Cuban Cinema to be Celebrated at the Academy

Beverly Hills, CA (June 13, 2011) - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “A Celebration of Cuban Film” on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  Hosted by Los Angeles Film Festival artistic director David Ansen, the program will feature film clips, an onstage discussion with visiting Cuban directors, and a screening of “Strawberry and Chocolate,” Cuba’s only Foreign Language Film award nominee to date. 

Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles Film Festival’s Cuban Spotlight, the program will bring together contemporary Cuban directors including Gerardo Chijona Valdes (“Ticket to Paradise”), Fina Torres (“Habana Eva”), Fernando Perez (“Suite Habana”), and Estela Bravo (“Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba”) for a conversation on the evolving motion picture industry and the challenges facing filmmakers in the island nation.

The discussion will be followed by a screening of “Strawberry and Chocolate,” which centers on a young gay artist’s attraction to and resulting friendship with a committed (and straight) communist.  At the time of its release, the feature was praised by American reviewers, who were surprised by the sophisticated and frank treatment of politics and sexuality in a Cuban film.

Following the program, the Academy’s current exhibition, “Cuban Film Posters: From Havana to the World,” will be available for viewing in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery.  The exhibition presents 125 hand-silkscreened posters for Cuban-produced and international films, including “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” “The Bicycle Thief,” “Z,” “Strawberry and Chocolate” and “Fallen Gods.”  Created by artists engaged by the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos, the artworks have been donated to the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library. 

Regular viewing hours for “Cuban Film Posters” in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m.  The gallery will be closed for the Independence Day (July 2 and 3) holiday weekend.  Admission is free.

Tickets to “A Celebration of Cuban Film” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.  Tickets may be purchased online at, at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or by mail.  The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at the 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. 

“A Celebration of Cuban Film” is presented as part of “¡Si Cuba! SoCal," a multi-venue Southern California festival celebrating Cuban culture through art, dance, film music and discussion. 

For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit

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Teni Melidonian

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