AMI organizes Closing Distances 2, US Filmmaker Minda Martin to tour Eastern Cuba
The Americas Media Initiative organizes ground breaking U.S. documentary film tour in Eastern Cuba, May 17 – 24, 2013
Burlington, VT – For the second time in less then one year, a U.S. documentary shorts program will tour Cuba. Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias 2 will feature the films of U.S. filmmaker, Minda Martin. The tour is organized by Alexandra Halkin, Director of the Americas Media Initiative, a Burlington, VT based non-profit that works with Cuban filmmakers. The Cuban organizational counterpart providing the logistical support is the Young Directors Film Festival (Muestra Joven) based in Havana. Ms. Halkin and Ms. Martin will screen Martin’s films and engage in Q&A sessions with Cuban audiences in the towns of Bayamo, San Pablo de Yao based in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, Guantanamo, and Baracoa.
Minda Martin is an award winning experimental documentary and narrative filmmaker. Her films, including The Long Distance Operator (2012), Free Land (2009), Monsoon St., ¹77 (2006), and a.k.a. Kathe (2000) have screened at international and competitive venues including the Locarno International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Buenos Aires International Film Festival, among others.
Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias 2 will present two of Ms. Martin’s films, FREE LAND (2009) and Mother’s Heritage (1995). As a child, filmmaker Minda Martin's life was one of poverty, constant relocation and even homelessness. FREE LAND incorporates found footage, historical documents and personal interviews as she traces her family's history through the forced Cherokee relocation in the 1800s. What emerges is a challenging, heartbreaking and visually arresting documentary that draws unsettling parallels between land, history, Cherokee culture and American identity. Martin creates a unique cinematic landscape that conveys the trauma of displacement and the reality of poverty. Mother’s Heritage tells the story of Ms. Martin’s mother’s untimely death: she was accidentally shot by one of her brothers. In her absence, her story is told through recollections of family members who discuss the many challenges she faced during her life.
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Photo by Raúl Cañibano. Courtesy of Alejandro Ramírez Anderson.
Para más información sobre estos documentales y muchos más que se presentan en Documentary Fortnight, visiten: www.moma.org
DOCUMENTARY FORTNIGHT 2013:
MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
NEW CUBAN SHORTS -
Co-organized with the Americas Media Initiative
Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16
Director Ernesto Pérez Zambrano's 2008 documentary Major Leagues? (¿Grandes Ligas?) looks at members of the Cuban National women’s baseball team who discuss their passion for their sport and the trials and tribulations of participating in Cuba’s “national past-time” in a society that is filled with machismo, prejudice and daily hardships. The older generation of women who participated in the early days of the League, in the 1940’s, talk about the sexism they dealt with and through the generations women still face the same attitudes from men about their participation in the sport.
For purchase information, click here.
“Major Leagues?”, the dissertation project of Pérez Zambrano, a student at Cuba’s Higher Institute of Arts (ISA), explores the theme of transgression of gender norms using the testimonies of the players and coaches of the Havana women’s baseball team.
The young filmmaker practically lived with the athletes for a year until he became the bat boy and informal cheerleader of the team, which was created in response to a call issued in 2003 by the non governmental Cuban Women’s Federation (FMC) to form women’s baseball teams.
However, one of the young players interviewed in the documentary complained about the lack of support and, particularly, the lack of opportunities to play other teams, as well as the scarce coverage they have received by the media. She said sometimes the players even have to “escape” from work or school to attend the training sessions".
...Patricia Grogg. Inter Press Service News Agency. October 7, 2008
Published: January 4, 2013
Recent New York Times article about Cuban Filmmaking that mentions AMI and a number of our filmmakers.
In the Wrong Body tells the story of Mavi Susel, who underwent the first gender reassignment operation in Cuba in 1988. In the Wrong Body explores such timely issues as the meaning of femininity in the macho and patriarchal society in Cuba where many stereotypes and prejudices still exist. Mariela Castro, Director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) was a primary consultant on the film. The film was produced as part of the Latin American DocTV initiative. For more information go to our Cuban Filmmaker Current US Tour page.
October 15 - 28th 2012
Karel Ducasse, Cuban documentary filmmaker and animator will be presenting his films at the Vermont International Film Festival and the University of Vermont between October 22 and October 28th. This is the first time Mr. Ducasse will visit the U.S. Organized by Burlington-based Americas Media Initiative—Cuba Media Project (AMI-CMP), whose mission is to present Cuban filmmakers in the U.S., and U.S. films and filmmakers in Cuba and through this cultural exchange, increase understanding and foster dialogue between U.S. and Cuban citizens.
Mr. Ducasse will be presenting his documentary, Zone of Silence, about artistic censorship, some of his newer short documentaries and animations, and other Cuban independent productions at the Vermont International Film Festival, October 25th at 4pm at Main Street Landing (Lake St. on the Waterfront) and October 28th at 1pm at the North End Studios (294 N. Winooski Ave).
Mr. Ducasse currently works in the Animation Department for Cuban National Television where he has directed public service announcements, educational programming, live presentations and children’s programming. Mr. Ducasse is currently working on an animation series of mythological legends for children, Panchitos Stories. He wrote and directed the documentaries, Zone of Silence and Different, Up to a Certain Point, which is part of a feature documentary celebrating the 50-year anniversary of ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry). Mr. Ducasse has received 11 awards and honorable mentions in various national and international film festivals.
AMI Collaborates with the Flaherty Seminar, June 2012
Last Spring AMI assisted the Flaherty Documentary Seminar in bring three Cuban Filmmakers from Cuba to attend the Seminar. The Cuban filmmakers were: Gloria Rolando, Gustavo Pérez and Gilliam de la Torre. This was the first time that the Seminar had filmmakers living in Cuba attend the Seminar. AMI assisted Flaherty in procuring the funding, US visas and travel for the filmmakers. AMI Director, Alexandra Halkin also received a LEF Fellowship to attend the Seminar. The Ford and Reynolds Foundations supported the expenses for the Cuban filmmakers to attend the Seminar.