Cuba is currently in the throes of unparalleled change. Cubans are encountering U.S. citizens as new tourists to their country while Americans are being transformed by their recent engagement with the island. The mystique of change and the intensity of encounter rarely afford U.S. audiences a deep knowledge of contemporary Cuban culture in its sophistication, tradition and breadth. Cuban cinema is a powerful force that can help to shape the moment.
Cuban Lens, a one-day film showcase at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, offers context and clarity about those recent Cuban changes through film. It presents emerging filmmakers whose short works capture that transformation.
Cuban Lens will be held today, Wednesday, May 31st at 7:00 p.m, in the Auditorium of the King Juan Carlos Center 53 Washington Square South. The screenings and conversations with filmmakers will engage New York audiences and reflect on important subjects like race, emigration, gender, and tensions around identity: subjects newly imagined by young and diverse filmmakers. The evening will include conversations with Directors Marcel Beltrán, Zoe Miranda and Diana Montero.
Casa de la noche, 2016.
Directed by Marcel. 13 minutes.
Directed by Zoe Miranda. 16 minutes.
Directed by Diana Montero. 15 minutes.
El hijo del sueño, 2016.
Directed by Alejandro Alonso. 9 minutes.
Directed by Rafael Ramírez, 12 minutes.
Directed by Damian Sáinz, 15 minutes.
All films have English subtitles.
Cuban Lens is curated by Jesus Hernández. It offers a glimpse of Cuban film rarely seen in the United States. For Hernández, a producer and filmmaker who runs Bach Media, mounting such an effort is personal. “As a Cuban, I felt compelled to feature a new generation of filmmakers, the ones capturing the seismic shift taking place in my country. Plenty of festivals and series feature Cuban cinema but I specifically wanted these emerging artists — those that might otherwise be overlooked — to have a platform in New York City to showcase their enormous talent,” he said.
Bach Media, the primary producer of Cuban Lens, is a New York City based production company that distributes Cuban cinema to audiences in the United States. The company produces conferences and events year round both within the United States and internationally.
Cuban Lens forms part of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminar Cuban Futures Beyond the Market at New York University.
NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center promotes research and teaching about Spain and the Spanish-speaking world at the university, and provides programs for a general audience that highlight the history, politics and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
Cuban Lens is free and open to the public.
Author: Jesus Hernandez
Jesús Miguel Hernández Bach is Director/ Executive Producer at Bach Media, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.