Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A colorful portrait of life in Cuba, including intimate conversations about the embargo and the changing relationship with the U.S.
A colorful portrait of life in Cuba, including intimate conversations about the embargo and the changing relationship with the U.S.
62 backers pledged $17,000 to help bring this project to life.

About

Cuba in Transition project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$17,000

62

We continue to add information and accept contributions at our website: www.cubaintransitionthemovie.com 

The Cubans call it "El Bloqueo" and we Americans call it "The Embargo," but either way it means we haven't been able to get to know one of our closest neighbors for over fifty years. That is until now. On July 1, 2015 it was announced that the United States and Cuban governments will reopen embassies in each others' countries. These impending political changes explain the surge in stories and interest about Cuba. This is a dramatic moment of change for both countries and you can be a part of it!

In 1998, I traveled to Cuba and fell in love with the country and its people. Inspired to make a documentary, I returned three times in the following six years and filmed more than 75 hours of footage which center on art, music, daily life and a series of interviews with four people who’ve lived under Castro's regime. I questioned these four people extensively about how the embargo had affected their lives and I want to return to finish telling their stories and learn about their approach to these changes.

It appears the embargo will soon be lifted. So more than ever, "Cuba in Transition" is relevant. In addition to the four subjects I've been following, I interviewed historians and scholars; Olga Portuondo, the head of the National Historical Society in Santiago de Cuba, Dr. Humberto Miranda Lorenzo, member of the Latin America Group: Social Philosophy and Axiology and Assistant Professor at the College of Charleston, Joel Suarez, head of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Havana and Kadir Lopez, internationally recognized artist.

I'd like to introduce you to the main subjects of the film.

THEY ARE:

Amarilis, a doctor who left Cuba for New Jersey because of her political differences. She will be in Cuba with her wife when I return to film this summer. She sees the lifting of the embargo from both sides.
Amarilis, a doctor who left Cuba for New Jersey because of her political differences. She will be in Cuba with her wife when I return to film this summer. She sees the lifting of the embargo from both sides.
Adria, a divorced fifty-five year-old mother and grandmother who runs a small guesthouse for travelers. The lifting of the embargo will have a profound and positive impact on her life and business.
Adria, a divorced fifty-five year-old mother and grandmother who runs a small guesthouse for travelers. The lifting of the embargo will have a profound and positive impact on her life and business.
Guillermo (now known as Bhagavan Ishaya), an actor and martial arts expert who now teaches meditation. He believes there are pros and cons to the impending changes.
Guillermo (now known as Bhagavan Ishaya), an actor and martial arts expert who now teaches meditation. He believes there are pros and cons to the impending changes.
Juan, a married engineer, who despite a keen interest in American movies and culture, is fiercely pro-Castro. He sees the econmic benefits of these changes but wonders about the effects of the political changes.
Juan, a married engineer, who despite a keen interest in American movies and culture, is fiercely pro-Castro. He sees the econmic benefits of these changes but wonders about the effects of the political changes.

Now that the end of the embargo is in sight, it's the perfect time to return to Cuba to complete their story. How do they imagine things will change under normalized relations between the two countries? What are their hopes and dreams and fears? In addition to these four people, I have scheduled interviews with noted scholars and historians in both Cuba and the United States who will provide insight into this historic time.

WHERE YOUR MONEY WILL GO:

Your contribution will get me and my director of photography to Cuba this summer to film the footage we need to complete this project. These funds will provide us the opportunity to create a 60 to 90 minute documentary film that will find a home on either broadcast television, cable or online (for example, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.). 

The funding will cover : 

  • Travel (air & ground transportation) and accommodations 
  • Local crew (we have qualified Cuban filmmakers assisting with sound and lighting) 
  • Additional equipment (2nd camera, lenses, hand-held rig, hard drives, batteries, etc.)  
  • Post-production costs (editing new footage and digitizing/formatting older footage) 
  • Marketing and distribution (once completed, will be be submitting to festivals while creating a package to present to distributors)

Risks and challenges

The current interest in Cuba has exploded as people consider the ongoing changes and what they’ll mean. There’s a risk that the market will be flooded with Cuban content but there is also the possibility that as interest is piqued, there will be a higher demand for the unique content I’ve created. I imagine there are few people who have a continuous story told over 15 years. My sustained relationships with these four characters insure being able to finish telling their stories.

There is always the risk that we won’t get distribution but I am so compelled by this content that I am fully committed to finding alternative distribution channels, if necessary including VOD, direct sale DVD's via the website, etc.

Mil Gracias! A Thousand Thanks!

Ken

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Cortadito Package
    A thank-you in the credits and a digital download of the film.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Flan Package
    A thank-you in the credits, a digital download of the film and a handwritten Cuban postcard.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Arroz y Frijoles Package
    A thank-you in the credits and a digital download of the film along with a small souvenir from Cuba.

    Digital download available 7/2016

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    La Floridita Package
    A thank-you in the credit and an original medium-priced Cuban souvenir (t-shirt, bandana, card, etc.).

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 21 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Havana Package
    A thank-you in the credits, a 11x14 photograph from Havana printed on high quality photo paper. Your choice between 10 exclusive images.

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Gracias Package
    A thank-you in the credits, either a framed original 1970's movie poster from renowned Cuban illustrator Munoz Bachs or a framed original 11x14 photograph from Havana. Your choice between 10 exclusive images.

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Churchill Package
    An Associate Producer credit and a collection of Romeo y Julieta cigars (Churchill's favorite smoke) or Cohiba, your choice!

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The Art Lovers Package
    An Associate Producer credit in the film, and a signed copy of the book "Cutting Edge Art in Havana: The definitive guide to Cuban contemporary art" (a 320 page full-color guide/catalog that profiles over 100 Cuban Artists living and working in Havana today).

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The Big Cohiba Package
    An Executive Producer credit in the film, a box of Cohiba cigars and a signed copy of the book "Cutting Edge Art in Havana: The definitive guide to Cuban contemporary art" (a 320 page full-color guide/catalog that profiles over 100 Cuban Artists living and working in Havana today).

    A special rate for qualified travelers who wish to go to Havana to meet Cuban artists and collect Cuban artwork first hand including a special Cuban art travel consultation with members of ARTempoCuba, the team that produced the book.

    Plus a digital download of the film in 7/2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    The Versailles Package
    An Executive Producer credit, a digital download of the film, your input on the final cut of the film as you will review a rough cut and give us your notes.

    A signed copy of the book "Cutting Edge Art in Havana: The definitive guide to Cuban contemporary art" (a 320 page full-color guide/catalog that profiles over 100 Cuban Artists living and working in Havana today).

    A special rate for qualified travelers who wish to go to Havana to meet Cuban artists and collect Cuban artwork first hand including a special Cuban art travel consultation with members of ARTempoCuba, the team that produced the book.

    Edit of the film will occur over several months until 7/2016

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Hemingway Package
    You will receive an Executive Producer credit, your input on several edits of the film, a bottle of the best Cuban rum, your choice of Cuban cigars and a special blu-ray DVD of the film.

    A signed copy of the book "Cutting Edge Art in Havana: The definitive guide to Cuban contemporary art" (a 320 page full-color guide/catalog that profiles over 100 Cuban Artists living and working in Havana today).

    A special rate for qualified travelers who wish to go to Havana to meet Cuban artists and collect Cuban artwork first hand including a special Cuban art travel consultation with members of ARTempoCuba, the team that produced the book.

    Edit of the film will occur over several months until 7/2016

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)