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.
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!
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