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‘Revolution Cuba: Stories of Art & Change’ Looks to Use Short Films to Illuminate the Nation’s Artists

'Revolution Cuba: Stories of Art & Change' Looks to Use Short Films to Illuminate the Nation's Artists

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Revolution Cuba: Stories of Art & Change

Logline: “Art for the people” collides with market forces in six short portraits of artists at the heart of an evolving nation.

Elevator Pitch: 
Rum. Jazz. Vintage Cars. We think we know Cuba. We hear about shortages, lack of opportunities, expected regime change, refugees and lucrative business deals. Lost is the remarkable debate where revolutionary ideals face off against the market’s seduction. In Cuba, where 98% of the people are literate, have healthcare, a home, and free education, artists are not fringe. They are vanguard and they are in a quandry. Opportunity vs. free expression vs. socialism. How will they choose? Or can they have it all? “(R)evolution Cuba” brings you six short film stories of artists at the heart of an evolving nation.

Production Team:
We, Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider, are PatchWorks Films. For more than 20 years we have created award-winning documentaries exploring contemporary social issues through intimate character stories, building innovative partnerships for strategic use with organizations and educators. Our films have broadcast worldwide and shown at museums, libraries, schools, universities, community centers, conferences, and film festivals. Our previous documentary features include: “The Return of Sarah’s Daughters,” “Born in the USA,” “Speaking in Tongues,” and “Havana Curveball.” “(R)evolution Cuba” is PatchWorks 8th project.

Ken Schneider (director/producer/editor) is a Peabody-winning producer who believes in the power of documentaries to move people. His passions are stories of war and peace, human rights, artists’ lives, and Cuba. In addition to his feature and short work for PatchWorks, Ken has edited over 35 feature length documentaries for PBS, HBO, Al-Jazeera, and others. Films he edited have been nominated for an Oscar and multiple Emmys, and won prime-time and documentary Emmys, a Columbia-Dupont, two Peabodys, an Indie Spirit award and top awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to her PatchWorks work, Marcia Jarmel (co-director/producer/writer) was consulting producer on HBO’s Emmy-nominated “50 Children,” consultant to Academy Award nominee “Last Day of Freedom,” and IFP Mentor to “The Last Season.” Other credits include co-editing the Academy-award nominee,”For Better or For Worse,” and assistant producing the Academy Award nominees, “Berkeley in the Sixties” and “Freedom on My Mind.” She is also an impact consultant for documentary filmmakers.

In Cuba we work with a fabulous experienced crew that includes Cuba’s pre-eminent documentary cinematographer, Roberto Chile (Fidel Castro’s personal cameraman), and one of Cuba’s hottest jazz pianists, Harold López-Nussa, who is composing music for the series.

About the Film:
A family story originally brought us to Cuba to make “Havana Curveball.” When we returned to share that film last winter on the very day that Castro and Obama announced the historic diplomatic opening, and again in the spring to tour college campuses on a celebrity tour, we found a door opening to real friendships with artists in Cuba’s vanguard. They were deeply proud of their values, artistic achievements, way of life. They spoke of new opportunities, change—and self-determination. No where in our media are we hearing stories like theirs. We are committed to bridging the gap.

Current Status: Fundraising, pre-production. We expect to complete the first of the short films this spring with the resources from our crowdfunding efforts.

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