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Gloria Rolando
Imágenes del Caribe - Follow us on/Siguenos en Twitter
Yahoo News Group: Imágenes del Caribe

Gloria Rolando's career spans over 35 years at ICAIC, the Cuban national film institute. She also heads an independent film-making group, Imágenes del Caribe, based in Havana. Many of her films can be ordered through AfroCubaWeb and include, in chronological order:

1) "Oggun: An Eternal Presence," 1991, on the Orisha Oggun, the god of war and peace, metals, and civilization, as experienced in the life of Lazaro Ros, the prominent Cuban Yoruba singer and founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional: 52 mn, with English subtitles. An homage to those who have anonymously preserved the heritage of the African Yoruba religion in Cuba up to the present. Has English subtitles. Available with English subtitles in DVD, 52 min

2) "My Footsteps in Baraguá," 1996, on the history in Cuba of an extensive West Indian community (consisting of people from Jamaica, Barbados, & many others): 53 mn, in English or Spanish. We find many immigrants in Baraguá, province of Ciego de Avila. Available in English & Spanish, with English subtitles in DVD, 53 min.

3) "Eyes of the Rainbow," 1997, a film on Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who took refuge in Cuba after years of struggles in the US. The film integrates AfroCuban culture, including the Orisha Oya, to show Assata's context in Cuba, where she has lived for close to 20 years. In English. Was available commercially, is no longer available. 47 min.

4) "El Alacrán / The Scorpion," 2000, deals with the carnaval in Havana and one comparsa especially, El Alacrán, which was founded in 1908 and dedicated to Yemaya.  Available, with English subtitles, DVD, 20 min.

5) "Raices de Mi Corazon/Roots of My Heart," 2001, feature film on the 1912 genocide when over 6,000 members of the Independents of Color, the first black political party outside of Haiti, were massacred by the Cuban Army. This independently produced feature film follows a young woman as she finds out about her families roots, which includes disturbing revelations around the 1912 Genocide (El Doce). Available with English subtitles, DVD, 51 min.

6) "Los Marqueses de Atarés," 2003, a documentary about another Havana comparsa, or carnival group, which continues her group's strategy of rescuing and preserving afrocuban cultural expressions. Very well received in the Atarés neighborhood and other centers such as the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional. In Spanish. Premiered in 2002, available in Spanish only, but worth getting even if you don't know Spanish -- many great Carnaval scenes. Available in DVD, en español, 46 min.

7) "Nosotros y el Jazz / The Jazz in Us,"  2004.  The goal of this documentary is to relate a chapter in the history shared by Afrocubans and African Americans through their common culture. English subtitles. Not released commercially.

8) “Pasajes Del Corazón y La Memoria” (Historias de Cubanos y Caimaneros), 2007. English: Cherished Island Memories. The story of the founding of Jacksonville, Isle of Youth, Cuba, by immigrants from the Cayman Islands. Available in DVD,  with English subtitles. 38 min.

9) 1912: Breaking the Silence Chapter 1 / 1912, Voces para un Silencio, Capitulo 1, 2010. First chapter in a documentary series on the Massacre of 1912. Available in DVD,  with English subtitles. 46 min.

10) 1912: Breaking the Silence, Chapter 2 / 1912, Voces para un Silencio, Capitulo 2, 2011. Second chapter in a documentary series on the Massacre of 1912. Available in DVD,  with English subtitles. 58 min.

11) 1912: Breaking the Silence, Capitulo 3 / 1912, Voces para un Silencio, Capitulo 3, 2012. Third chapter in a documentary series on the Massacre of 1912. Available in DVD,  with English subtitles.  58 min.

12) Reembarque / Reshipment, 2014. The story of Haitian immigrants to Oriente in the early 20th century and their forced repatriation after the sugar market crashed. Not yet commercially available. 58 min.

Awards

  • Distinción “Gitana Tropical”. In 2000. Granted by Dirección Provincial de Cultura de la Ciudad de la Habana.

  • Diploma “Al Mérito Artístico”. In 2000. Granted by  la República de Cuba, Ministerio de Cultura y el Ministro de Educación Superior.

  • Medalla Federico Fellini. In 2009. Granted by UNESCO to Gloria Rolando as director. Previous winners include Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran, 2000), Gerard Depardieu (France, 2001), Vanessa Redgrace, (UK, 2001), Im-Kwon Taek (South Korea, 2002) and Clint Eastwood (US, 2003).

  • Sara Gómez Prize for the documentary "Pasajes del corazon y la memoria" (2007). In 2010. Granted by the Consejo Nacional de Casas de Cultura (La Habana) in the 30th Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. (See also Sara Gómez)

  • Annual "Walterio Carbonell" Prize for the serial "1912, Voces para un silencio". Granted by Cofradia de la Negritud. In 2012

  • Caracol Prize from UNEAC in the category of director for the serial "1912, Voces para un silencio". In 2013

Memberships

  • Member, Red de Mujeres Afrolatinas y Afrocaribeñas
  • Global Board Member of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, Michigan, EE-UU
  • May 6th, 2001 was Gloria Rolando Day in Oakland. She was in the midst of her 2001 Tour.

Interviews & Articles

Raices Negras, Aliento Universal, Gloria entrevisada por Mercedes Santos, 2007  
Speech at Black Women Writers and the Future, 10/97
Interview in "Women," Havana, 1996, describes "Oggun"
 
Gloria Rolando interviews/Entrevistas - 16 interviews

Gloria Rolando in the News - over 90 articles

Biographical Notice of Gloria Rolando with an extensive portfolio listing and a statement of purpose.

Afrocubanas, historia, pensamiento y prácticas culturales, "Mis Razones", por Gloria Rolando, 15/2/12


Events &Tour Schedulestop

2014

Gloria Rolando US Visit, Fall 2014

Fourth Conference of Afro-Latin Studies, 3/2014 - Cartagena, Colombia: Gloria Rolando is keynote speaker.

2013

GLoria Rolando

Gloria Rolando presents in Miami at Liberi Mapou in Little Haiti, 4/16/13 at 6pm.

5919 NE 2nd Ave Miami FL

See Facebook event page.

Cinnamon Traveler Heritage Trust presents: Herstory Independent Film Festival featuring the U.S. premiere of all three chapters of Cuban film director Gloria Rolando's 1912: Voces para un Silencio  --  1912: Breaking the Silence, Atlanta, GA, March 20 - April 6, 2013

Gloria Rolando US Tour, Fall 2012 - Cuban scholars, filmmaker commemorate the 1912 Massacre in a 2012 visit to the US: Gloria Rolando, Tomás Fernández Robaina, Roberto Zurbano

Gloria Rolando visits Texas Southern University, Film Festival in Houston 3/22/11 to 4/1/11

Gloria Rolando
Voicing the Memory
Film Festival on the African Diaspora II

• 1912, Breaking the Silence
• Eyes of the Rainbow
• The Jazz in Us

Texas Southern University
March 29-30, 2011

TSU R.J.T Library •The College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences
The Urban Learning Center• Department of Foreign Languages

See PDF Poster

Premier en los cines Yara y Acapulco del documental de Gloria Rolando sobre “el Partido Independiente de Color”, la Habana, 11 de agosto, 2010. Intervinieron muchos intelectuales, historiadores y personalidades de la cultura cubana, le hicieron muchisimos elogios al documental en todos los sentidos y estan esperando ya la segunda parte.

US Tour: 2010: 1912, Breaking the Silencetop

1912:Breaking the Silence/1912, Voces para un Silencio, Biblioteca Nacional, 19/3/10

Gloria Rolando's films shown in Toronto Movie Theatre, Kingston Cinema, 9/07

Cinema Kingston heads out on high note 
Lynn Rees Lambert 
Local News - Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Updated @ 3:35:28 PM 

Cinema Kingston is focusing on a musical note this fall when the once a month Sunday features highlight the theme of music and musicals from around the world. Up first, Sunday, Sept. 16, is Roots of My Heart and Eyes of the Rainbow by Cuban director Gloria Rolando. The director will be at the screening. 

"Raíces de mi corazon" (Roots of my heart), an independently produced short feature film, deals with the 1912 massacre of many thousands of members of the Independents of Colour,the hemisphere’s first black political party outside Haiti. Eyes of the Rainbow considers the life of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Armyleader who escaped from prison and was given political asylum in Cuba, where she has lived for close to 15 years. 

Rolando’s career spans over 20 years and she heads an independent filmmaking group, Imágenes del Caribe, based in Havana.  Cinema Kingston is sponsored by the Department of Film Studies at Queen’s University and is part of the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s Film Circuit.

Gloria Rolando on panels at Latin American Studies Association, Montreal top
September 6, 2007

LIA011 Panel Thursday Sep 6 6:00 - 7:45 pm St-Laurent - Hilton
La mujer cubana en el cine y en las artes
Organizer : Flora Gonzalez-Mandri, Emerson College
Chair(s) : Flora Gonzalez-Mandri, Emerson College

De la memoria a la actualidad en las obras de Rolando y Jiménez: Flora Gonzalez-Mandri, Emerson College

La creación de Imágenes del Caribe: Gloria Rolando, ICAIC, CUBA
Discussant(s) : Nancy Morejón, Casa de las Américas, CUBA

See lasa.international.pitt.edu/congress/documents/LASA2007Program/LASA2007-Thursday.pdf for more details.

LIA045 Panel Friday Sep 9 10:00 - 11:45 am Silver West 1 - Normandie

Raza e Historia en Raices de mi corazón de Gloria Rolando: Flora González-Mandri, Emerson College
See lasa.international.pitt.edu/lasa2006_archive/2006program/LASA2006-Friday.pdf for more details.

Gloria Rolando presents My Footsteps in Baraguá in Toronto, 9/11/07

SEE  THE FILM & MEET THE FILMMAKER
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2007, 7 P.M.
WILLIAM DOO AUDITORIUM, NEW COLLEGE, U
45 WILLCOCKS STREET
(SOUTHEAST CORNER OF SPADINA AND HURON)
Toronto, Ontario

In the municipality of Baraguá, in the province of Ciego de Avila, Cuba, the stories and customs of the English-speaking West Indians and their descendants still remain alive. Today, they are a part of Cuba. For some, there is always the nostalgia for the country to which they will never return; others believe their culture is totally part of today’s Cuba. Gloria Rolando’s poetic documentary is an important contribution to the history of the Afro Cuban people, and to the study of the African diaspora in the Caribbean.   See My Footsteps in Baraguá

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Cuban Delegation to Visit Sithengi, 10/23/05
Controversi Films is pleased to announce the composition of the Cuban delegation which it will be hosting at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival and Sithengi, with funding from the Department of Arts and Culture. Producer/director Derek Antonio Serra visited Cuba in March with Arts & Culture Minister Pallo Jordan as part of his delegation, and initiated the Sithengi trip while in Cuba.
The Cuban delegation is: Omar Gonzales, President of ICAIC (Cuban Cinematography Institute), Susana Molina, Vice-President ICAIC, Gloria Rolando, Documentary director, Rigoberto Lopez, Feature film director and Guillermo Sabi, cinematographer.

Four Cuban films will be shown at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival as part of a Cuban Focus at the festival. The delegation will also present a workshop entitled "Cuban Film since the Revolution" on Friday 18 November from 09h00-13h00 which will feature clips and discussion on the best of Cuban film from the past 50 years. Live Cuban music and Cuban drinks for workshop participants will follow. On Friday night a massive Sithengi
closing night party featuring Cuban bands will be held on the Piazza of Artscape and will be open to all Sithengi delegates and the public.

Controversi Films and the Cuban Cinematograhy Institute will share a pavilion on the main level at Sithengi, and visitors to Sithengi are invited to drop in and greet members of the delegation, view Cuban product as well as South African documentaries from Controversi Films. Controversi Films has developed close ties with Cuba since Serra's visit, and in this capacity it can facilitate production in Cuba for local filmmakers. If you need a Cuban Connection, call Controversi Films.

Any filmmakers wanting to make contact with members of the Cuban delegation can do so through Derek Antonio Serra (cell 082 5544315) or simply pursue them at Sithengi!

Source: http://www.sithengi.co.za

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Gloria Rolando Documentary at UWM (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), April 26, 2002

Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando will present her new groundbreaking feature about the 1912 Cuban genocide when over 6,000 members of the Independents of Color, the first black political party outside of Haiti, were massacred by the Cuban Army. 

This independently produced video feature follows a present-day AfroCuban woman, Mercedes, as she begins to decipher her family secrets through a photo of her great-grandparents. Between reality and the world of her dreams, she learns about the ties this couple had with the Independents of Color. As she uncovers her family's roots she discovers revelations about the Genocide. Through her work, Rolando aims to rescue of our collective memory in the search for our roots as she contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the history of the African Diaspora in this century.

Ms. Rolando will also show excerpts from a new work-in-progress.

For event details, see Upcoming Events, Milwaukee Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba

Spring 2001 US Tour

Fall '99 Tour

Paris: July '98

US Tour: Feb - April '98

US Tour: Aug - Oct '97

US Tour:1996

Director Spotlight Gloria Rolando, Creative Hat, 4/2001

Update on Raices de mi corazon, El Alacrán 2/11/01top

Word is in from Havana: historian Tomas Robaina introduced Raices at the Biblioteca Nacional.  Gisela Arandia is introducing it shortly at the UNEAC and it will also be shown at the Union de Periodistas, the Reporters' Union. The buzz made its way to Cuban television and radio, which reported favorably on its release. See Roots of My Heart Premieres in Havana, 2/11, by Gloria Rolando

El Alacrán has just been re-released with English subtitles, giving us subtitles or English version on all of Gloria's movies except for Raices. Gloria is prepared to give an introduction in English to Raices and also lead a discussion in English afterwards. In addition, we will shortly have an extensive summary of the film in English for distribution before the tour.

Gloria is now at work on a new film, Historias de mis abuelos, another independent production deals with the black organizations in Cuba that pre-date 1959 and have their roots in the 19th century. She will be promoting this project in her Spring 2001 tour.

Afrocuban Religions in Sara Gomez's One Way or Another and Gloria Rolando's Oggun, 1998

by HASEENAH EBRAHIM
The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 22, Winter 1998

Abstract

This paper explores the depiction of Afrocuban religions in two films -- Sara Gomez's One Way or Another (1974/1977) and Gloria Rolando's Oggun: Forever Present (1991). A (Western) feminist's analysis of Gomez's One Way or Another characterizes Abakua and Santeria as "voodoo" -- not only collapsing three different Afro-Caribbean religious traditions, but also reflecting Marxist biases that exclude (ironically) a recognition that Gomez's depictions of Abakua and Santeria reflect a gendered perspective. Rolando's Oggun reflects a recent trend in Cuban cinema to celebrate Afrocuban religious practices. Oggun's stunning visuals, compelling song and dance sequences, and fascinating mythology provoke a desire to understand the role and impact of this remarkable religious tradition in Cuban society.

Introduction

For us, film is the most important of the arts.(1)-Lenin

The history of Cuban cinema is of particular interest to anyone concerned with examining cinema from a global perspective, constituting as it does, a trajectory intended -- from the very beginning of the Revolutionary period -- to undertake a "decolonization of the screens."(2) How does this "decolonization of the screen" fare, however, when one considers the intersection of race and religion in Cuban cinema? This paper will explore the depiction of Afrocuban religions in two Cuban films -- Sara Gomez's De cierta manera/One Way or Another (1974/1977) and Gloria Rolando's Oggun: Forever Present (1991). The two filmmakers I discuss in this paper, Sara Gomez and Gloria Rolando, represent what, perhaps, could be considered two "generations" of post-Revolution Afrocuban filmmaking in Cuba, in the sense that as Afrocuban women filmmakers, they negotiate(d) substantially different political and social milieus in regard to the acceptability of acknowledgment of African ancestry in post-Revolution Cuba.(3)

The late Sara Gomez joined ICAIC, the Cuban Film Institute, during the early years of its existence -- one of only two black filmmakers, and the only woman director there for a considerable period. Gloria Rolando is a contemporary filmmaker determined to celebrate her African heritage. Rolando has traveled to the United States on several occasions where her documentary film, Oggun (1991), has appeared at several festival screenings.

Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands and is located only 90 miles (150 km) south of Miami, Florida. Cuba is an archipelago consisting of two main islands and about 1600 tiny islets in the Caribbean Sea. As a socialist state, Cuba has long been a thorn in the flesh of its powerful neighbor and ideological antagonist, the United States. The US imposed a trade and financial embargo against Cuba in 1962, after the Cuban government expropriated American economic interests in Cuba.

The 1990s have been a particularly challenging period for Cuba, a period generally referred to as "the special period", a term Castro has used to refer to the current economic and political crisis in Cuba resulting from the disintegration of the ideological and trade support of the former Soviet Union, intensification of US trade embargoes and internal political and economic instability. The widespread changes within Cuban society, many of which are a response to external developments in geopolitical alliances, have prompted a reevaluation of the entire Revolutionary paradigm among Cubans. Nevertheless, there appears to be a consensus that the country cannot regress to its pre-1959 past.

It was in March 1959, less than three months after it came to power, that the new Revolutionary government established the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC), often referred to (in English) as the Cuban Film Institute. The Revolutionary government's conviction that film could play a critical role in social transformation may have been influenced by the friendship between Alfredo Guevara, ICAIC's first director, and Fidel Castro. In addition, Marxist ideology viewed the industrial technological base of film production as entirely compatible with its respect for science and technology as tools for progress (Agosta and Keeton, 1994). Whatever the reasons, the support of the Castro government resulted in film becoming the premier form of cultural expression supported by the Revolution. ICAIC's founding members included Guevara and filmmakers Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Julio Garcia Espinosa.(4)

Under ICAIC's supervision over the next 15 years, Cuban cinema developed an aesthetic identity very much attuned to and aligned with the political and ideological developments of the early Revolutionary period. The socialist mode of production permitted filmmakers a degree of financial security while still learning their craft. Filmmakers at ICAIC are paid a salary, both while working on a script as well as during production, ...

See Afrocuban Religions in Sara Gomez's One Way or Another and Gloria Rolando's Oggun, 1998

 

Testimonial from 1997 US Tourtop

"As you may know I was very impressed with Gloria Rolando as an Afro-Cuban female filmmaker. I feel fortunate to have been able to interview her on my radio program, "In Unison," while she was in Boston, Massachusetts. The quality and technical level of her films is excellent, I have seen "The Eyes of the Rainbow and "Oggun" and when it is considered how difficult conditions are in Cuba due to the economic embargo imposed by this country, the United States of America, one cannot help but give her and her production crew a standing ovation for persevering under such duress.

Ms. Rolando has taken a compelling subject, Assata Shakur, and presented her in a very human light that incorporates her spirit to live in an inter-generational fashion. She has blended past, present, and future to give us an unique view into the present day circumstances of a controversial figure. Gloria Rolando's expertise can be felt in the way she blended images of nature and culture into her description of Assata Shakur.

As Ms. Rolando tours the United States with her film I hope that anyone that reads these comments and is not yet convinced that they need to change their schedules, bring their friends and see this new work of Ms. Rolando and her production crew realizes that they are wrong....and yes they do need to see..."The Eyes of the Rainbow," not once but again, again, and again. Thank you Gloria and Assata Shakur." -- Nina LaNegra, host, "Say It Loud," WILD radio, Boston, currently at BlackTalk Radio, www.realblacktalk.com

Adventure Diva Interviewtop

Adventure Divas - Cuba: Paradox Found
      Holly Morris tours Cuba and spotlights several people, including rap group Instinto, filmmaker Gloria Rolando and
    former Black Panther Assata Shakur.
    Parental guidance rating: TVPG

See www.adventuredivas.com for more info.


Links/Enlaces

Interview dans Editions Temps Libres (Francais)
http://www.cinema.presse.fr/racine/interview_de_gloria_rolando.htm

Adventure Diva interview
http://www.adventuredivas.com

IMDb entry for Gloria Rolando

www.ecured.cu/index.php/Gloria_Rolando

 

Contacting Gloria Rolando

When in Cuba, Gloria Rolando can be reached at home by phone at tel: 011 53 7 867.69.36 and by mail at:

Obispo #356, 3ra piso, apto 3
Entre Habana y Compostela
Habana, Cuba 10100

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