St. George, UT — September 5, 2016 — The Dixie State University DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival™ is proud to present two films which explore the Cuban-American experience, Craving Cuba and The 100 Years Show. Excitement about Cuba has ramped up this year with the easing of restrictions on travel and trade. Interest is at an all-time high and the forbidden paradise is on everyone’s mind.
Yet, as beautiful and alluring as Cuba is, it remains complicated, especially for Cuban-Americans who have fled (and continue to flee) the island. The new award-winning documentary film, Craving Cuba, follows first-time filmmaker, Zuzy Martin Lynch, on a quest of self-discovery as she interviews artists, musicians, journalists, politicians, Abuelitos (grandparents), and others, on a journey to better understand herself, her community and Cuba today. The bilingual film has been accepted to 7 film festivals, including DOCUTAH. The film won an Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature Film at its World Premiere.
The 100 Years Show chronicles the life of Carmen Herrera, a spunky and distinctive Cuban-American painter coming up on her 100th birthday, and finally achieving the recognition that eluded her for most of her career. The film directed, produced and filmed by: Alison Klayman is a four-time winner of Best Documentary Short from Ashland Independent Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival Riverrun International Film Festival (Academy-Qualifying) and Ozark Foothills Filmfest.
Christie’s Auction House said, “Carmen Herrera is very possibly the oldest contemporary artist working today. What is extraordinary about Herrera is that ‘commercial success’ did not come until the early 2000s — after seven decades as an artist…”
Herrera has been painting since her youth in Cuba, but it was only in the last few years that she found recognition. In the last decade, major institutions from MoMA to Tate Modern have acquired her paintings. London’s The Observer called Carmen the “discovery of the decade,” and her work is now acknowledged as a precursor to many modernist styles—minimalism, geometric and modernist abstraction, and concrete painting. Central to Carmen’s work is a drive for formal simplicity and a striking sense of color.
From architecture studies in Cuba to New York’s Art Students League to Le Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris, Carmen’s life has spanned continents and art movements, and demonstrates a persistent devotion to her work. She was a pioneer and a peer of many male artists who received great recognition in their time. Her story is just one example of the many great artists whose accomplishments were overlooked because of their gender, ethnicity or nationality. The 100 Years Show demonstrates the power of artistic vision to sustain itself.
Docutah tickets may be purchased at the Eccles Box Office during the Festival.