The Queen’s Gambit of Cuba

Beth Harmon of Netflix's The Queens Gambit. Cuba's champion, Maria Teresa Mora Iturralde To be a girl in a sea of men. This is one of the themes in Netflix’ new series, The Queen's Gambit. The show follows Beth Harmon (exquisitely played by actress Anya Taylor-Joy), a child who ends up parentless, and eventually gets…

Celeste Mendoza at Hotel Nacional

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY6sYlAYvGM I’d like to share a snippet of a performance from a woman who helped shape Cuban music. Her name is Celeste Mendoza, and I find that the majority of my American friends do not know her name. During my time at Tropix Media as their Chief Content Officer, I had the good fortune of…

Queen & Slims’ Cuban-American Director

(Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie-Turner-Smith, Dir Melina Matsoukas, Writer Lena Waithe) The film Queen and Slim is the creation of Director Melina Matsoukas, born of a Cuban mother who was raised on the island, and migrated to New York at 10 yrs old. If you’ve seen Beyonce’s music video “Formation”, a solidarity love letter to New Orleans,…

3 Reasons to See “Give Me Future”

If you're a fan of Major Lazer, here's a doc you'll appreciate. If you have no idea who Major Lazer is, yet have a deep curiosity for Cuban youth culture, then this doc will equally intrigue you. In full disclosure, I worked on this film as one of the Producers, with the excellent team of…

Klayman tells the Carmen Herrera story

I had the pleasure of meeting Director Alison Klayman, who arrived at the Havana Film Festival to screen her documentary, The Hundred Years Show starring Carmen Herrera.  The truth is, I was secretly a fan of Alison from watching her first documentary, Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry, a ballsy account of art activism at its…