Cuban Women Filmmakers Cuba

Profile Updated: July 2, 2013
Address: Havana Cuba
Number of Members: 150
President/Chair: Marina Ochoa
Yes! Attending Reunion
Mission Statement

The Cuban Women Filmmakers Network is a nonprofit organization focusing on the achieving equity for women filmmakers in Cuba and its Diasporas, by creating opportunities for preserving, marketing and distributing their cinematic work, as well as providing advisory, training and supporting them in the search of financing for their own projects.
The Cuban Women Filmmakers Network aims also at developing a collaborative relation with other WIFI chapters and women filmmakers organizations as well as to promote dialogue and networking among Cuban women filmmakers, the Diasporas and with those of other nationalities, as an essential element for the professional, artistic and human development of women in film.

About Your Chapter/History

The shooting in Cuba of the feature film La rumba en television (Rumba on TV –1950) marks the moment in which, for the first time, a Cuban woman saw her credit as a director on screen. Evelia Joffre was in charge of directing the montage of a work with dreadful artistic values shot by a man whose name has remained in a protective anonymity. Ms. Joffre, up to then a script girl, thought she was been giving a big chance, but along with the director’s credit she would also carried the discredit accompanying the film.
In 1959, with the creation of the Cuban Institute of Cinematic Art and Industry, Cuban cinema half opens its doors to Cuban women, although never exempt of the strong sexist component present in our idiosyncrasy. During the more than 50 years of existence of the New Cuban cinema, only four women have been able to direct fiction features. Sara Gomez was the first Cuban women who directed a fiction feature. It was De Cierta Manera (In a Given Way), unfortunately unfinished by her, because of Sara’s early death, and completed by acknowledged filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea. Fifteen years had to go by for another Cuban woman filmmaker to direct a feature.
In the ‘80s of the last century, Teresa Ordoqui made Te llamarás Inocencia (Your name will be Innocence), the first feature entirely directed by a woman. In this same decade, Ana Rodriguez, Mayra Segura, and Mayra Vilasis directed three of the fiction shorts which are part of the feature Mujer transparente (Transparent Woman).
Works as Mujer ante el espejo (Woman before the Mirror), by director Marisol Trujillo, one of the most internationally awarded documentary films in Cuban cinema because of its filmic quality, define a moment of maturity within the film production of Cuban women filmmakers. As to Belkis Vega, she has made two fiction features for TV which unquestionably are high quality fiction features. It was not until 2009 that another filmmaker, Rebeca Chávez, made her first feature: Ciudad en Rojo (City in Red).
To the names of established filmmakers, we may add members of a new generation of young filmmakers, most of them graduated from the Cuban Film schools. Cuban women filmmakers are considered outstanding in our film community because of their artistic values and because, with their creative singularity, they contribute multiple looks on the rough edges of a complex human, social, cultural and historic reality in which they are immersed because of their gender condition. This marks a diversity of points of view that must be taken into account in Cuban cinema
This significant film production, however, has suffered from an almost total invisibility with local and foreign audiences and, at times, the promotion it has received focuses on the topic dealt with in the documentary film, while no mention is made of the filmmaker and her artistic achievement in her work. To this, an almost entire absence of specialized criticism that might contribute to increase the value of these productions in the eyes of the audience is added.
This reality is shared by many women filmmakers in the Caribbean and its Diaspora in Europe, United States and the rest of the world, where their lack of access to the screens is reinforced by discrimination because of race, religion, ideology or sexual preferences. This made it urgent to develop initiatives and actions that create opportunities to women filmmakers to make their work.
As a response to this challenges, in 2006 was organized the First National Cuban Women Filmmakers Showcase, which gave birth to The Cuban Women Filmmakers Network’s project (CWFN).

In March 2013 the CWFM in collaboration with WIFI, NYWFT, The Academy and other organizations presented the First Cuban Women Filmmakers US Showcase in Los Angeles, NYC and Miami. This event was the occasion for the international launching of The Cuban Women Filmmakers Network.

Brief Description of your Key Programs

1. The Film Library: Intends to keep, organize and classify all the films, stills from productions, making off, press information – if it exists --, places in which the film was shown, catalogues of national and foreign events in which the film has been shown, published or broadcasted films critics, interviews to the filmmakers, essays and other pieces on films, as well as Scores composed by women and posters made or suggested by women will also be kept.
2. Training Program- workshops aimed to develop professional skills, fundraising strategies, and film distribution and selling in the new communicational scenarios, as well as others approaching the representations of femininity and masculinity and to endow the filmmakers in the country with tools enhancing the feminine look on the various topics they intend to take to the screen. This would also include studies, research, essays, criticism and others made from a gender perspective.
3. Fundrising- Develop strategies for funding for audiovisual projects by Cuban women filmmakers, as well as for promotion, distribution and exhibition of their work, so as to facilitating the insertion of their works in national and international production, distribution and commercialization mechanisms.
4. Marketing and Promotion- To promote Cuban women filmmakers and their works, as well as the creations of women painters, graphic designers and musicians related to Cuban films in various national and international events and contexts.

5. Project developments- To develop contest's call for audiovisual projects and find financial support for winners in various modalities. To this end, the Cuban Women in Film-Mediatheque will offer consultancy and advisory for the submittal of projects to various entities which may be potential producers.
6. Social Networking- To promote dialogue and networking with other WIFI chapters and women filmmakers organizations as well among Cuban women filmmakers, its Diaspora and also with those of other countries and cultures.

Current Officers

Board of Directors

1. Luis Notario-General Director
2. Xenia Riverí
- Professional Training
- Workshops
3. Niurka Pérez
- Project Advisory
- Workshops
4. Danae Diéguez
- Theoretical Events and publications
5. Maryulis Alfonso Yero
- Communiction
- Website
- Promotion and marketing strageties.
6. Gloria Rolando- Social Committe