The Cuban Visions film series has been organized by Americas Media Initiative and Full Spectrum Features. Cuban Visions is presenting the work of Cuban filmmakers to Chicago audiences, providing a unique window into both early revolutionary and contemporary Cuban society. Cuban filmmakers, journalists, film critics and scholars will also be in attendance. This bi-monthly series, taking place throughout 2019, includes six programs at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. 

The series features a diverse range of Cuban films including animation, short fiction, and documentaries, and cover issues such as racial inequity, the Cuban economy, Cuban internationalism, Afro-Cuban identity, women’s rights, and more. Each of the six screenings is followed by a conversation, featuring our Cuban guests, and moderated by Alexandra Halkin, Director of AMI as well as audience Q&A. These thought-provoking and rarely seen Cuban films will challenge U.S. audience’s long-held misconceptions about past and present Cuban reality.




La Música de las Esferas (Music of the Spheres) / Directed by Marcel Beltrán / 82 min. / 2018 / Documentary Feature / Spanish with English subtitles

Beltrán’s father Mauricio and mother Regina met in the 1980s. Equally committed to socialist ideals, they started a life together, even though Regina’s father rejected Mauricio on account of his race. Beltrán draws out what was sacrificed as his parents forged into the austerity of the 1990s, simultaneously confronting both the fraught politics of family and nation.

POST-SCREENING DISCUSSION: Presentation will feature an intimate conversation with Marcel about his film, Music of the Spheres which pays homage to his parents’ enduring love while pondering his country’s turbulent history.

More information


Chiapas Media Project/Promedios 20th Anniversary 
West Coast Tour October 8 - 25, 2018  From the Zapatistas & Beyond
Started in 1998, the ground-breaking, award-winning, bi-national indigenous media organization Chiapas Media Project/Promedios will tour the U.S. in celebration of its 20th anniversary. There will be screenings of documentary films focused on indigenous and human rights, produced in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Chihuahua, as well as screenings of old and new Zapatista films. Accompanying the tour will be CMP/Promedios co-founders Alexandra Halkin and Francisco Vazquez. Spring 2019 we will be in the Midwest and the East Coast. There are still dates available for the spring.
For more information contact us.
October 8 - California State University Northridge,  3:30-5:30pm, Aronstam Library
October 10 - University of California Riverside, 5-7pm, INTS 1111
October 16 - 7-9pm Nickelodeon Theatre, 210 Lincoln Street, Santa Cruz, CA (Sponsored by UC Santa Cruz)
October 19 - University of San Francisco, 5:30-7:30pm, Lone Mountain Studio Theater
October 20 - Northwest Film Forum, 4 - 6pm, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle, WA
October 22 - University of Puget Sound, 6-8pm, Wyatt 109
October 23 - University of Washington Bothell, 5:30-7:30 pm, Location TBD
October 24 - University of Washington Seattle, 4:30-6:30pm, Thomson 101

Fall 2017, AMI sponsored one of the most important young documentary filmmakers working in Cuba today on his first US visit. Damián Sainz' short documentaries focus on LGBTQ culture on the island. Damián has worked as director, editor and producer on documentary films in Cuba, Canada, Switzerland and Spain. He lives and works as an independent filmmaker in Havana, Cuba. During the US tour Damían visited a number of universities including the University of Rhode Island, University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson College. Damían also screened his work at Downtown Community TV in New York City.

Cuban Queer (Cuir) Cine Club  Beginning this year, AMI began collaborating with Damían on the groundbreaking Cuban Queer (Cuir) Cine Club and since last spring the Club has had five screenings in and around Havana. Films screened have included, Lizzie Borden's punk classic, Born in Flames and Marlon Riggs', Tongues Untied. This summer the Club is hoping to do some screenings in the Cuban provinces.

AMI Brings Cuban Animators to Louisiana

In fall 2016 AMI brought representatives of two of Cuba’s most important independent animation groups, ÑOOo Productions, based in Havana, and Oniroma, based in Santa Clara. The tour screened animations and engaged with students and professors at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Tulane University in New Orleans. The tour was sponsored in part by Visit Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Film Commission. To see some of Oniroma animations check out our Cuban Animations page.


AMI awards two cash prizes at the Muestra Joven, Havana, Cuba, April 2016

For the second year in a row AMI has awarded cash prizes at the Muestra Joven Film Festival April 5-10, 2016. This year our Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias Film Prizes went to Lazaro Gonzalez for his documentary, Villa Rosa and Gabriela Leal Carranza for her animation, Quieres venir conmigo? (Want to come with me?). AMI will be distributing Villa Rosa this fall as part of the AMI Cuba DVD catalogue with Icarus Films.

AMI to give $2k prize at the Muestra Joven (Young Directors Film Festival) in Havana, April 5-10, 2016. 

As part of our on-going committment to support emerging filmmakers in Cuba we will be giving our second cash prize for a documentary in production at the Muestra Joven Film Festival in Havana. AMI will be part of the jury for the Haciendo Cine (Making Film) pitching session. The winner will be announced on April 9. AMI would like to thank the Lucias and Eva Eastman Fund for providing the support for the prize.


UPCOMING: Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias 4 Documentary Film Tour in Cuba, March 11-18, 2016

Our Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias Documentary Program has traveled to 10 towns in the Cuban provinces and reached more than 800 Cuban citizens, sparking critical and meaningful discussions on gun control, the Iraq War and racism. Closing Distances has brought U.S. documentaries, filmmakers and programmers to audiences in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, Baracoa, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Camaguey, Holguin, Cienfuegos, Havana and Pinar del Río.

In 2016 we will be doing two tours with the Hermanos Saíz Association (Asociación Hermanos Saíz – AHS/ AHS is the most important youth cultural association in Cuba with centers throughout the island. AHS supports projects in journalism, film, the plastic arts and literature and has special programs that tour their centers throughout the year.

Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias 4 will bring award-winning documentary filmmaker, Andrés Caballero and his film, Guacho del Norte to Santa Clara, Caibarien, Cienfuegos, El Nicho, Matanzas, Guasasa in the Ciénaga de Zapata and Havana.

ImageOnCuba article about the AMI Inside Contemporary Cuban Film Delegation, January 14-22, 2016:


The Americas Media Initiative (AMI) organized our first delegation to Cuba in collaboration with Anthropologie Consulting that focused on current trends in contemporary Cuban filmmaking. The trip was geared towards film programmers and curators, professionals in the film business, academics and people interested in contemporary Cuban filmmaking and provided insight and access normally unavailable to U.S. visitors. PHOTOS OF THE DELEGATION

An important focus of the delegation was to help clarify how the U.S. embargo still impacts Cuban filmmaking including the complex situation for Cuban independent filmmakers – who work outside of traditional Cuban cultural institutions – and their current legal status within Cuba. Alexandra Halkin, AMI Founding Director along with Jose Pineda, Director of Anthropologie Consulting led the delegation.

Due to the close working relationship AMI has with many filmmakers, delegates met one on one with documentary, and fiction filmmakers, and producers as well as animators and attended special screenings of their work. A unique aspect of the delegation was meeting filmmakers living outside of Havana. 

Anthropologie Consulting LLC
Anthropologie Consulting, LLC does extensive work around Cuba and Cuban culture, both in the U.S. and Cuba. Anthropologie Consulting, LLC is authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, to organize educational and cultural delegations to Cuba. Anthropologie Consulting, LLC is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller of Travel. Registration No. ST38971.

For further information: Jose Pineda, or (786) 955-6660 or visit the AC Journeys website.

ImageBurlington Free Press, 4/29/15 
Cuban farmer sows, harvests fresh ideas in VT  
Joel Banner Baird

ImageAMI Director, Alex Halkin, Isis Salcines of the Organoponico in Alamar and Margarita Fernandez of the Vermont Caribbean Institute talk with radio host, Mark Johnson.

Isis Salcines from the Organoponico Alamar talking with Chris Bolden-Newsome from Bartram Community Farm in Philadelphia during our Tierralismo Good Earth Film Tour.

APRIL 13 - MAY 7, 2015

The Tierralismo Good Earth Film Tour will include screenings of the recently released documentary, Tierralismo: Stories from a Cooperative Farm. Part of the AMI Cuba catalogue, Tierralismo is about the history and practices of one of Cuba’s most successful urban farms, the Organoponico Vivero Alamar (Alamar Organic Cooperative). Tierralismo, introduces viewers to everyone from agronomists and senior management to workers who plant, plow, and propagate. What began as a necessity - farming without pesticides and chemical fertilizers - has become a source of pride to coop members. The film shows how they fertilize with compost and cow manure, raise their own insects for biological pest control, and have even created a fully biodegradable alternative to the plastic bag for use with seedlings.
The filmmaker, Alejandro Ramirez, and one of the co-founders of the Organoponico, Isis Salcines, will accompany the tour, creating a dynamic forum to share knowledge and create learning opportunities on film and food security, and the people who are driving both movements in Cuba and the U.S. Alexandra Halkin, Director of AMI will accompany the Cuban visitors on the tour.  Click here for more info.