A personal story about a group of Cuban Jews and their first time home after 40 years.
CUBA MIA was shot in the nineties, when traveling restrictions were first loosened since Castro came to power. It tells the story about of an intimate group of friends returning to their place of birth for the first time after forty years, and while their enthusiasm for their visit remains constant throughout the story, a quiet unraveling of their identity is slowly revealed through on-camera interviews and visits to sites. Relying on footage shot of the Cuba trip set in contrast with archival footage from the 50's and 60's, the film shows the process by which these migrants confront their place in the world as Cubans, Americans, and Jews.
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Raised by Cuban and Argentinean parents, Rhonda Mitrani left Miami for University of Michigan to pursue an education in the arts and later moved to New York to work in film. Rhonda began her career working at Miramax Films until she started editing for independent films and television.
After years of learning the craft of telling a story through motion picture, Rhonda made her first documentary, CUBA MIA, which brought her to Miami. The film premiered at the Miami International Film Festival in 2002 and was broadcast on PBS. In Miami, Rhonda worked as an editor for MTV Latino and it was during that time, that she crossed over and started to explore video art. Since then, she has exhibited at Dot Fifty One Gallery, the Wynwood Art Fair, The Girl’s Club Collection in Ft Lauderdale among others. She is currently preparing a solo exhibition with RPM Project at the Boca Museum.
In 2013 Rhonda founded The Screening Room, a new media exhibition space in Wynwood, and co-founded the Miami Filmmakers Collective. Rhonda recently completed production for her second film, a short called Super Market which should be completed early Spring. She continues to focus her work on telling socially conscious and inspiring visual stories as both a video artist and filmmaker.
CREW Director, Producer and Editor: Rhonda L. Mitrani Co-Producer: Elizabeth Dascal Associate Producer: Rick Behar Sound Mix: Tom Lino Original Music: Danny Mordujovich Additional Editing: Katharine McQuerrey Post-Production Assistant: Melissa Groisman
TV BROADCAST & FESTIVALS Channel 2, WPBT Miami - PBS Channel Thirteen WNET NY Hallmark Channel (EPK) New York International Latino Film Festival 2002 (New York Premiere) Miami International Film Festival 2002 Rewind, Fast Forward Film Festival, 2002 (Award for 'Best Documentary')
CUBA MIA is part of the permanent archives of Latin American History in universities around the country including Mitrani’s alma mater the University of Michigan.
FILM PHOTO ALBUM
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my parents, Stabinski's, Nicks, Zelcers, Dina and Todd for your help during production and patience during post! Viva Cuba!