Emerging Women Filmmakers


WHEN: July 19, 7:00 PM

Días de Diciembre (December Days) / Directed by Carla Valdés León / 45 min. / 2017 / Documentary Short / Spanish with English subtitles

Between 1975 and 1991 more than 400,000 Cuban soldiers and civilians were sent to Angola in support of the country's left-wing government. Two thousand of them were killed. December Days shows some of the ways in which the mission to Angola—a massive solidarity effort from a small country—touched the lives of ordinary Cubans.


Frágil (Fragile) / Directed by Sheyla Pool / 15 min. / 2018 / Narrative Short / Spanish with English subtitles

A daughter, dedicated to the care of her mother with Alzheimer's, wants to feel her love, even if it’s just one last time. This need drives her down a dangerous path to discover that sometimes love can be the most capricious and bewildering of feelings.

POST-SCREENING PRESENTATION: The screening will be followed by a conversation, moderated by Full Spectrum Features’ Impact Producer Brian Khan, featuring Cuban feminist film critics Danae Diéguez (El Ojo Sexuado) and Dr. Zaira Zarza. The three will discuss the landscape of Cuban film production for emerging women filmmakers. Specifically, they will touch on the progress and pitfalls faced by women directors in Cuba’s male dominated film industry and the current state of independent filmmaking on the island.

about the panelists:


DANAE C. DIÉGUEZ was born in Havana, Cuba. After obtaining her masters in Language and Literature Didactics, she served as Assistant Professor of the Art Faculty of Audiovisual Media at the University of the Arts (ISA) in Cuba between 1999 and 2015. She has taught subjects such as: Universal Literature, Cuban Literature, Theory of Culture, Gender and Cinema, and Literary Appreciation. She helped to coordinate the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos’ (ICAIC) “Muestras de Cine Joven” (Youth Film Festival) between 2006 and 2012, collaborated on the Pobre Humberto Solá Film Festival where she helped program exhibitions on gender between 2008 and 2010. She has published essays, commentaries and interviews related to the topic of gender representation in Cuban cinema and women's cinema in magazines and books, both in Cuba and internationally. She was the coordinator of the AlterCine space of the IPS News Agency in Cuba and the Gender and Culture Program of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. She has participated in conferences and workshops at universities in Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, France, United States, among others. She writes a blog called El Ojo Sexuado, and wrote an e-book Con la mirada inquieta (Editorial Cuba Posible, 2017). She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Nova Southeastern University and serves as one of the directors of the non-profit Funcionarte, dedicated to empowering women survivors of violence through art.


ZAIRA ZARZA obtained her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Art History from the University of Havana. She was the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta between 2016 and 2018. Her book Caminos del cine brasileño contemporáneo (2010) was published by Ediciones ICAIC. Zarza is the founder and coordinator of Roots and Routes: Cuban Cinemas of the Diaspora in the 21st Century, a platform for the promotion and study of film and media works by young Cuban artists who live off the island. She is the Director of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Programming Associate for Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. Her most recent project focuses on creative industries in the Caribbean. Currently, Zarza is a Sessional Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts at York University.