Submerged: Alternative Cuban Film Festival


Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will present a groundbreaking film festival, titled “Submerged,” showcasing “alternative” films produced over the last decade in Cuba. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will screen 18 short, medium-length, and feature-length films on September 27-29, 2013. All films will be screened in the Performing Arts Building, Room 101, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus, and will be presented with English subtitles. A full list of films can be found at

The festival was curated by a film critic and a filmmaker in Cuba, Dean Luis Reyes and Miguel Coyula, and produced in collaboration with Luis Duno-Gottberg of Rice University. The project began to take shape after co-organizer and FAU associate professor of Latin American studies, Michael J. Horswell, visited the island with Duno-Gottberg in the spring of 2013 as part of a Rice University study tour. “We realized that the changes taking place in Cuba over the last few years were being captured on film in unique and interesting ways and that many of these films had not been seen here in the States,” said Horswell. “Given the importance of Cuba to South Florida, my colleagues here at FAU and I believe it is imperative to bring this work to our community.” The organizers decided to approach the festival by posing a question, “In the context of contemporary Cuban Cinema, what is ‘alternative?’ Is it the same as ‘independent,’ ‘experimental’ or ‘underground?’”

[. . .] Javier Guerrero, a professor of Latin American film studies at Princeton University, reviewed the festival catalog, and commented that “‘Submerged’ is a provocation. It pushes us to think critically about a production — be it independent, alternative, subterranean, or better yet, and most appropriately, underwater. ‘Submerged’ addresses the process of creation and revision of a cinema that is changing irreversibly, due to new technologies, different exhibition and distribution networks, and the destabilization of concepts as germane to Cuban film as that of ‘national cinema.’”

A highlight of the festival will be the participation of award-winning filmmaker Miguel Coyula, who will be present to screen and discuss his film, “Memories of Overdevelopment,” on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.  In addition to the screening of the films, FAU’s Integrative Arts Outreach Program of the Schmidt Galleries, in conjunction with the Spanish Studies program, will produce a professional development workshop for area teachers interested in digital filmmaking, Cuban cultural history and Cuban film history on Saturday, September 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

[Many thanks to Mary Ann Gosser Esquilín for bringing this item to our attention.]

For more information about the Cuban Film Festival, call 561-297-0155 or visit

[Image above, still from Coyula’s Memorias.]

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