Posts in Latin American Film
CODA XVI: LLP (from April 21, 2019)
“After María” description.

“After María” description.

(First shared on private list serve on April 21, 2019) CODAS are becoming my thing. I’m in a new rhythm for sure. Go back to my last share, CODA XV for reference. I’m swimming new waves, and I don’t want to exploit myself, as I know how to do. Ja! I will be around but will come in-and-out with less rigidity on Sundays. I’m gonna' take it easy and steady and change some things. I don’t want to get dark on the state of the world on Easter Sunday, so I leave with a follow up on After María.

Playing in Shorts: No Short Cuts at TFF After Maria premieres next Sunday, April 28, 2019. Visit the page for times and screenings.

Nadia Hallgren, Lauren Cioffi and I met in a natural way. I’m still piecing my words on what the year 2018 delivered. I can honestly say I wanted so much for this story to be told. Several hurdles later the chance just came to be. And, this is just a peek of a much larger tentacle circumstance. For now, I’m grateful for living the experience with Nadia and Cioffi. Grateful too for the “community organizer” credit. And, thankful for Glenda, Kenia, and Sheila. They remain brave here in the City.

Jesus Lives.

Sol

By Chaliana

By Chaliana

CODA VX: A curveball and "After Maria" (from March 31, 2019)
my families.jpg

(First published Sunday, March 31, 2019) My schedule and usual rhythm and flow are off since the year began pretty much because my mother has been struggling with her health. I don’t want to get into the details of it all but it’s serious enough and things are different. The curveball has thrown me off a bit, though I appreciate that it’s giving me time to reflect. And, I thought back to mom’s in-and-out of hospital track since Hurricane María and it’s been about 10 times, a couple of stays for over a month each. I wonder...that brings me to, “After Maria.”

“After Maria” is a short doc by the amazing Nadia Hallgren that will premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. Here her IG post: Excited to announce my new documentary short @tribecafilmfestival 🇵🇷After Maria 🇵🇷 world premiere on 4/28! Watch what happens when 3 Puerto Rican mothers who are forced to leave the island after hurricane Maria meet in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They bond like family and seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart. Produced by @lacioffi Executive producer @rogerrosswilliams edited by @helekearns @jarthster consulting editor @jeantsien @salacuse

I can’t succinctly explain it all, but 2018 was an adventure and the making of this documentary was very much a part of it. So much happened after Maria it’s hard to capture it all, but this work is a tiny peek into what happened after the hurricane to displaced families in New York. Many of them still displaced and living under the NYC Department of Homeless Services temporary shelter housing. Stay tuned for more, because more is coming for “After Maria.”

My last share, CODA XIV the fallen men, was dark and about the future of the University of Puerto Rico. One of the articles I shared was a fiction piece meant to be a worst-case-scenario essay. The worst case scenario is that if the Middle States Commission on Higher Education “flunks” the UPR, then things can turn. I read more and more and see this whole UPR debacle as one of those institutions that could or just might eventually erode. Being that the UPR is an integral part of the livelihood of the island, it is worth any one’s time to read about what is going on. But, the fact remains that between La Junta’s draconian cuts, political pundits, and poor administration, the future of the university is indeed uncertain, and that is a terribly sad thing.

The world as a whole is drowning because of so much ignorance. There’s money for war but not much else…and it shows.

Free Chelsea Manning

Free Papa Renty

Be good to people,
Sol

Episode 114 | Julio Pabón, on amending The Jones Act
finger print puerto-rico-654978_960_720.png

“Puerto Rico Flag Fingerprint country pride” by Pixabay is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Words and reasonings flow out of Julio Pabón with rhythm and feeling. He’s a natural storyteller. Here he delves into the history and particulars of The Jones Act. The long-standing maritime law creates a lockdown in the ports that has and continues to place an unjust economic burden on the people of Puerto Rico. He wants to go to Jacksonville for a National Day of Respect & Justice for Puerto Rico on October 26, 27, and 28, 2018. This is a non-partisan issue for Julio and his comrades, this is a human rights issue.


The central events will take place in Orlando on October 26 with a film showing; a rally in Kissimmee on October 27; closing with a symposium on The Jones Act in Jacksonville, Florida on October 28. We want Puerto Ricans, allies, and friends to do some kind of event wherever they live in the United States on The Jones Act and its impact on the island. Julio says that actions large and small count: share art, news, hold vigils, calls, and letters to local Congressional and Federal Senators #amendthejonesact, “please put the issue of Puerto Rico and The Jones Act on your agendas. Puerto Ricans in the island don't have a vote in our Federal elections, BUT WE DO!”


Sol


Episode 109 | Alberto Ferreras, writer, director, creator
Lesson 2 16.49.07.png

Alberto is amazing, loving, bountiful, exemplary, relatable, tantalizing, and original. He is. There’s this something to his creative works that just leave you smiling and wondering about him. From B as in Beauty, his novel about a fat girl who turns call girl at night to help her with self-confidence, to the beloved HBO Latino series HABLA, Alberto is full of truisms and classy creativity.

I could talk with Alberto for hours non-stop. Our conversation here hits almost an hour but we had to cover the subjects in depth. There was no other way with him. We just go fluidly through past and present projects, the process of writing, the state of the world as it relates to the creative fields, and these subjects matter to us both.

He really is a genius. His ideas, his vision of bringing moral tales to life. He has a new film project in series format called, Lessons. We delve into Lessons. Brilliant offerings for self-reflection in less than 5-minutes. With the project, he’s learning about narrative form and presenting short-films / short scenes about issues that matter in life - success, lovers, a mother’s love, bitterness, confidentiality. And he gave me a lesson in Premiere Adobe suite in sound editing. Lessons, lessons, lessons...

Alberto’ The Newyorkster, is an incredible story/podcast. We talked about that too and share on our need to explore the expansiveness of Latino, though I’m leaning towards referencing it as Pan-American. There’s no resolution to this other than exploration...talk, talk, talk.

Alberto darling, thank you.

Always from the heart.

Sol

NFAND CODA II - SOS
For reference, CODA I  here .

For reference, CODA I here.

Puerto Rico needs us desperately. Desperately de Socorro

Through my work at Hostos Community College, I’m a part of The Bronx Coalition Supporting Hurricane Maria Evacuees. The BxCoSHME is composed of organizations representing a range of sectors. As organizations, it sprung from Union Community Health Center with Diaspora X Puerto Rico, Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, NYC Department of the Aging, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and Public Advocate Letitia James. 

On 24 March a Bienvenida and Resource Fair held at Hostos’ gymnasium organized by the BxCoSHME, brought over 50 agencies covering a range of services and offerings. As much as it was about offering guidance, it was also about letting our Puerto Rican families know, they are not alone. There are many people behind-the-scenes working overtime on their dime to help. It is a beautiful display of solidarity and love. I stand with love and looking for ways to strengthen our ties and bring others on board.

Other coalition meetings have been taking place throughout the City. About two weeks ago, two different meetings took place in one week, theBxCOSHME and another, where the leadership of #OurPowerNYCpr and the Creative Justice Initiative with Speakers Elizabeth Yeampierre from UPROSE, Marta Moreno Vega from CCCADI, Nelson Denis, Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, Perla De León, and others inspired action and an alliance of coalitions to come together for a cause. 

At this meeting of about 100 people in-and-out, a few of the families came out and shared what they were going through. Two hats passed around and almost $2,000 in cash showed up for the families. The share illustrated how the displacement of hurricane refugees affects in a greater number women with children and vulnerable adults with various types of needs. Three women have stepped up as spokeswomen for themselves and the rest of the families: Sofia Miranda, Brenda Suarez, and Andrea Tejada Rivera. These women have been nurtured or guided by Victor Martínez, Surey Miranda-Alarcón, Luz Correa, Lilah Mejia, Lizette Colón, Ana López, and many others. At this meeting, we had Grand Dame Elba Cabrera, Nydia Edgecombe, Wally Edgecombe, Julio Pabón, Ruth Rodríguez, Minerva Urrutia and many many more behind-the-scenes champions. More things are being created and planned out by these groups and individuals and many more coming on board. 

So much to stay. I’m feeling el colmo de los colomos. Revolting. It’s a slow death showing hues of done on purpose. A rude awakening to many. And, it’s way more and deeper still than all I can or care to express right now. I’m giving you the gist because this is a crisis. 

A real serious crisis. 

Crimes against humanity crisis.

Lost at sea crisis.

SOS.

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Below: Press Conference update and 2 Calls-for-Help

SEE | 19 April 2018 | City Hall steps press conference | Coalitions stand for Puerto Rican families living in FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program:

NY1

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/04/20/hotel-voucher-program-for-displaced-puerto-ricans-set-to-expire

GETTY IMAGES

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/event/puerto-rican-families-displaced-by-hurricane-maria-facing-hotel-eviction-hold-rally-at-city-hall-775155763#/activists-rally-in-support-of-puerto-rican-families-displaced-by-on-picture-id948741038

LATINO REBELS

http://www.latinorebels.com/2018/04/19/nyc-mayor-announces-city-will-pay-for-temporary-housing-of-displaced-puerto-ricans/

TELEMUNDO 47

https://www.telemundo47.com/noticias/local/Puertorrique_os-se-unen-contra-el-desalojo-en-NYC_TLMD---Nueva-York-480302273.html

EL DIARIO NY

https://eldiariony.com/2018/04/19/de-blasio-lanza-salvavidas-a-victimas-de-huracan-maria-para-que-no-queden-en-la-calle/

CBS New York

https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/w/puerto-ricans-in-nyc-after-hurricane-face-eviction-as-fema-aid-ends/vp-AAw52b5

NOTICIA LONG ISLAND

https://www.noticiali.com/articles/coalicion-pide-ayuda-para-familias-puertorriquenas-que-perderan-alojamiento-en-ny/

ENCLAVE MAGAZINE

http://www.enclavemag.com/familias-desplazadas-por-el-huracan-maria-viven-incertidumbre-en-nueva-york/

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LITTLE GESTURES MATTER  

Two (2) things you can do now to help

 

SEEKING: An organization or individual to donate Five (5) Nursing Books for Urban Health Plan. 

+Let me know if you are interested in supporting and I’ll connect you. “I just want to ask if there is any organization you may be aware that can donate 5 nursing books (CLEP) for the nurses we have hired.” 

LOOK OUT FOR Zulema Arroyo Farley - ArtzCureSarcoma

+I cut-and-pasted the most important part of her email.

“Don Fran is a 61-year-old, living in inhumane conditions in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico, not far from where I grew up.  He is battling vocal chords cancer.  The surgery he had 3 weeks ago, has left him mute for life. He worked for over 30 years in the local municipality as a temporary employee  Every new administration promised him a permanent position with health and retirement benefits, but each time he was misled. The government was more concerned about saving money.  Consequently, he does not have private health care or a pension.  The case reached my foundation two days ago.

No human being deserves to live like this and furthermore, it puts into perspective the fortunate lives we truly live.

While Don Fran heals from the surgery and awaits treatment, I have secured 20 volunteers who will spend one-day cleaning and organizing his house. One of our board members met with the mayor of the town today who promised to pick up all the debris surrounding his house from hurricane maria tomorrow. We have secured a few urgent things for him such as bedsheets, pillows, and converting his home from 110 to 220 watts (all appliances in Puerto Rico run on 220v), but I would like him to have a decent home prior to him starting his chemo regimen. A clean home, a clean stove, a refrigerator and a bed for him. 

This is how you can help:  a monetary donation to my foundation (tax deductible) OR I can tell you where to purchase what we need. The list of what we need is below:

- A roof 

- A bathroom 

- Stove

- Washer

- Kitchen Cabinets

- King Bed with Mattress Set

- Refrigerator

- Weekly groceries for soft foods and liquid diet

- Transportation to treatment (he is not allowed to drive)

- Bedroom Set (nightstand)

- Dining Table and Chairs

- Labor and materials for rebuilding his roof and bathroom which in turn will help a local business. 

Where to donate? Click here ArtzCureSarcoma

We are all extremely privileged, so tonight instead of that bottle of wine, the new pair of shoes, or the restaurant dinner, how about making a donation and make a lasting impact on their lives.

Love Always,

Zulema”

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Thank you to so many of you. That’s all I got for now. More to come.

Write to me, join us.

With love,

Sol

Episode 99 | Manny Perez, actor
VENENO POSTERS WITH THEATRES.jpg

Manny Pérez es un Tigre. At craft for 28-years, Manny is one of the few Latino actors in Hollywood who has etched a place for himself hard-earned consistently for twenty, kinda’ under-the-radar, but very much there. We all know he’s there. I’ve seen ten of his movies counting his latest one, VENENO | Primera Caída: El Relámpago de Jack, and I loved it. Es linda. 

Directed by Tabaré Blanchard VENENO is inspired by the life of Dominican wrestling champ and idol Jack Veneno. Distributed in the U.S. by Spanglish Films, VENENO opens in select cities: New York City; New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; Massachusetts: Lawrence, Boston; Pennsylvania: Reading, Philadelphia; Atlanta, Georgia; Florida: Orlando, Tampa, and, Miami on Friday 13 April. 

“Sounds from the City” I call this talk. We had connectivity issues. Holding weekly conversations has its challenges when it comes to adapting to weak remote recording situations. A strange bounce-off in cyber time sound or something made it so that he heard static, but I didn’t until edit time so you’ll hear this slight thing. At some point, just as he was getting to the crux of his story, a girl is heard crying in the background, and with a sense of humor he called out, “I’m in The Heights baby, I’m in The Heights.” But we carried on ‘cause it’s all good. I appreciate the talking time and his candidness, he's real, de la mata

See VENENO. Manny and the rest of the cast are fabulous. I for one, admire him immensely for his years of dedication, focus, and resolve to be a man of art.

Sol

Episode 97 | Arí Maniel Cruz, filmmaker
Coming in April 2018

Coming in April 2018

Ari Maniel Cruz is presently one of Puerto Rico’s most sought-after filmmakers. He spoke to me from Mexico, where he is working on the massive Netflix-Telemundo-Caracol series project inspired by Reggaeton superstar, Nicky Jam. We go at in Spanish and in true Puerto Rican cadence.

Ari Maniel Cruz y yo hablamos sobre Under Your Feet, Antes que cante el gallo, la tribu, ¿Quien eres tu?, Mexico, Nicky Jam, y Puerto Rico.

Actualmente en Mexico, Ari es el show-runner del mega proyecto Netfilx-Telemundo-Caracol e inspirada en la vida de la super-estrella del reggaeton, Nicky Jam. A través de la historia de Nicky Jam, se cuenta una mini-segunda historia, el desarrollo del género.

Muchos personajes del reggaeton envueltos. Ari se llevó un grupo de actores de Puerto Rico a Mexico y no dice nada que no pueda decir sobre el proyecto pero sí comparte lo que considera un gran momento para contar esta historia donde la isla es una pieza clave.

Inspirado también por el trabajo del gran Reverendo Pedro Pietri, una trilogía sobre la diaspora puertorriqueña vendrá de camino.

Su película más reciente, Antes que cante el gallo es bella, y en abril sale, ¿Quien eres tu? Creada por la misma tribu, de la que hablamos en el episodio y que está compuesta por tremendos profesionales de cine y producción. De veras que si.

Live long and propser,

Sol

Episode 85 | Carlos Gutierrez, Executive Director Cinema Tropical
8th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards

Probably few people out there like Carlos. Twenty-years of Latin American cinema under his eyes, inside his heart and intellect. Nothing succinct can explain the entire “movement,” because people are not aware of the magnitude of the region’s relentless production work these past two decades. 

Latin American cinema is speaking to us loud and clear. The list of male and female directors make up a lengthy roster of active, daring, intelligent, industrious, and fabulous artists. For the most part, productions get made with meager budgets, but, "the limitation freed the filmmakers," Carlos says, and the wealth of material has not stopped coming and is beyond what anyone imagines it is. 

Public Relations and promotion are one of the most significant challenges facing the film industry, and especially, for the niche that is Latin American cinema. This very topic is subject to further discussion. More to come.

Cinema Tropical is now going on 18-years of championing filmmakers from all over the northern and southern American Continent and celebrating the 8th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards. Here is the 2017 Short List of films.  A new approach did away with the fiction and non-fiction category, listen to the talk to hear why.  Carlos rocks for a lot of reasons, but he is unique in his ability to contextualize the cultural voice of the Latin American and Latino filmmaking industry against the present cultural and political landscape. We don't go into that so much in this talk, but perhaps he will write about it for Cinema's 20th Anniversary. 

Last but not least, this was the year for Dominican cinema, check out Cocote. And, Daniela Vega is on the cover of W Magazine.

I sincerely wish everyone a blessed year 2018. Live long and prosper,

Sol