Rafael Alcides Close Up / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 6 June 2016 — Cuban filmmaker Miguel Coyula participated in the New Media Film Festival of Los Angeles with the seventh chapter of his series Rafael Alcides. The short film was part of a more than two-hour interview with with the well-known poet and writer, addressing topics such as art, beauty and Cuba past and present.

Filmed in Havana, with a minimalist presentation, in this seventh installment the actress Lynn Cruz recites the poem The Stranger, which gives its title to the chapter, in a moving and unadorned interpretation that salvages the lyrical work of an author now silenced in Cuba’s official catalogs and anthologies. Continue reading “Rafael Alcides Close Up / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar”

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

This video is the 6th in a series of vignettes extracted from a four-hour interview of Rafael Alcides conducted by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula. Below are links to the previous Chapters.

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

This video is the 5th in a series of vignettes extracted from a four-hour interview of Rafael Alcides conducted by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula. Below are links to the other Chapters.

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

This video is the 4th in a series of vignettes extracted from a four-hour interview of Rafael Alcides conducted by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula. Below are links to the other Chapters.

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

A series of videos with Rafael Alcides, by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula, with Lynn Cruz and thanks to Leonardo ds Vinci, Tomaso Albinoni, Alberto Korda

The other videos:

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

A series of videos with Rafael Alcides, by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula. Music by Ivan Lajardi and thanks to Lynn Cruz and Marta Aquino.

The other videos:

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 1: The Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

A series of videos with Rafael Alcides, by the filmmaker Miguel Coyula (with Lynn Cruz and thanks to Marta Aquino)

Links to the other videos:

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 2: Artists and Politicians / Miguel Coyula

‘Rafael Alcides’ Chapter 3: Beautiful Things / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 4: Once Upon a Time in Biran / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 5: The People / Miguel Coyula

Rafael Alcides, Chapter 6: Capitalism in Cuba – Before and After / Miguel Coyula

Cuban Filmmaker Miguel Coyula / Judith Zinis

Miguel Coyula
Miguel Coyula

Wild River Review, Judith Zinis, October 2015 — Miguel Coyula, a one-man cinema “band,” writes, films, edits, and does post-production on all his films.  Although his work has won awards and been well received in the United States, Europe, and South America, none of his films have been released in Cuba.  During several evenings in Havana, we explored his approach to filmmaking and his views on the difficulties of being an artist in both Cuba and the United States.

Mr. Coyula studied film at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV) and has spent extensive periods in the United States as the recipient of a Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute Scholarship, on a Guggenheim grant, and as a lecturer at various universities.  As one fan commented on his first feature film, Red Cockroaches, “this film should be shown to every beginning filmmaker.”  Made for $2,000.00 and described as a merging of surrealism and science fiction, Red Cockroaches, with its high production values, seems more like a big budget studio film than low-budget independent cinema.  Variety described it as  “a triumph of technology in the hands of a visionary with know-how….”  As Castro once did, Coyula operates outside the system, financing his films through grants and investors who as he put it, “are doing it for the love of art. “

His second feature-length film, Memories of Underdevelopment is based on Edmundo Desnoes’ novel of the same name.  Desnoes’ first novel resulted in the iconic 1968 Cuban film Memories of Underdevelopment, adapted by the revered director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.  Both the novel and the films trace a character’s unsuccessful attempt to adjust to two differing economic and cultural spheres, the early days of socialism in Cuba, and life in capitalist America.  Well received by Cuban critics, presently, the film has no distributer.  Like the character in the two Memories films, Mr. Coyula is caught in the middle, a cinema no man’s land.  Undeterred, he is presently developing Corazon Azul, a science fiction film.

Read the rest of the interview here.

“I want more movies and fewer laws” / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar

The filmmaker Miguel Coyula shooting. (Personal file MC)
The filmmaker Miguel Coyula shooting. (Personal file MC)

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 31 July 2015 — Shy, but with a quick wit and a direct expression, the filmmaker Miguel Coyula (b. Havana 1977) opens the door the room where he works and lets 14ymedio into this creative space in a Vedado apartment. The director of Memories of Underdevelopment is craftsman of the cinema: he films, directs, edits, does the special effects and music, all the while organizing the entire production of the film.

Over coffee, he talks about the obstacles to making films in Cuba and his new project Corazón Azul (Blue Heart), a story set in an alternative reality after an explosion in genetic engineering. In this fictional future, the Cuban government launches the literal creation of its old dream: the New Man.

Luz Escobar: You are immersed in the shooting of your new film, Blue Heart, how far along is the project?

Miguel Coyula: I started shooting the film little by little and, if I can, in chronological order. Every month I am adding one more minute and I can see how it grows. You want to teach the actors, who in the end are working almost for free, and this is a great incentive to see the development of the characters, to see how everything is turning out. Continue reading ““I want more movies and fewer laws” / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar”

Homage to Cuban Architect Mario Coyula / Miguel Coyula

This small video — with English subtitles — is a tribute to Cuban architect Mario Coyula by Eusebio Leal, Havana City Historian. The film was made by Miguel Coyula, the well-known Cuban filmmaker, and Mario’s son.

For the Spanish speakers among you, and others who can enjoy the photos, following is an extract of Mario Coyula’s presentation at the last conference he attended.

You can fund “Blue Heart” at Indigogo… GO NOW! / Miguel Coyula



CLICK HERE TO HELP FUND THE MOVIE!!!!!

Cuba’s Blue Heart courts Indiegogo

5 July, 2013 | By Jeremy Kay

The sci-fi thriller has become the first Cuban project to use the crowd-funding platform as the director and producer launch their fundraising campaign.

Director Miguel Coyula, whose credits include Red Cockroaches and Memories Of Overdevelopment, and Claudia Calvino, who previously produced Juan Of The Dead, have so far raised just under $4,000.

The filmmakers behind Blue Heart (Corazon Azul) have another 14 days in which to reach their goal of $30,000.

The project from Producciones De La 5ta Avenida uses a variety of media including anime, documentary footage, commercials, newscasts and original narrative filmmaking.

Blue Heart takes place within an alternative reality as genetically modified humans use terror tactics to reverse the global order.

“Blue Heart is a film about the individual’s inability to escape its environment, as well a discussion about the violent nature of a revolution and its consequences,” Coyula wrote on Indiegogo.com.

“It is also an exploration of the boundaries of human behavior in a dysfunctional family. This is a foray into a dark future from an uncertain present.”

Blue Heart — You Can Fund It / Miguel Coyula

Commentary by Miguel Coyula starts at about 5 minutes into the video.

The following text is taken from Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site that is supporting Blue Heart. Miguel lives in and works from Cuba.

Here is the link to help fund Blue Heart.

THE FILMMAKER:

Miguel Coyula was born in Havana, Cuba in 1977. His work is focused on blending different genres and formats into new ways of storytelling by exploring digital technology. Always working outside the film industry made his first feature Red Cockroaches (2003), for less than $2,000. The film was described by Variety as “a triumph of technology in the hands of a visionary with know-how…” and went on to gather several awards in the international film festival circuit. In 2009 Coyula was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to develop his next film, Memories of Overdevelopment, a follow-up to the Cuban classic Memorias del Subdesarrollo (1968). The film premiered on Sundance in 2010 and went on to gather 20 awards during its festival tour. The International Film Guide chose it as the best Cuban Film of the year.

DIRECTOR´S STATEMENT:

Blue Heart is a film about the individual’s inability to escape its environment, as well a discussion about the violent nature of a revolution and its consequences. It is also an exploration of the boundaries of human behavior in a dysfunctional family. This is a foray into a dark future from an uncertain present. Continue reading “Blue Heart — You Can Fund It / Miguel Coyula”