Cuban Filmmaker Marilyn Solaya to Tour US, Fall 2013

hosp026-1Ms. Solya has had a unique trajectory in Cuban cinema, starting out as film actress in films such as Tomás Gutiérrez Alea y Juan Carlos Tabío’s, renowned, Strawberry and Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate) and then returning to film school to study Directing. Ms. Solaya will be presenting her award winning documentary feature, In the Wrong Body (En el cuerpo equivocado) at US universities, film festivals, and community centers throughout October, 2013.
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.

Ms. Solaya’s documentary work is based on thorough investigation of the subject matter and the people with whom she is collaborating. Ms. Solaya has been doing public presentations with her films both inside and outside of Cuba and can speak to various issues regarding the role of gender in Cuban society both from a historical and feminist perspective, what it means to be a feminist filmmaker in contemporary Cuba, and her vision of the future for women filmmakers in Cuba.

BIO:Marilyn Solaya

Ms. Solaya began her career as an actress appearing in such films as Strawberry and Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate)in 1993, Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea y Juan Carlos Tabío; Wake up Love (Despabílate amor), 1996, Directed by Eliseo Subiela. Ms. Solaya has also acted in a number of short films and co-productions produced by the ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry) and the International Film and Television School in San Antonio de los Baños. Ms. Solaya then returned to study at the ISA (Superior Art Institute) where she graduated with a degree in Film with a specialization in Directing. Ms. Solaya has written a number of scripts and directed several documentaries such as; Look at me my Love (Mirame mi amor), 2002. She is currently directing the Wedding Dress (Vestido de novia), a feature film based on her documentary, In the Wrong Body (En el cuerpo equivocado), 2010, the story of Mavi Susel, who underwent the first gender reassignment operation in Cuba in 1988. 

In the Wrong Body (En el cuerpo equivocado), 55 min., 2010, Spanish with English subtitles


Clip from In the Wrong Body


Photographs from U.S. tour with Marilyn Solaya

Image     Image   

 Image    Image   

 Image     Image

Image     Image   



 Image     Image




AMI October 2012 Tour with Cuban Filmmaker, Karel Ducasse

AMI organized a U.S. university tour for 32 yr. old Afro-Cuban filmmaker Karel Ducasse. AMI is distributing Karel’s important documentary, Zone of Silence, about artistic censorship in Cuba. We recognize the value of making space in the U.S. for emergent and critical Cuban voices in the arts and for these Cuban filmmakers to receive feedback about their work outside of Cuba. Karel engaged in lively discussions with students at Hamilton College, the University of Vermont, and Champlain College and during two presentations with the general public at the Vermont International Film Festival. This was Karel’s first trip outside of Cuba and at the end of his visit he saidI’m another person after this trip, it has changed my life…”


Image  Image

             Image     Image    


AMI – Cuba Media Project - East Coast Tour

Fall 2011 October 26 - November 7 with Award-Winning Cuban Documentary Filmmaker, Rigoberto Jiménez

Part of AMI – Cuba Media Project’s mission is to showcase Cuban independent and community media and to introduce noteworthy Cuban filmmakers to audiences in the United States. With this in mind, we are proud to announce that we are bringing award-winning Cuban documentary filmmaker Rigoberto Jiménez to the United States this fall.

Rigoberto is one of the founders of the community media project TV Serrana, which is based in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains. He is currently engaged in the pre-production of his first feature film, On the Riverside, a work of fiction based on his documentary The Four Sisters. The sisters, who never married, have lived together all their lives in the Sierra Maestra. (See below for a clip of The Four Sisters.)

The Four Sisters (excerpt) Rigoberto will be presenting his documentaries at the Vermont International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City and universities in Vermont, Massachusetts and New York City between October 25 and November 7. This is the first time Mr. Jiménez will visit the US. Organized by Burlington-based Americas Media Initiative—Cuba Media Project, whose mission is to present Cuban filmmakers in the United States, and, through cultural exchange, increase understanding and foster dialogue between US and Cuban citizens.

Mr. Jiménez will be presenting his documentaries and some of the work of International Film and Television School (EICTV) at the Vermont International Film Festival, October 27 and 29. Afterwards he will screen his work at the University of Vermont, Clark College, Middlebury College and at Dartmouth College. His presentation is part of the New England Council of Latin American Studies Conference. Mr. Jiménez will end his tour as part of the Modern Monday Series at The Museum of Modern Art on November 7th.

Rigoberto Jiménez graduated with a degree in Literature from the Eastern University in Santiago, Cuba. Mr. Jimenéz joined TVS, when it emerged in 1993—in the middle of Cuba’s most severe economic crisis—helping to create a unique community video project deep in the Sierra Maestra mountains. Founded with funding from UNESCO and support from the Cuban government and the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), TVS is the first community and participatory television project in Cuba, and is unique in Latin America. Mr. Jiménez has produced the majority of the documentaries on which TVS’s reputation is based, and his work has received many national and international awards.

In 2004, Mr. Jiménez won the prestigious Caracol Prize for his screenplay for On the Riverside a feature fiction film based on his 1997 documentary, The Four Sisters about four sisters who never married and have lived together since birth on their isolated farm in the Sierra. Mr. Jiménez has also worked on documentary productions outside of Cuba, with indigenous communities in Honduras and Argentina and has collaborated with UNICEF on productions about childhood and community work in Cuba. Mr. Jiménez currently runs the First Year Program at EICTV outside of Havana.

Mr. Jiménez will be traveling with Alexandra Halkin, a documentary filmmaker and Founding Director of the Americas Media Initiative—Cuba Media Project. Ms. Halkin, a Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, has been working on documentary projects in Cuba for nearly two decades. Ms. Halkin is also the Founding Director of the Chiapas Media Project, a media initiative that works with indigenous communities in Southern Mexico. The Americas Media Initiative—Cuba Media Project is a new organization focused on the distribution of Cuban independent and community media in the United States.

VTIFF Cuban Showcase 1- October 27

VTIFF Cuban Showcase 2- October 29

MOMA presentation November 7

Recent Interview (in Spanish) with Rigoberto Jiménez in La Gaceta de Cuba, 2011

For further information please contact us by email.


Rigoberto Jiménez’s Documentaries:

Rigoberto Jiménez’s Documentaries


The Infinite Island (La Isla Infinita) Director: Rigoberto Jiménez, Spanish with English subtitles, 2011

Rigoberto Jiménez’s Documentaries


Lookout at TV Serrana in the Sierra Maestra mountains

Americas Media Initiative (AMI) – Cuba Media Project announces the release of five new Cuban independent documentary productions. The documentaries cover subjects such as Santería, racism, censorship and campesino life.

Americas Media Initiative’s mission is to produce, distribute, and screen video and film made in the Americas by independent filmmakers and community media organizations. Through public screenings at universities, cultural institutions, community media organizations and film festivals, our goal is to broaden the US audience’s understanding of issues faced by marginalized populations in our hemisphere and to encourage further investigation through cultural exchange.

For further information contact us at