Despite occasional signs of thawing, relations between the U.S. and Cuba have remained frosty for the past half-century. This week, however, four of the island nation's premier women writers and directors arrive stateside for the inaugural Cuban Women Filmmakers U.S. Showcase, a traveling exhibition highlighting the depth and diversity of their work and that of their peers.
The four representatives are Marina Ochoa, a filmmaker and the head of the nonprofit Cuban Women Filmmakers Mediatheque; Gloria Rolando, an Afro-Cuban documentarian; Milena Almira, a feature filmmaker; and Claudia Rojas, a well-known stage and screen actress turned director.
Organized by the mediatheque and the like-minded U.S.-based nonprofit Women in Film, as well as the state-run Cuban Institute of Cinematic Arts and Industry, the showcase includes work by emerging and established filmmakers.
"What's interesting about the work that's being showcased is that it's a body of work by women of various ages," said Ruby Lopez, co-chair of the Women in Film International Committee. "Some are just starting their career, and some have been doing this for decades."