On the Roof On the Roof On the Roof On the Roof
  • Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

    Best Narrative Feature
  • Havana Film Festival

    Sarah Gomez Award, Cuba's Journalist Union Award (UPEC)
  • Providence Latin American Film Festival

    Best Director, Best Supporting Actriz
  • Chicago Latino Film Festival

  • Miami Film Festival

  • Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival

    Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
  • Havana Film Festival New York

  • San Diego Latino Film Festival

  • San Francisco Latino Film Festival

Related Films
Return to CubaReturn to Cuba(Volver a Cuba)David FabregaAfter 18 years living in Italy, Barbara Ramos returns to live in Cuba, her homeland. In the town of  Santa Clara and through the projects of family and ...Everybody LeavesEverybody Leaves(Todos se van)Sergio CabreraShot in Colombia (because the director didn’t get permission to film in Cuba) and featuring a cast consisting mostly of expatriate Cuban actors, ...The Travel AgentThe Travel Agent(Pequeñas Mentiras Piadosas)Niccolò BrunaFrom her tiny office overlooking the U.S. Interests Section, 58-year old Lourdes counsels thousands of Cubans seeking a U.S. travel visa. She coaches ...The CompanionThe Companion(El Acompañante)Pavel GiroudStudy Guide Available. CUBA’S OFFICIAL ENTRY TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS® Set in 1988 Cuba as the government dispatched HIV patients to AIDS centers ...Fidelandia: Behind the Curtain of Cuba’s RevolutionFidelandia: Behind the Curtain of Cuba’s Revolution(Fidelandia: Behind the Curtain of Cuba's Revolution)Isaias CastañedaWhen Cuba’s former dictator, Fulgencio Batista, was overthrown from power by Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries in the late 1950’s, the people of ...Birdboy: The Forgotten ChildrenBirdboy: The Forgotten Children(Psiconautas: los niños olvidados)Alberto Vázquez & Pedro RiveroThere is light and beauty, even in the darkest of worlds. Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a ...La SoledadLa Soledad(La Soledad)Jorge Thielen-Armand Handyman José lives with his family in La Soledad, a dilapidated villa located in what was once among Caracas’ most affluent neighborhoods. After ...Spider ThievesSpider Thieves(Niñas Araña)Guillermo HeloInspired by actual events, this teenage thriller is a unique social commentary on dreams, class, and unfulfilled expectations in contemporary Chile. ...The Future PerfectThe Future Perfect(El futuro perfecto)Nele Wohlatz Awarded Best First Feature at the Locarno International Film Festival, German-Argentinian newcomer Nele Wolatz’s The Future Perfect explores fractured ...Open CageOpen Cage(Los Bañistas)Max ZuninoOpen Cage takes a subtle and ultimately hopeful look into one of society’s mayor issues: the abandonment to its youth and senior populations. Among ...

Spanish with English subtitles

With Enmanuel Galbán, Andrea Doimeadiós, Jonathan Navarro Elóseguis

In this feel-good ensemble dramedy, a flat rooftop in an old Havana neighborhood is the natural habitat for three friends who spend their days and nights dreaming about the future.

Yasmani is an amateur pigeon fancier who is too shy to talk to a girl he likes; Victor José has convinced himself of his Sicilian descent and now prefers to go by Vito; Anita is five months pregnant and pretends that she doesn’t care who the father is. In the midst of their boredom, without money and dreaming about success, they decide to set up their own business. The cost of this dream will finally lead them to personal maturity, but with some difficulty.

A deliciously off-beat romantic comedy, On the Roof doesn’t shy away from tackling the problems facing contemporary Cuban youth. The film offers an impeccable balance of colloquial charm and universal appeal. Patricia Ramos and her excellent cast have crafted highly relatable characters with varying degrees of ambition, ingenuity, and quirk.

About the Director
Patricia Ramos obtained a Bachelor in Spanish Studies at the Havana University in 1999 and film writing at the International School of Cinema and TV in Cuba (EICTV) in 2001. She taught screenwriting workshops in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. In 2009 she directed the documentary Ampárame from the TVE Serie History of Cuban Music and two short fiction films, My Home’s Courtyard, best short film in Cuba in 2007, and Nana in 2004.

“Ramos’ stories are funny and down to earth, offering a much welcome look at contemporary Cuba.” – Manuel Betancourt, Remezcla

“The rooftop terrace as a place of limited freedom could be a symbol in El Techo; it’s an open space, however, teenagers there remain immersed in torpor and daily life, locked up in their own present without prospects for the future.” – Irina Echarry, Havana Times

“One of the most interesting proposals of Cuban cinema in this [Havana Film] Festival.” – Mayté Madruga Hernández, Cuba Cine

Notes on Film

On the Roof wants to be an intimate story where no big events take place. It is a story of friendship and love: a flat roof story. In Havana, on the roof of one of the poorest neighborhoods, three young people, two men and a pregnant woman, meet every day to kill time and, at the same time, devise a better life for themselves. They are roof friends. This is, and will be during the entire film, their meeting space, their small friendship ritual, far from concerns and distant from the country and its problems.

The Havana rooftop, a space with an unlimited visual wealth, will be the only exterior in this film. We will not see streets or other outer spaces. The city may be seen from its communicating rooftops: an amalgam of disparate and beautiful roofs in spite of their poverty. The roof will be the host and the main character. We show the lives our leading characters share on the roofs. You live up there and you do not want to touch ground. Taking this resource to extremes allows me to tell a Cuban story from a different, perhaps more intimate, point of view. It is as if its main characters were floating, trying to survive as best as they can in our Cuba of today.