¡Sí Cuba! In SoCal

Beverly Hills, CA (May 11, 2011) - “¡Sí Cuba! SoCal,” a multi-venue Southern California festival celebrating the culture of the island nation through art, dance, film, music and discussion, will kick off on Friday, May 13, and continue through Sunday, October 2, 2011.  Building on the momentum of the ¡Sí Cuba! festival currently in New York, “¡Sí Cuba! SoCal” will be presented by seven Southern California-based organizations and will include three exhibitions, hand-silkscreened film posters, political cartoons, and photographs documenting Cuba’s history; performances by the renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba in Costa Mesa and Los Angeles; a film series with filmmaker Q&As; and a concert by the Buena Vista Social Club® orchestra.

The following is the “¡Sí Cuba! SoCal” calendar of events:

Cuban Film Posters: From Havana to the World
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Grand Lobby Gallery, Beverly Hills
May 13 – August 28
www.oscars.org/sicubasocal
This exhibition will showcase 125 hand-silkscreened posters from Cuban and international films created by artists engaged by the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC), the film institute formed soon after the 1959 revolution.  The posters represent such international films as “The Bicycle Thief,” “Persona,” “Z,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining,” and dozens of Cuban films, including “Fallen Gods” and “Strawberry and Chocolate,” the country’s only Foreign Language Film award nominee to date. 

A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now
J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles
May 17– October 2
www.getty.edu
“A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evansto Now” looks at three critical periods in Cuba's history as witnessed by photographers. The exhibition unites Walker Evans's views from the 1930s with those of Cubans who participated in the 1959 revolution and contemporary foreign artists exploring the island nation since the end of Soviet support in the 1990s. Together the works span reportage, portraiture, landscape, and street photography, demonstrating a diverse international range of perspectives. In addition to Evans, the exhibition includes photographers such as Virginia Beahan, Raúl Corrales, Alex Harris, Alberto Korda, Osvaldo Salas, and Alexey Titarenko. 

Humor from my Pen: An Exhibition of Political Cartoons by Gerardo Hernández Nordelo
SPARC, Venice, Los Angeles
June 4 – 17, 2011
www.sparcmurals.org or www.thecuban5.org
“Humor from my Pen” is an exhibition of political cartoons by Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the Cuban Five political prisoners held in U.S. prisons since 1998.  The exhibition will include works by Politico's editorial cartoonist and illustrator Matt Wuerker, and Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the nationally syndicated daily cartoon "La Cucaracha."  Admission is free.  Opening night party on June 4 from
7-10p.m. Festivities include a celebration of the artist’s birthday and a panel discussion.

Film Series: Soy Cuba!
J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles
June 11 – June 12
www.getty.edu
This four-part film series examines both the beauty and brutality of Cuba from various perspectives.  The series will screen “Our Man in Havana” (1960) directed by Carol Reed, “I Am Cuba” (1964) directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, “Memories of Underdevelopment” (1938) directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and “Lucia” (1969) directed by Humberto Solas.  Admission is free; reservations are required.

The Magic of Dance, Ballet Nacional de Cuba     
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
June 15 – June 19
www.scfta.org
In its previous two visits to the Center, the dancers of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba have enchanted audiences with their engaging artistry and charm.  The company from Havana returns to the Center, and to Southern California, with performances that showcase the classical style honed to perfection by company founder and legendary prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.  The performances will include scenes from “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Coppelia” and “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Cuban Spotlight, 17th Annual Los Angeles Film Festival
Film Independent, L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles
June 16 – June 26
www.lafilmfest.com
The Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times, will feature a sidebar of Cuban films, followed by onstage filmmaker Q&As with the audience.  The series will include the narrative features “Ticket to Paradise,” directed by Gerardo Chijona Valdes, “Havana Eva,” directed by Fina Torres, “Suite Habana,” directed by Fernando Perez, and Estela Bravo’s controversial documentary “Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba,” and more.  The Cuban Spotlight is supported by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. 

A Celebration of Cuban Film
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
June 22
www.oscars.org/sicubasocal
Presented in association with the Los Angeles Film Festival’s Cuban Spotlight, the Academy gala will feature film clips from the Cuban titles showcased by the festival and present an onstage panel discussion with visiting directors.  Hosted by the festival’s artistic director David Ansen, the program also will include a screening of Cuba’s Oscar®-nominated “Strawberry and Chocolate.”  The Academy’s exhibition “Cuban Film Posters: From Havana to the World,” will be on display in the Grand Lobby Gallery. Viewing hours will be extended for this event.

Don Quixote, Ballet Nacional de Cuba
Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
June 23 – June 26
www.musiccenter.org
Ballet Nacional de Cuba continues its Southern California engagement with the Music Center debut of the full-length ballet “Don Quixote.”  Combining classical romanticism with a Latin boldness, the company – one of the most prestigious performing today – will showcase the fearless strength of its dancers and the inventive choreography of Alicia Alonso. 

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® Featuring Omara Portuondo
Arturo Sandoval & the LA All Star Big Band
Ninety Miles featuring Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, Christian Scott
Hollywood Bowl presented by LA Phil, Los Angeles
August 24
www.hollywoodbowl.com
This special Cuban-themed evening of rhythms and infectious improvisations will include projections of photos depicting historic and present day Cuba.  The projections presented in conjunction with the Getty’s exhibition, “A Revolutionary Project.”

“¡Sí Cuba! SoCal” is modeled after ¡Sí Cuba!, a New York festival uniting 14 institutions showcasing the diversity of Cuban arts and culture from the traditional to the modern, from March 31 June 16, 2011.  The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund provided major support for the New York-based initiative. 

Contact Information

For more information, contact

Teni Melidonian
tmelidonian@oscars.org

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