TV Serrana Tour Press Release
TV Serrana, Award-Winning Cuban Media Project, Tours US Universities
For the first time in the US, TV Serrana, from Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains, tours 13 universities with 21 documentaries, March 21 to April 23, 2011.
CHICAGO – Carlos Rodriguez, award-winning Cuban filmmaker and member of the renowned Cuban community television project TV Serrana (TVS), will be appearing at 13 universities in 12 US cities between March 21 and April 23. This is the first time TV Serrana will tour the US, and the interest has been overwhelming. TV Serrana was founded in 1993 with funding from UNESCO, and has produced close to 500 documentaries about life in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains. Organized by Chicago-based Americas Media Initiative—Cuba Media Project, the goal of the tour is to present a Cuban reality rarely seen in the United States, and, through cultural exchange, increase understanding and foster dialogue between US and Cuban citizens.
TV Serrana emerged in 1993—in the middle of Cuba’s most severe economic crisis—creating 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 became not only a mirror of Cuba’s rural culture, but also an effective mechanism for the material and spiritual transformation of its host communities. Outside the Sierra, TVS’s documentaries have focused attention on rural issues and helped to complete the cultural landscape of Cuba. The filmmakers of TV Serrana are all from families based in the Sierra Maestra and have been trained at the project’s Center for Study of Community Communication in San Pablo de Yao.
The TV Serrana Tour will screen documentaries at University of Wisconsin—Madison, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Temple University, University of Richmond, William and Mary College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mount Holyoke, New York University, University of Washington, San Francisco University, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Riverside, and Northern Arizona University. The tour will also present at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) in Washington, DC, and in New York City at the Brecht Forum, and the Instituto Cervantes. The tour is one of the featured events at Cuba Futures: Past and Present, an international symposium organized by the Cuba Project at the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies. The TV Serrana Tour is partially funded by the Ford Foundation and the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba.
Mr. Rodriguez 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.