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VIFF: Directors Gil Bellows & Tony Pantages’s Hitchcockian Thriller 3 DAYS IN HAVANA

How does Jack Petty (Gil Bellows), on a seemingly routine business trip to a conference in Havana, Cuba, become involved in an assassination conspiracy with his new Brit friend Harry Smith (Greg Wise)?  It’s a Hitchcockian thriller populated by untrustworthy characters like Anders (Christopher Heyerdahl) from the Canadian Consulate, mob boss Francis Liddy (John Cassini)  and the  broker (Phyllida Law). Somehow Petty must outwit them all.

Production still from 3 Days in Havana

Production still from 3 Days in Havana

Co-directed by Vancouver’s own  Gill Bellows and Tony Pantages, expect other familiar faces on the screen from Intelligence’s Lauren Lee Smith as Grace to chameleon Michael Eklund as an “intense man” to Lost Girl’s Kris Holden-Reid as Gordie to Sanctuary’s Robin Dunne as Benny and indie Toronto director Don McKellar as Pepe.

Tony Pantages and Christopher Heyerdahl, who went to West Vancouver high school together (small world), represented the film at the Vancouver International Film Festival media conference. Michael Eklund could have been the third member of the trio if he hadn’t been on location shooting Hitchcockian series Bates Motel.  And director-star Gil Bellows was working in Los Angeles.

IF

I chatted for a bit with Tony Pantages but didn’t know then that I should be asking how his film came to co-star Oscar-winning Emma Thompson’s husband Greg Wise and her mother Phyllida Law. There’s a story somewhere in how this stellar Canadian-British cast came about.

3 Days in Havana premieres Saturday, September 28th at the Rio Theatre. For tickets go to viff.org.

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