new doors for her future.

VIVA is the story of an American entrepreneur and a Cuban ballerina, bound together on an adventure steeped in political intrigue and danger that ultimately reveals the realities of an imprisoned island – and changes both of them forever.

Image by JF Martin

Feature Film Characters


Simon Lim, a young Korean- American entrepreneur, is headed to Cuba to close a mega-deal with the government. But he’s got more than saving his job on his mind. He’s also interested in exploring his own distant Cuban roots while enjoying the island paradise as-advertised. But his trip takes an unexpected and dangerous turn as he discovers that real life in Cuba isn’t what it seems.

He’s the Cuban government’s top “greeter,” the man assigned to see to it that VIPs get the VIP treatment while they’re on the island. His boundless charm and quick smile have won him many friends over the years. Now assigned as Simon’s escort, his real job is to make sure the government gets what it really wants from the American entrepreneur.


As a 18-year-old struggling with the deprivations, demands and struggles of everyday Cuban life, Lorena’s only peace comes when she is practicing ballet, getting ready for the biggest audition of her life -- and from her growing fantasies of one day escaping her island prison by any means necessary.


Loud, crass and all about the party, Vivi has been Lorena’s best friend since they were kids. She’s the opposite of Lorena in just about every way; she’s a terrible student, completely carefree and totally popular in their tiny high school. She’s also savvy, street-wise and the girl who keeps Lorena’s life interesting.

Image by Liel Anapolsky
VIVA Film Music


Music has acted as the ambassador of the Cuban people for generations.

The film will feature music old and new that is definitively Cuban. From traditional Afro- Cuban jazz to modern Cuban music from artists like Pit Bull and Camilla Cabello.

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