Toronto: "Cuban Five" Spy Drama in the Works

Courtesy of Subjects

The indie feature about Cuban agents sent to south Florida by the Castro government to spy on exile groups will be directed by Clement Virgo.

An indie thriller about The Cuban Five, a group of Cuban agents sent to south Florida by the Castro government to spy on exile groups in the 1990s, is in the works.

The film, The Cuban Five, will be directed by Clement Virgo, who earlier adapted the Lawrence Hill novel The Book of Negroes into a miniseries for BET in the U.S.

Canadian indie producers Pictou Twist Pictures, Picture Plant and Conquering Lions Production have partnered with the ICAIC, Cuba's film institute, to co-produce a film about the Cuban agents arrested by U.S. authorities in 1998.

They were convicted and jailed, only to be released in 2014 as part of a spy exchange negotiated by then president Barack Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro to improve relations between the two countries. 

Barrie Dunn wrote the screenplay, which is based on Stephen Kimber’s book What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of The Cuban Five. In March 2015, Dunn and Kimber met in Havana with the five Cuban agents, who agreed to work with the Canadian film producers to make the film about their story.

This story also appears in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 7 daily issue at the Toronto Film Festival.