Years before all the buzz over Cuba, before Mick Jagger, Will Smith, Andrew Bourdain, Conan O’Brien, and President Obama arrived, Peabody Award-winning producer/director Ken Schneider of PatchWorks Films was filming there.
When Ken boarded the plane for Havana in December 2014 to showcase his documentary HAVANA CURVEBALL at the International Film Festival, he thought it was the end of his Cuba work. Little did he know that his film would screen on the very day Presidents Obama and Castro made their historic announcement of a diplomatic shift between their estranged countries. Remarkably, that screening led to an invitation to tour the island with Todas Contracorriente, a group of Cuban pop stars, Olympic athletes, and thought leaders addressing domestic violence by changing attitudes toward machismo.
For 2-weeks Ken and fellow director/producer, Marcia Jarmel, had the privilege of riding a bus with these cutting edge Cubans, and listening, and what they heard were stories nowhere to be found in the U.S. media. Thus began their journey to make, (R)EVOLUTION CUBA. We expect to begin production later in the spring of 2016.
(R)EVOLUTION CUBA will be a series of short documentaries profiling Cuban artists navigating the tricky evolution of their country. “We chose to focus on artists,” said Schneider, “because Cuba has an inverse relationship to the U.S. when it comes to the arts. Unlike countries where art is a fringe activity, in Cuba art is central to national identity.” The small island of 12 million people has outsized influence in dance and music around the world. At the cultural vanguard in any country, artists are some of Cuba's most salient ambassadors, with a history of crossing divides created by the 50-plus year embargo. To bring currency into an ailing economy, Cuban artists have been among the first to have opportunities to travel, to sell and perform their work, and for some, to push the limits of free expression. “Our characters have life experiences unique among Cubans and eye-opening to outsiders. Their stories are just so provocative, and visually compelling. That’s why we are excited to share them,” explained Jarmel.
To learn the rest of their story and watch the (R)EVOLUTION CUBA trailer, visit: http://www.patchworksfilms.net/revolution-cuba.