Cuban Love – A Short Film

 

We are delighted to present Cuban Love a short film by Cultura Ambassador, Nancy Rosales. Nancy recently visited Cuba with her friend Bobby and while there she decided to shoot a short film using her iPhone 6s.  She interviews locals, captures various shots that provide us with a very intimate look at daily Cuban life. One of the best elements is how she captured Cuban music and incorporated it as part of the soundtrack. Nancy thank you for capturing this authentic perspective of Cuban life and it’s beautiful people.

Nancy Rosales is a driven and action oriented Entrepreneur, Strategic Media/TV Consultant and Business Innovator for Neveria Abel 1950 inc. Dba PepitosIceCream.com  We look forward to featuring more of her work though our various Silicon Valley Latino platforms in 2017.

Nancy keep up the great work!

 

 

HABANASTATION Movie Review

At the 23rd Annual Cinequest Film Festival running Feb 26 through March 10

inspiration

INSPIRATION- Films that give your mind & soul a boost!

Imagine being a tween stranded in an unfamiliar side of town and experiencing a rite of passage in one day. That is what happens to Mayito (Ernesto Escalona) but lucky for him he runs into his classmate, Carlitos (Andy Fornaris), who accompanies and befriends him in this journey. This film is great for the entire family. Experience a time in life where ignorance and innocence are blissful, where Mayito and Carlitos develop a sense of gratitude for what they have and don’t have. Fall in love, fly a kite, roam in the rain without shoes, and learn to stand up for yourself in HABANASTATION; it’s no game.

 

By Eydie Mendoza

Mario, also known as Mayito, a 12-year-old boy happens upon his rite of passage in the film HABANASTATION/HAVANASTATION from Director Ian Padron.

Set in Habana, Cuba (Spanish with English subtitles) the film centers around Mayito (Ernesto Escalona) who is sheltered by his overprotective mother, Moriama (Blanca Rosa Blanco) and has a famous musician father, Pepe Arlay (Luis Alberto Garcia) who is more down to earth than his mother.  He is fortunate, coming from a wealthy family where he has a carefree life. Mayito is a friendless, single child, and even owns the latest Playstation games.

He and his classmates prepare to celebrate May Day with readings in the school courtyard and for a field trip, but like most children they share more enthusiasm about playing video games.  Teacher Claudia (Claudia Alvarino) cares about her students, and promises Moraima that she will watch Mayito after the May Day parade.

“La vida esta muy dura,” says his father as they enjoy a roasted chicken adorned with bell peppers for dinner and drink imported wine. Immediately after dinner, his father gives him a Playstation III game.

The following day, after the May Day festivities and parade Mayito gets separated from his class and his adventure begins when he mistakenly takes the wrong bus. After requests that the driver stop to let him off, he walks through the unfamiliar neighborhood filled with people and children playing in the dirt roads.

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Fortunately he runs into Carlos (Andy Fornaris) an acquaintance from school that lives there in a shack with his grandmother (Miriam Socarras).  As they walk over to use a phone at the neighbor’s house, Mayito relizes that “La vida esta muy dura (life is hard)” for his classmate, yet in spite of having to work, save money to buy his own toys, and cook his own meals,  Carlitos too is a bit carefree.

Throughout their adventures in the barrio, the boys tease each other about their ignorance but have a bonding experience when they compare their relationships with their fathers, who are not around much. One father was incarcerated for self-defense and the other is a traveling musician.

The teacher finally remembers that Carlitos lives in the vicinity where the bus driver left Mayito, so she alerts the parents, and meets up with the grandmother at the shack.

Mayito not only grows from this experience but he learns about sacrifice, develops a sense of independence and appreciation for others.

Viewers seeking to gain insight into a day in the life of two boys who develop a friendship, learn about each other’s lives, and discover how to have fun in el barrio de la tinta in Havana, Cuba are invited to join Mayito and Carlitos as they get into mischief, play in the rain, learn to solve problems and share Mayito’s first crush.

To see the most current full lineup of films, ticket information and event schedule go to www.cinequest.org

Habanastation will be shown Thurs 2/28 4:15pm, Tues 3/5 6:45pm, Sat 3/9 11am

Unfinished Spaces Movie Review

In this photo Architect Ricardo Porro | Photo courtesy of Cinequest

After the downfall of the dictatorship in Cuba during 1959, one day in April Fidel Castro and Che Guevara decided to play golf at a country club in Havana. Fidel decided that the landscape was perfect for a grand art campus. Recruitment of architects for Cuba’s National Schools of Art started immediately.

Alysa Nahmias

Benjamin Murray

Unfinished Spaces, a film by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray (English and Spanish with English subtitles) truly captures the beauty of the landscape and amazing architecture in the documentary of a modern day landmark in ruins, whose designing architects are still living.

Architects of the campus, Selma Díaz, Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, and Roberto Gottardi retell their creative journey.

Fidel asked Diaz to head the design project of the School. She offered Porro the architect position but because it was for five schools, he recruited two Italian architects living in Cuba at the time, Garatti and Gottardi.

“I helped to make revolution but in a very soft way. I never fought, I don’t think I am a man to fight with guns, I am a man with ideas, that’s all,” Porro states.

The School of Dramatic Arts, The school of Ballet, The School of Music, The school of Plastic Arts and The School of Modern Dance were designed within a two months deadline and building began immediately. Even the Unites States embargo, which could have been an obstacle for construction because there were no materials being imported.

The School of Ballet designed by Vittorio Garatti | Photo courtesy of Cinequest

Construction was possible by using the islands natural resources of in creating bricks and terra cotta, along with 80 masons trained by an older man who possessed Catalan Vaulting skills.

Filled with pride, delight, and dreams Cuban youths, after a successful revolution, started classes as classrooms were completed, yet the campus was not complete. Students not only serenaded workers with musical drum circles, poetry, and song, they helped with the masonry and construction.

Artists who attended the art schools in the 1960s also share their stories about their comradery, female sexual liberation, and the creative freedom during that time. Alum and artist Fonseca says “Eso no lo había antes de la revolución.” It truly would not have been possible prior to the revolution.

They did not view it as a job and they were a family.

The passions and dreams of the artists and architects dwindled after terrorists and fear spread through Cuba. Then the 1961 Bay of Pigs occurrence along with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 added economic and political strain on funding the completion of the School. Two additional significant obstacles were that Cuba’s Ministry of Construction embraced The Soviet Union’s technique to pre-manufacture buildings and Che Guevara’s wrote an article titled the Socialism of the Cuban Man where he criticized the concept of the freedoms practiced at the school, so the schools were militarized.

Not only did war and the politics years stop the construction, but time and nature began to devour the campus, and after the fall of the Soviet Union Cuba’s leader approved restoration of the National School of Arts.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t know about architecture you know that you are in a special place and you can feel that and … you can feel that energy. I think that is what the architects wanted to do and understood,” Theater School alum Felipe Dulzaides sums it up.

The designers’ passions are unimaginable captured and undeniably felt by the audience.