Chico & Rita - Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal profile

  • The List
  • 16 November 2010
Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

Directors on Cobi, Cuba and backgrounds in music and design

Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

Javier Mariscal is a Spanish artist and designer who designed Cobi, the mascot for the Barcelona Olympics. Other iconic designs including the room chair that was used in the second series of Big Brother in the UK. Fernando Trueba was a film critic for the Spanish paper El Pais, which he’s now given up to concentrate on his successful filmmaking and producing career. The pair met when Trueba asked Mariscal to design the poster for his 2000 jazz documentary Calle 54. They hit it off immediately and Mariscal designed a number of album covers of artists Trueba produced.

What they up to now?
The pair have collaborated on Chico and Rita, an animated film that taps into their love of Cuba, jazz, and revolution. They wanted to work on a project that would enable them to have a closer collaboration that would combine Mariscal’s talents with graphic design and Trueba’s ability to spin a tale. The film tells the story of a Cuban artist who meets a singer and loses his girl because of his ego and jealousy.

What Trueba says about Cuba
‘I’ve been working a lot with Cuban musicians and it happened that Javier is in love with Cuban culture and he has been to Havana many times. The place touched me a lot and it’s a place that is like a beautiful girlfriend. Havana becomes a character in the movie and I think that the 40s and 50s was a golden era of music in Cuba. It wasn’t like a choice for us.’

Mariscal on the flashback storytelling structure
‘We did this because Chico is really alone and we could also tell the story of the people of Cuba and that there is a population outside of Cuba in America and inside Cuba and this film tells the story of two different Cuban people.’

Interesting fact
Trueba doesn’t play any instruments. Mariscal plays the guitar but only at home for his family. They are currently working on two more projects together.

Chico and Rita, selected release from Fri 19 Nov.

Chico & Rita

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • Spain / UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
  • Cast: Lenny Mandel, Limara Meneses

Beautiful Spanish adult animation relating the bolero romance of a young aspiring pianist and fledgling singer who fall in love in 1940s Havana and later meet again as their careers take them across the world from Paris to Hollywood.