UnMade in Cuba

Film posters generally draw attention to movies that have been projected on screens. These carteles de cine, however, reference “ghost films” that were never made. In showcasing Cuba’s rich cinema and vibrant graphic design traditions, these 53 images — captivating and colorful — pay homage to island creativity. 

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Carteles de Alucho: Cuban Film Posters

Born in Havana in 1984, Alejandro Rodríguez Fornés “Alucho,” is a prolific graphic designer and an important figure in the use of emerging technologies and digital art in Cuban graphic design. This is his first solo exhibit in the United States.

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Clásicos Restaurados 

This “Restored Classics” series features the work of some of Cuba’s most renowned graphic artists working today.  Each creator designed an image to accompany one of the internationally renowned Latin American films restored in recent years.  Many of the designers have had their work showcased in previous exhibits at W&M.  The “Clásicos Restaurados” poster series was acquired by the Special Collections Research Center in May 2018 at the same time films in the series were featured in the Kennedy Center’s “Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World” festival.  

Posters of Cuba’s Revolutionary Films

Posters, from 1962 to 2011, of feature films, documentaries, animated films, film events, and others that were produced in Cuba by Cuban artists. Posters were primarily created by using a silk screen process and were made for both Cuban and non-Cuban films.

Fernando Pérez  

Cuba’s most highly regarded filmmaker living today, Fernando Pérez enjoys a long relationship with William & Mary.  He met Ann Marie Stock in Havana during the premiere of Hello Hemingway (1991).  Shortly thereafter, his son Frank Ernesto emigrated from Cuba and settled in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Fernando has visited W&M on various occasions, and has contributed his films for screenings on campus and in the community. Recently, Un día en La Habana was featured as part of the 2018 Global Film Festival program, and Stock and Pérez teamed up on a panel at the Latin American Studies Association conference in Barcelona. 

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Handmade Books

The SCRC holds dozens of books made by hand in Cuba.  Some of these are crafted by artists at Ediciones Vigía in Matanzas, where objects such as aluminum cans, string, and cardboard spoons are often repurposed to enhance the highly textured volumes. Some are produced by the Papiro workshop in Holguín, an artistic enclave where the process begins with making the pulp for the paper.  And some are made by W&M students who are inspired by the beauty and ingenuity evident in these volumes.

Cuban Cinema Classics  

The Cuban Cinema Classics series showcases Cuba's internationally-acclaimed film tradition in documentaries featuring the island's people, places and politics.  The volumes present selections from more than 50 years of revolutionary film production.  The initiative was established to address the difficulty of obtaining Cuban documentaries with English subtitles in the U.S.  The organization of the series in thematic volumes and the subtitles in English enhance the possibilities for their use in educational and cultural programming.  While students, scholars, educators and festival programmers benefit from the availability of subtitled Cuban documentaries, Cuban filmmakers and media organizations benefit from the increased audience for their production.  In one instance, one work had been lost from the Cuban Film Institute; through this initiative, Newsreel 49 was located in a documentary made in the U.K. and returned home to the island.

Interviews with Filmmakers & Artists

For more than a quarter-century we have been filming interviews with filmmakers, artists and writers. Their testimony provides unique insight into their work, introduces us to other island creators, and allows a glimpse of the changing island context during this time of accelerated transition.  

Televisión Serrana

Over the past quarter-century, filmmakers at TVS have made hundreds of works capturing the faces and places of Cuba’s countryside. Some of the films demonstrate campesino creativity, showcasing innovative solutions to daily difficulties.  Others portray the region’s inhabitants and reproduce the rhythms of this rural zone. These works—whether shown in the square of a small village, shared as a video carta, broadcast on national television, or exhibited as part of an international festival—impress for their ability to capture life far beyond the capital, and create moving portraits of area residents.