screenplay and direction: Franco de Pena
photography: Antoine Vivas-Denisov
editing: Dorota Wardęszkiewicz
music: Janusz Strobel

1997 / 16 mm / 49 min

--watch trailer--



"The future of an illusion" is a poetic portrait of an old street of Havana called "The future street". On New Year's Day, seven characters wish for something to happen which might change their lives.

A documentary film at the border of a fiction narrative searching towards Latinamerican magic realism. It's not another political film about Cuba, but a film about the essence of humanity.


A prize at the Media Festival “Man in Danger” in Łódź (Poland) 1997
Second prize at the Mediaschool Festival in Łódź (Poland) 1997
A prize for the best documentary at the Mediawave in Gyor (Hungary) 1998
A special prize of Jury at the Short Film Festival in Cracow (Poland) 1998
Best screenplay at the Film Festival in Munich (Germany) 1998
A prize in category Young Europe at the Prix Europa Festival in Berlin (Germany) 1998


The Future of an Illusion | Gazeta Wyborcza

Franco de Pena’s film appears to be about nothing, but is in fact about everything. This pastel film could be read as a metaphorical picture of gentle hell, in which one is forever waiting for something. It is a very humane world, filmed with compassion.

The Future of an Illusion” |

This film is a poetic portrait of the inhabitants of Havana. At New Year the seven heroes yearn for something that can change their lives. Bordering on documentary and feature film “The Future of an Illusion” breaks into Latin magic-realism. This is not just another film about Cuba, this is a film about what lies behind humanity.