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Cuban Women Filmmakers U.S. Showcase

March 11, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The USC School of Cinematic Arts, Women In Film International Committee, Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque, and Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC), invite you and a guest to a special presentation of

Cuban Women Filmmakers U.S. Showcase

A screening of short films, followed by a panel discussion with Marina Ochoa, Milena Almira, Claudia Rojas and Gloria Rolando, hosted by Luis Notario from the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC).
7:00 P.M. on Monday, March 11th, 2013
The Albert & Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Celebrate and embrace the creative vision of the women filmmakers of the Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque during four extraordinary days of screenings of over 21 narrative short films and documentaries, a panel discussion, Q&As and festivities. The films offer audiences a glimpse into the psyche and heart of modern Cuban life, and a unique view of the world.

About the Panelists

Marina Ochoa

Holguin,1946. Scriptwriter and director. Graduated in Journalism and Sociology. She made studies in architecture and took postgraduate courses on television news, film script playwriting, acting, direction of actors, sociology of communication, etc. She entered ICAIC in 1974 as an assistant director. She directs the independent video group ARO and participates in the independent video group TRIVISION. She has taken part as a jury in several film festivals and is the author of the play Nunca dejes de soñar (Never Stop Dreaming). She has done research for scripts, art direction and film direction. Her work has received national and international awards. Ms. Ochoa is member of the Latin American, North American and Caribbean Documentary Makers Association (ADLAI), the National Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (UNEAC) and the General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE).

Milena Almira

Havana, 1986. MilenaAlmira graduated from the Art Faculty of Audiovisual Communication Media of the Higher Art Institute in the specialty of Direction. She works as a director and scriptwriter in Cuban Television and the Cuban Institute of Film Art and Industry. She has taken part in film script workshops in the San Antonio de los Baños International Film and Television School and has graduated from the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Training Center. She coordinates KINOCUBA audiovisual workshop. Her shorts and documentary films have been awarded in national and international events.

Claudia Rojas

Havana, 1971. ClaudiaRojas graduated in method acting, Mexico D. F, with Rene Pereyra, a student of Lee Strasberg. She was the main character in La vida es silbar (Life Is Whistling, 10997) by Fernando Perez (Cuba) for which she received the Revelation Award in the New Latin American Film Festival; La novia de Lázaro (Lazaro’s Girlfriend) by Fernando Merinero (Spain), awarded as Best Actress in the Malaga Film Festival, 90 millas (90 Miles) by Francisco Rodriguez (Spain), awarded as the Best Actress in the Huelva Film Festival, Islantilla. She took a script workshop with Pedro Loeb in Madrid, Spain; studied direction with Juan Carlos Tabio, Spain, Madrid, and graduated from the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Training Center. She also works in independent projects.

Gloria Rolando

Havana, 1953. Gloria Rolando graduated in History of Art in 1976 and began to work in ICAIC Film Studios as a historic researcher.

She was assistant director of outstanding documentary filmmakers: Santiago Alvarez, Rogelio Paris, Rigoberto Lopez and Enrique Colina, as well as of fiction filmmakers Pastor Vega and Sergio Giral, among others. She started on her own documentary films In the ‘90s. Since 1995 she directs the group Imágenes del Caribe (Caribbean Images). Her filmography approaches cultural, religious, historical and social topics which are part of Afro-Cuban collective memory.

About the Short Films

Dir. Susana Barriga; Year: 2007; Genre: Documentary; Duration: 12 minutes
Synopsis: Yubisnel is 22 years old and wants to leave, but has done nothing but repair the same road for the last five years.

Director: Milena Almira; Year: 2007; Genre: Fiction; Running Time: 3 minutes
Synopsis: A woman and a man are having dinner in a restaurant. Everything seems to go fine, until she gets bored of the usual protocol and makes a comment that will change the course of the night.  It is a reflection on the relations of power.

Dir. Hilda Elena Vega; Year: 2007; Genre: Fiction; Duration: 13 minutes
Synopsis: A woman who lives almost in marginality mishandles her small daughter. An elegant, pious woman discovers the girl and wants to give her affection. The other recognizes the intruder as responsible of her terrible past. From that moment on, an uncontrollable thirst of revenge takes hold of her body and soul. A combination of magic realism, eroticism and extreme terror that explore dark spaces of human nature.

Dir. Gretel Medina; Year: 2008; Genre: Fiction; Duration: 6 minutes
Synopsis: A man and a woman, sitting at the table, unleash the miseries of a life of mutual dependence.

Dir. Tamara Morales; Year: 2002; Genre: Fiction; Running Time: 21 min.
Synopsis: A Cuban family in the 90’s celebrates her daughter’s fifteenth anniversary. Conflicts will arise between the girl’s father and  brother due to their opposed visions about the realities they face.

Dir. Marisol Trujillo; Year: 1984; Genre: Documentary; Duration: 9 minutes
Synopsis: Tribute to Marilyn Monroe inspired by a poem by Ernesto Cardenal. At the same time it reveals the situation of the large part of Latin American children.

Total running time: 64 minutes. In Spanish, with English subtitles.

About the Short Film Directors

Gretel Medina

Cienfuegos, 1981. Ms. Medina graduated in Sociocultural Studies. She also graduated from the Art Faculty of Audiovisual Communication Media in the Higher Art Institute, specializing in Direction. She leads the TV program X Distante for Cuban Television. She is the author of numerous shorts and documentary films.

Hilda Elena Vega

Camaguey, 1984. Ms. Vega graduated in the Art Faculty of Audiovisual Communication Media in the Higher Art Institute, specializing in Direction. She works as a director, scriptwriter and editor of independent films. Her short La Bestia (The Beast) has received numerous awards and honorable mentions.

Susana Barriga

Havana, 1981. Ms. Barriga graduated in Social Communication in Havana University and in the San Antonio de los Baños Film and Television School, specializing in Documentary Films. She studied in the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. Her documentary films have been awarded in national and international film contests.

Tamara Morales

Santa Clara, 1969.  Actress and Filmmaker.  Graduated from the National School of Art in the specialty of Acting and from the Art Faculty of Audiovisual Communication Media of the Higher Art Institute in the specialty of Direction  Has taken part in numerous TV series and TV movies produced by Cuban Television. Currently works as assistant director at Cuban Institute of Cinematic Arts and Industry. She has also received a wide recognition for her work as filmmaker.

Marisol Trujillo

Havana, 1946. A filmmaker with a delicate tact in the topics she approached: architecture, arts in general, women. She took her first steps in the film industry in 1971, as a critic in ICAIC’S Film Information Center. Two years later she entered into film production as a scriptwriter. She was the assistant director in Miguel Littin’s El recurso del método (Resource on the Method) and in 1978 directed her first documentary film. She received the Distinction of National Culture.

About the Cuban Women Filmmakers U.S. Showcase

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, Oliver Stone, Nestor Torres, Dionne Warwick, and Haskell Wexler.

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.

The Tri-City Screenings are an unprecedented cultural and professional exchange between Cuban and U.S. Film Communities.

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.

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.




Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos
The Cuban Institute of Cinematic Arts and Industry

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago