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LatinoBuzz: Cuban Women Filmmakers 2013 US Showcase

LatinoBuzz: Cuban Women Filmmakers 2013 US Showcase

The Tri-City Screenings are an unprecedented cultural and professional exchange between Cuban and U.S. Film Communities (Los Angeles: March 6–12 – New York: March 13–17 – Miami: March 18–25)

The Women In Film International Committee, the Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque, the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC) and the American Cinematheque, in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, New York Women In Film & Television, MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center,Women Make Movies, Miami Beach Cinematheque, and Coral Gables Art Cinema, will showcase a selection of short, documentary and feature films directed by Cuban women. The Showcase includes presentations at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Brooks Institute and Miami International University of Art & Design. 

The Cuban women participating in the U.S. Showcase represent the island’s preeminent female directors, writers and actors. They are award-winning filmmaker and head of the Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque, Marina Ochoa; award-winning Afro-Cuban documentary filmmaker, Gloria Rolando; award-winning feature filmmaker Milena Almira and one of Cuba’s most internationally acclaimed film and theater actresses, Claudia Rojas. 

Honorary hosts include: Annette Bening, Laura Bickford, Jackson Browne, Lisa Cholodenko, James Cromwell, Isabel Cueva, Benicio Del Toro, Hector Elizondo, Naomi Foner, Brad Horwitz, Penny Marshall, Mike and Irena Medavoy, Rick Nicita and Paula Wagner, Sean Penn, Shervin and Anahita Pishevar, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Sarandon, Hilda Solis, Andy Spahn, and Dionne Warwick.

Sponsors include Shangri-La Entertainment, Sean Penn, the Shervin & Ana Pishevar Foundation, Brad Horwitz, Cuba Travel Services, SDI Media Group, Aris Anagnos, Hector Elizondo, Harvey Vechery,Councilmember Eric Garcetti,, and other generous individuals. KPFK Radio is a media sponsor for Los Angeles.

Scheduled for Los Angeles (March 6-12), New York (March 13-17) and Miami (March 18-25), the showcases will be complemented by panels to offer educational and cultural opportunities for U.S. and Cuban women in the industry, to forge creative and cultural bonds, and to foster the expansion of a dialogue between nations, creating new spaces wherein to share social, historic and artistic female perspectives.

This will be the first time a group of Cuban women filmmakers travels to the United States to screen their work in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Screenings and panel discussions are being organized by a collaboration of the most prestigious and proactive institutions that provide a place and an infrastructure for women to grow and excel in the film industry, such as Women In Film. Ruby Lopez, WIF International Committee co-chair says, “The industry has become a dynamic global community. The Women In Film International Committee mission is to create programming that offers women the opportunity to express and share their voices. Creating this showcase allows for the exploration and expression of multicultural viewpoints that serve to broaden and deepen the art of telling stories through cinema.”

ICAIC, Cuba’s world-famous film institute has a long history of supporting the work of cutting edge filmmakers and producing an unparalleled body of work. Now, with the inception of the Cuban Women Filmmaker’s Mediatheque, ICAIC is recognizing and supporting the work of Cuban women in the industry. “Cuban women filmmakers have created strong films with significant aesthetic values, that not only raise awareness and inspire action around issues that affect women, but also express a deep penetration into the Cuban culture and contemporary society,” says Luis Notario, Producer/Coordinator of the Cuban Women Filmmakers Showcase and Senior Advisor to the President of ICAIC. “We see this showcase as a unique opportunity to accomplish the long deserved international recognition of their amazing work,” he concludes.

Ellen Harrington, Director of Exhibitions and Special Events for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says “Over the last three years, the Academy and its International Outreach Committee have been actively working with our counterparts in Cuba, including the ICAIC, to encourage the cultural dialogue between the filmmaking communities in our countries. It is a pleasure to help welcome these pioneering artists to Los Angeles, much as we have been warmly welcomed on our visits to Cuba. We are excited to build on the current momentum for more creative collaborations between us.”

The event has already gained the attention and support of key industry figures including Academy Award® nominated producer, Laura Bickford (Traffic, Che, Arbitrage). “I am honored and excited to be a part of this historic professional and cultural exchange,” says Bickford. “Having traveled to Cuba for many years, I have gotten to know the Cuban film industry and look forward to hosting these multi-talented and visionary film professionals coming to the US for the first time,” she added.
The U.S. Showcase tour initiates in Los Angeles. A highlight, on March 8, is an evening event, under the auspices of the American Cinematheque, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Events thus far include:

March 6-12 in LOS ANGELES:
Thursday, March 7, 2:00pm – Brooks Institute – Screening of short films followed by Q&A with visiting filmmakers Marina Ochoa, Gloria Rolando, Milena Almira and Claudia Rojas 
(5301 N Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001, 805-585-8000)

Friday, March 8, 7:30pm – Egyptian Theatre – Sponsored by the American Cinematheque, in celebration of “International Women’s Day” and the international, inaugural launch of the Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque and the Tri-City tour of the Cuban Women U.S. Showcase, a Screening and Q&A with visiting Cuban filmmakers Marina Ochoa, Gloria Rolando, Milena Almira and Claudia Rojas, followed by “Havana Nights in Hollywood” After-party with music by Candi Sosa y Su Sexteto. Tickets $7.00/$11.00 on sale at
(6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028)

Saturday, March 9, 2:00pm & 4:00pm, – Sunset Gower Studio – Sponsored by NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, 2:00pm Screening, 4:00 -7:00pm Panel followed by a Reception: “The Independent Story Finds a Home in Global Cinema: Where Women Are Taking The Lead” Moderator by Laura Bickford, with the visiting Cuban filmmakers Marina Ochoa, Gloria Rolando, Milena Almira and Claudia Rojas. Tickets $10.00/$15.00
(6062 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028)

Monday, March 11, 7:00pm – USC School of Cinematic Arts Broccoli Theater – Screening and Panel discussion with the visiting Cuban filmmakers Marina Ochoa, Gloria Rolando, Milena Almira and Claudia Rojas. Free and open to the public.
(SCA 112, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007) 

March 13-17 in NEW YORK CITY:
Thursday, March 14 – Tribeca Film Center – Sponsored by New York Women In Film & Television, Screening followed by Q&A with visiting Cuban filmmakers Marina Ochoa, Gloria Rolando, Milena Almira and Claudia Rojas. Free and open to the public.
(375 Greenwich Street, New York City, NY 10013)

Friday, March 15, 6:00pm – Hosted by the MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center, Iris Morales, Director. Free and open to the public.
(175 East 104th Street, New York, NY 10029, between Lexington and 3rd Ave.)

March 18-25 in MIAMI:
Thursday, March 21, 6:45pm – Miami Beach Cinematheque – Screening, followed by Q&A and Reception. Tickets $20/$18 Seniors and Students (with i.d)/$16 MBCinema Members
(1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-673-4567)

Friday, March 22, 3:00pm – Miami International University of Art & Design Screening followed by Panel discussion. 
(1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132-1418, 305-428-5700) 

Saturday, March 23 – noon – Coral Gables Art Cinema – Short films, followed by Q&A and Reception. Tickets $9.50/$11.50
(260 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134, 786-385-9689)

About the Women In Film International Committee
The Women In Film International (WIFI) Committee fosters an interactive, cultural bond with other countries by discovering, promoting and supporting the ideas and efforts of entertainment professionals, especially women, throughout the world. WIFI programs include panels on international topics and legal affairs, hosted screening, a short-subject film series, social outings and participation in international film festivals. Networking does not stop at our borders so WIFI serves as a resource for foreign consulates, film boards and visiting filmmakers.

About Women In Film, Los Angeles
Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communication and media industries and to preserving the legacy of women within those industries. Founded in 1973, WIF and its Women In Film Foundation provide for members an extensive network of contacts, educational programs, scholarships, film finishing funds and grants, access to employment opportunities, mentorships and numerous practical services in support of this mission. In the independent film world, the organization focuses on assisting female independent filmmakers who have exhibited advanced and innovative skills, specifically through its Film Finishing Fund and award-winning PSA program.

About ICAIC and the Cuban Women Filmmaker’s Mediatheque
The Cuban Institute of Cinematic Arts and Industry has been, for more than 50 years, the major producer of films, documentaries and animation in Cuba. ICAIC has been in charge of promotion, programming and national and international distribution of Cuban films, as well as archiving and preservation of Cuban films. Among the films produced by ICAIC is the world acclaimed feature “Strawberry and Chocolate.”

Cuban Women Filmmaker’s Mediatheque is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing Cuban women with opportunities to reach the highest visibility of their film works, and to preserving the work of Cuban women filmmakers. CWFM aims to be a platform for the development of the Cuban women filmmakers’ creative potential .

About American Cinematheque
Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501 C 3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman’s first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. For more information please visit

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