Margaret Tait & Fernando Birri, Double Bill: The Cuba Connections


Margaret Tait, Three Portrait Sketches, 1951.  Courtesy of the Margaret Tait estate and LUX.

Event Details

Sunday 11 November 2018


On the centenary of Margaret Tait’s birth, Double Bill: The Cuba Connections focuses on the filmmaker and poet’s time studying film in Rome in the early 1950s, and her early collaborations with fellow student Fernando Birri, the Argentinian filmmaker and poet, who went on to play a key role in the establishment of the International School of Film and Television in Cuba.

In Rome, Tait and Birri (along with another fellow student, Peter Hollander), produced a number of films together. They established their own film company, Ancona Films (named after the street Tait lived on when in Rome). After Tait’s return to Edinburgh, Tait set-up her studio for Ancona Films on Rose Street. Although the film company was no longer a collaborative venture, Tait continued to show the work of fellow students from Rome at her Rose Street Film Festival.

This programme includes the early collaborations involving Birri – One is One (1950), Three Portrait Sketches (1951) – as well as other films made by Tait in the 1950s – Calypso (1955), My Room – Via. Ancona (1951), A Portrait of Ga (1952). The screening will be accompanied by readings of extracts from Tait’s writings on her time studying in Rome.