We continue to wait for the Cuban government to process the final visa we need before we can book flights to Cuba. We are hopeful that we will be able to go in May or June, at the latest. Unfortunately, the easing up on travel restrictions has led to an influx of people wanting to go to Cuba, so we just have to wait patiently until they get to our application, which we sent to them in January.
In the meantime, production continues, and I had a string of interviews with early and longtime members of Guaracha: Katabu Masudi, Izzy Arlet and Jeff Angell, who did a Zoom interview with me from California, though he is currently living in Cameroon! It has been really fun to talk with these awesome musicians and hear more about the earlier days of Guaracha, and the legacy of the arts and generosity in the Sagué family.
I also have a new intern, Julia Metelsky, who is a photographer, but is also interested in gaining more experience working on documentaries. It’s fun to share my unique perspective with someone, and, in the process, I realize how much I have learned in such a short time making films. (I still have plenty to learn, though!)
As I look over the list of people who are working on this project: interns and potential interns, my Cuban crew (Ivette & possibly Brenda), my Spanish teacher (Carolina), a historical consultant (Kenya), the graphic designer working on a logo (Sheila), and a future Spanish transcriber (Melba) – they are all women! I did intentionally ask for referrals to Women, Latinas and Women of Color, so it was not necessarily by accident. But I wasn’t sure how many would emerge, especially since Pittsburgh has a tendency to highlight white, male artists and educators. I am really excited about this being an all-women production, and I’m honored to bring additional attention to the talented women we have in Pittsburgh.
I will keep everyone posted on developments around Cuba, and other production news. Also, stay tuned about our big community concert and documentary shoot in late June (or early July, depending on venue availability). You’ll want to be there!
There are only about 3 months left of production! (GULP) I am on track to have a good first version done (60-80 minutes) to submit to some great festivals starting in July & August, and then I will continue finishing and refining the film before we schedule local screenings.