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"Cuban Metal Heroes Zeus Confront an Uncertain Future in New Doc…”
- Rolling Stone
"An emotional tale... about musicians persevering against all odds”
"Los Últimos Frikis shines with the bravado of a fiery passion…"
- The Playlist
ABOUT THE FILM // SYNOPSIS
LOS ÚLTIMOS FRIKIS tells the story of ZEUS, Cuba’s most popular heavy metal band, and their 30-year fight to be heard. When ZEUS formed in Havana in the 1980s, rock music was illegal and rockers were derisively called los frikis—the freaks. Fidel Castro’s communist government saw rock and roll as a mortal threat sent by a capitalist enemy. Vinyl records were destroyed, concerts were broken up, and the long-haired frikis were thrown in jail. ZEUS’s lead singer, Dionisio “Diony” Arce, spent six years in prison at the height of his career.
Today, ZEUS is part of the communist system as an official band within the Ministry of Culture’s Agency of Rock. The government that once silenced them now pays their salaries and promotes them around the island. These grey-haired rockers traded in their rebellion for the chance to play their music. But at what cost?
For ZEUS’s 25th anniversary, the government gives the band permission to go on their first national tour. It’s a dream come true for the band—a triumph after years struggling to create a space for their music. As ZEUS embarks on the cross-country journey, they discover that their place at the center of Cuban counter-culture isn’t what they once believed. Screaming on stage, Diony is no longer a rebel. Some kids even laugh at him.
Bouncing across the island, ZEUS comes face to face with a changing country and a new generation that no longer tunes into the band’s loud, aggressive music. As Cuba optimistically opens its doors to what many hope will be a more comfortable and secure future, the country’s musical tastes shift to newer, sexier sounds. There is no space left for rock and roll. Once at the forefront of youth culture, ZEUS risks fading into a quiet irrelevance. Returning to Havana after a heart-breaking tour, Diony and his bandmates must confront whether they have become the country’s last freaks—los últimos frikis.
DOCNYC, New York City
November 11, 2019 (World Premiere)
FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DEL NUEVO CINE LATINOAMERICANO, Havana, Cuba
Dec 10, 2019 (International Premiere)
MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL, Miami, Florida
March 13, 2020 (Canceled)
DOK.FEST MUNICH, Munich, Germany
May 7, 2020 (Virtual)
REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL, Hamburg, Germany
September 16, 2020 (Hybrid)
NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL, Nashville, Tennessee
October 1, 2020 (Virtual)
LOS ÚLTIMOS FRIKIS is a collaboration between Cuban and American filmmakers. Working together over the course of a decade, more than fifty percent of the principle creative team on the film is Cuban including the cinematographer, sound & music editor, composer, designer and several producers.
NICHOLAS BRENNAN, Director
Nicholas Brennan is a documentary filmmaker based in New York. He is currently a staff filmmaker at CNN’s Courageous Studio, where he is part of the founding team at the award-winning brand studio. He has previously worked for ABC News, The New York Times, VICE and for global brands including AT&T, Intel, Toyota, and American Express. LOS ÚLTIMOS FRIKIS is his feature debut. He has previously directed the short documentaries MAMA and HARD ROCK HAVANA as well as the short narrative A MARINE’S GUIDE TO FISHING. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he was a Willard TC Johnson Fellow in the Film & TV program.
JOHN LOGAN PIERSON, Producer
John Logan Pierson has spent the past five years producing with Peter Berg and Film 44. He was an Executive Producer on the Netflix action-comedy hit SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (starring Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Mark Wahlberg, and Iliza Shlesinger) and a co-executive producer on critically acclaimed USA Network series DARE ME based on the novel by Megan Abbott. In earlier work, he was an Executive Producer on PATRIOTS DAY, MILE 22, and AMERICAN JIHAD, a documentary collaboration with Alex Gibney and 60 Minutes. Prior to joining Film 44, Pierson was a production executive for TWC and an assistant to producer Scott Rudin and manager Joan Scott. He cut his entertainment teeth producing new media and commercial content for brands ranging from Adidas to the Emmy Awards under a production company he co-founded while at NYU.
DAVE LOMBARDO, Composer & Exec. Producer
Dave Lombardo is a Cuban American heavy metal drummer best known for his work with mega-rock band Slayer, considered one of the four major heavy metal bands alongside Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeath. He is renowned as the "the godfather of double bass" for his aggressive style of drumming that influenced entire generations of musicians. Born in Havana, Cuba, Lombardo maintains a close interest in Cuban music and culture. He is currently drumming for famed punk bands Misfits and Suicidal Tendencies. LOS ÚLTIMOS FRIKIS is Dave Lombardo’s first original score.
JAVIER LABRADOR, Cinematographer
Javier Labrador is a cinematographer from Havana, Cuba. He is a graduate of Cuba’s top film school, the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños (Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV, EICTV), where he became part of a vocal creative community of independent filmmakers in Havana. Javier’s work has been screened at many of the world’s top festivals including Toronto, Berlin, Rotterdam, MoMA, and IDFA. Notable credits include “The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia” (Toronto, 2018), “Agosto” (Toronto, 2019), “Hotel Nueva Isla” (Rotterdam, 2014).
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