CUBA 50 event – CULTURA Y CUBANIA festival of music, dance, photography, film, discussion

5 October 2009 – 10 October 2009CUBA 50

Cultura y Cubania, coinciding with Black History Month, will be a week-long cultural event celebrating the richness of Cuban culture.

Taking place in prestigious London venues such as, Canning House, Bolivar Hall and Conway Hall, it showcases the work of some of the best Cuban Artists living in the UK today as well as that of important Cuban cultural figures.

Music – Dance – Photographic Exhibition – Videos – Lectures – And More

website –

  • Mon 5 October 6.30-9pm – Festival Launch and Photographic Exhibition, Canning House
  • Tue 6th-Fri 9 October 2-6pm daily – Photographic Exhibition – ‘A Few Streets, A Few People – Pocas Calles, Pocas Peronsas’, Canning House
  • Tue 6 October 7-8.30pm – Afro-Cuban dance workshop with Ariel Rios and guests, at Nueva Costa Dorada
  • Wed 7 October, 7-8.30pm – Rumba dance workshop with Ariel Rios, followed by the Cuban salsa party until late, Nueva Costa Dorada
  • Thu 8 October, 6.30pm – Film screening ‘Los Hijos de Baragua ~ My Footsteps in Baragua’ introduced by Eva Tarr, Director of the London Latin American Film Festival, Canning House
  • Fri 9 October, 7pm – Film screening ‘Raza – Race’ followed by debate and seminar ‘The Symbolism of Race in Cuba Today’ by Cuban writer and journalist Pedro Perez Sarduy, Bolivar Hall
  • Sat 10 October, 6.30pm-midnight – Festival Grande Finale with the debut performance of London’s new Cuban dance company CubanaDanza, plus live music from Mestizo (Ahmed Dickinson trio), Cuban Combination, and Kid Afrika. Cuban DJ and much more!, Conway Hall

Cultura y Cubania is organised by Cubacheche


17 June, 2009

Continuing on its film festival world tour, MACHETERO screened at two back-to-back festivals in the UK, the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales and the Heart Of England International Film Festival in Tamworth, England.

The highly controversial political film written and directed by vagabond took the UK by storm!

vagabond.jpgvagabond, Nick Hudson (Heart Of England Festival Director & Jim Lee (RADIO2 in the UK)

MACHETERO’s European Premiere in the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales took home the Award for Best Film – USA. The film is an exploration into the use of violence as a means towards liberation using the specific example of the island nation of Puerto Rico as springboard to delve into the broader and more complex implications of ongoing struggles against colonialism in general.


The micro budget film stars Issach de Bankolé, (The Limits Of Control, Ghost Dog, The Keeper) Not4Prophet (of the Puerto Punk band RICANSTRUCTION and Hip-Hop group X-VANDALS), Kelvin Fernandez, (in his first starring role) and Dylcia Pagan (who served 20 years in US prisons for trying to free her country Puerto Rico) and features a completely improvised score by RICANSTRUCTION.

After winning in Wales, vagabond continued the next week to Tamworth, England to the Heart Of England International Film Festival where MACHETERO went on to win Best First Film – USA. When vagabond won the award he said, “This award is not just an award for me and those who worked on the film but is an act of solidarity towards all those who are working for the independence of Puerto Rico”. The film seems to be working well as a means of educating people on the United States colonial relationship with Puerto Rico. “People have been coming up to me and saying that they never realized that Puerto Rico was a colony of the United States,” says vagabond, “so the film is not a personal artistic endeavor but it’s informing people and getting them to think about a situation they never knew existed, I can’t think of a higher compliment.”

Since last June at the Hollywood Black Film Festival MACHETERO been nominated 4 times. With vagabond’s previous Award for Best First Film in the International Film Festival South Africa last October the two wins in the UK bring MACHETERO’s current Award count to three. A momentum seems to be gathering for MACHETERO.

For more information on the film and it’s recent award vagabond will be available for interviews. Video clips of the film can be made available to web and television outlets with audio clips available for radio outlets.


CONTACT: 347-512-0917

Video: Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako on "N'Dimagou — 'Dignity'"

30 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako director of “Dignity”

First of all, we would like to ask you where the story that you tell in your movie comes from.

The idea was born from the complexity of the theme proposed: dignity. I think it’s very difficult to deal with such sweeping concepts as justice and dignity in the allotted two or three minutes, so I looked for an idea that actually asked the question ‘What is dignity’ rather than answering it.

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The Deep Politics of Hollywood In the Parents’ Best Interests By Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham

26 February, 2009 – Global Research

Tom Cruise – “the world’s most powerful celebrity” according to Forbes Magazine – was unceremoniously sacked in 2006. His dismissal was particularly shocking for the fact that it was carried out not by his immediate employer, Paramount Studios, but rather by Paramount’s parent company, Viacom. Viacom’s notoriously irascible CEO Sumner Redstone – who owns a long list of media companies including CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1 – said that Cruise had committed “creative suicide” following a spate of manic public activity. It was a sacking worthy of an episode of The Apprentice.[i]

The Cruise case points to the overlooked notion that the internal mechanisms of Hollywood are not determined entirely by audience desires, as one might expect, nor are they geared to respond solely to the decisions of studio creatives, or even those of the studio heads themselves. In 2000, The Hollywood Reporter released a top 100 list of the most powerful figures in the industry over the past 70 years. Rupert Murdoch, chief of News Corporation, which owns Twentieth Century Fox, was the most powerful living figure. With the exception of director Steven Spielberg (no. 3), no artists appeared in the top 10.
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