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Fidel Castro’s Daughter Backs James Franco’s Casting As Former Cuban Leader Amid Criticism

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James Franco has the support of Fidel Castro’s daughter (Picture: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Amid criticism over his casting, James Franco’s upcoming role as Fidel Castro has the backing of the former Cuban leader’s daughter.

Last week it was announced 127 Hours actor James, who is making a return to acting four years after denying sexual assault allegations, will portray Castro in Alina of Cuba.

The 44-year-old actor – who has Latin and Portuguese heritage – will star opposite Mia Maestro as Castro’s former lover, socialite Natalia ‘Naty’ Revuelta, and Ana Villafane as their daughter Alina Fernandez in the film, with the real Alina sharing her belief the producers have done a great job with casting.

She told Deadline: ‘[I am proud that] the project is almost entirely Latino, both in front and behind the camera.

‘James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma.

‘I find the selection of the cast amazing.

Alina, seen here in 1994, is backing the casting (Picture: Pam Price/AFP via Getty Images)

She thinks the likeness of Castro, pictured here, is similar to James (Picture: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

‘Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not only as an actress because she is also a great singer, a very complete performer. I’m sure that Mía Maestro, an actress I admire, will understand and interpret Naty, my mother, in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her building her character.’

Alina – who will be a biographical and historical consultant on the film – went on to praise the rest of the cast, which includes Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, and Cuban-born actors Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez.

James is making a return to acting (Picture: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Castro died in 2016 (Picture: Jorge Rey/Getty Images)

She added: ‘The rest of the cast is going to be a wonderful surprise for all audiences. The filmmakers worked a lot and I can’t be more grateful to them for their overall inclusive selection.

‘To me, the most important thing about this movie is that the conversation about Cuba is alive.

‘Personally, the experience is so far too unexpected but more than anything, humbling.’

The film’s producer recently defended the casting, after James’ involvement was called out by John Leguizamo.

John Leguizamo called out the lack of LatinX represention in Hollywood (Picture: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

The Colombian American actor claimed Hollywood was ‘excluding’ the Latinx community, having been vocal about the lack of Latinx representation in the film industry previously.

He said on Instagram: ‘How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement, which would be wrong! I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!’

In response John Martinez O’Felan, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that while he admires John ‘as a fellow underdog’, his comments were a ‘blind attack’.

He said in part: ‘A guy like John Leguizamo has historically been looked up to by Hispanics as one of America’s earliest actors of Latin descent since the 90s and I’ve always admired him as a fellow underdog. But his comments are culturally uneducated and a blind attack with zero substance related to this project.’

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Written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz, the movie will show the life story of Cuban exile and social campaigner Alina, who found out aged 10 she was Castro’s daughter.

She became an anti-communism activist who was arrested multiple times for her attempts to flee Cuba, and banned from travelling outside the country. She defected to Spain in 1993 and settled in Miami.


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Source: metro.co.uk

Arts

France Hopes to Replace Notre-Dame’s Spire by the End of 2023

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Notre-Dame cathedral, badly damaged by fire in 2019, should reopen by the end of 2024, according to France’s Culture Ministry – too late for the Paris Olympics. The cathedral’s distrinctive spire should nonetheless be back in place by the end of this year.

While the culture ministry, which is responsible for the cathedral’s structure, says reconstruction work is progressing “at a good pace”, the cathedral will no

Original Post: bignewsnetwork.com

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LGBT+ History Month in London: 8 Events in the Capital in February 2023

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There are plenty of great LGBT+ events going on in the capital this month (Picture: Getty)

February is LGBT+ history month and there are so many ways to commemorate the occasion in London.

From LGBT+ history walking tours, to drag events and pub quizzes, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

This year’s theme is #BehindtheLens and celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens so there are also plenty of film related events taking place across the capital.

Here’s our round up of the best events the month has to offer.

LGBT+ history walking tours

London With A Local is carrying out a number of free LGBTQ+ history tours in the capital across February.

Expert tour guides will give you an insight into everything from how the queer influence of the Roman’s shaped the city, to the Aids crisis and the history of the iconic Heaven nightclub.

The tours begin at 11am, last for two hours and take place on every Sunday in February (February 5, 12, 19 and 26).

To find out more info and to book tickets visit the London With A Local website.

The meeting point for the tours is The Clermont Hotel, Strand, London WC2N 5HX.

This year’s theme is Behind The Lens (Picture: Getty)

‘Quiztorical’ quiz night

Sports Media LGBT+ and the West London Queer Project are hosting a charity quiz night on February 9, to raise money for LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt.

The quiz will include questions on queer history but will also cover a wider range of topics.

It’s £5 to enter , starts at 7pm and is open to LGBTQ+ people and allies.

More info can be found on the Sports Media LGBT+ website.

The Duchess, W6 OXF.

Welcome to UK LGBT+ History Month from the co-founder of the month @suesanders03

Celebrating LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from #BehindTheLens.

Look ‘Behind the Lens’ and learn about the lived experiences of LGBT+ people.https://t.co/pOu1ug6flL#LGBTplusHM pic.twitter.com/vdB5Pj9t61

— LGBT+ History Month 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ (@LGBTHM) February 1, 2023

Fierce Queens: All Aboard

On February 24, Fierce Queens will be taking over the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, for a night of cabaret, queer history and more, hosted by Drag King and Queen, Adam All and Apple Derrieres.

The event starts at 7pm and tickets are £14 for Royal Museums Greenwich members, £16 for non members and £12 for concessions.

For more information and to book tickets visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

Cutty Sark, King William Walk, London SE10 9HT

LQBTQ+ Film Day at the British Museum

The British Museum is celebrating this year’s LGBT+ history month theme, Behind the Lens, with a day showcasing LGBTQ+ short films Gay Black Group, What am I? and Sally Leapt Out of A Window Last Night.

There will also be a guided tour of some of the British Museum artifacts that have LGBTQ+ connections and there will be a live poetry reading from Simon Maddrell.

The event takes place on February 25 from 10:30-4 and is free to attend.

The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

More: LGBT+ History Month

Kids storytime event with Dani the Storyteller

Under 5s can take part in a free immersive story telling experience on February 17, as Dani the storyteller takes them through the history of Islington’s Pride movement.

Dani will take the children on a journey as they play football with Stonewall FC, drive a red bus to the first-ever Pride March and celebrate under a giant rainbow flag.

The event takes place from 10-11am and more information can be found here.

Cally Clock Tower Centre, Caledonian Park Market Road London N7 9PL

Pride banner designing and making workshop

Pride banner making is just one of many great activities you can do this LGBT+ History Month (Picture: Getty)

El Warcha are putting on Pride Banner designing and making workshops at Wood green Library.

The designing workshop is on February 4 and then there is a separate workshop to make the banner you have designed on February 11.

The banners will celebrate inclusivity in the community and will be displayed in the library.

This event is for ages 14+ and is free to attend.

More info can be found here.

Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect is a film event that will take place at St Pancras hospital on February 15, that will explore representation of LGBTQ+ people has changed on the big screen over the decades.

The event will include research from students at The University of Westminster and an introduction by Professor Pippa Catterall.

The takes place from 6:30 to 8:30, is free to attend and light refreshments will be provided.

More info can be found here.

AIDS: A cultural history

Aids: A Cultural History is a lecture discussing the virus’s impact on the LGBT+ community (Picture: Getty)

Aids: A Cultural History is a talk by Professor Joanna Bourke which focuses on the period before antiretroviral drugs were developed to treat the virus.

The lecture also discusses: ‘questions of civil liberties, gender and sexuality, race, religion, and cultures of both harm and care’.

It takes place at 6pm on February 16 and is free to attend.

More information can be found here.

Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, London, EC1N 2HH

Lots more great events can be found here.


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Speeding Driver Who Killed ‘selfless’ Dad-of-two in Hit-and-run Jailed

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Dad-of-three John Wilson was sentenced at the Old Bailey (Picture: Central News/REX)

A motorist who killed a ‘selfless’ father-of-two in a hit-and-run on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed.  

John Wilson, 39, was travelling at 60mph on a 40mph dual carriageway when he hit Tarsem Randhawa, 55, while undertaking another car.  

Mr Randhawa, a financial advisor, died at the scene on Great West Road in Isleworth, west London.   

Wilson, a father-of-three, was driving his fiancee’s car without a licence or insurance when he hit the victim on April 28 last year.  

He only confessed after police arrived at her home to arrest her for the offence, the Old Bailey heard.  

Mr Randhawa, a devoted Chelsea fan, was described by his son, Marco, as ‘the most innocent, humble, selfless kind-hearted man’.  

‘He was adored by everyone and the amount of love and support we received following his passing was truly overwhelming.’  

His second son, Tiago, described his father as ‘his hero’ and ‘his rock’.  

‘I thought I’d have Paps for my whole life,’ he said.  

‘I thought he’d be there as I began my career, I thought he’d be there when I got married and I thought he’d be there when I had kids. 

‘The pain of knowing that that future has been robbed from Paps, from me, from everyone has left me in a deep dark hole which can never be filled.  

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‘We have lost someone so beautiful, everyone’s favourite person.   

‘The greatest pain is knowing how much pain Paps would have been in, to know that as quick as his death may had been there was also that split second when he knew he had lost it all.  

‘An entire life of dedication, laughter and loving, had just disappeared.  

‘To know my hero had to go through that hurts the worst, to know he was completely helpless as his life vanished as if he had never existed.’  

Wilson looked away when the brothers walked past him in the dock.  

Mr Randhawa’s sister, Binda Rai, said his death ‘tore our world apart and it remains so to this day.’  

‘My brother shouldn’t have died and he certainly didn’t need to die at such a young age and in such a brutal way. A part of me has gone with him,’ Ms Rai said in a victim impact statement.  

Sentencing him to 18 months in prison, Judge Charles Gratwicke told him: ‘You were driving above the speed limit.  

‘You were undercutting a vehicle which was observing the speed limit.   

‘Why you were speeding, only you know. If you had been observing the speed limit you could have swerved to the right and the collision could have been avoided.’ 

Wilson, of Brentford, west London, admitted causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving; causing death by driving a vehicle whilst uninsured and without a licence; and failing to stop after a traffic accident. 

He has been disqualified from driving for two years and nine months. 

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Original Source: metro.co.uk

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