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The Gabriel Project
and independant Cuban Filmmakers
invite you to band with them on

May 15th 2007
6-10 PM

on the 1st Floor of
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
at 107 SUFFOLK STREET (at Rivington Street)
New York, NY 10002*

DINE: Authentic and Traditional Cuban Food

DANCE & DELIGHT: To the live Cuban dance music of la Bola

DRINK: Beverages, Wine & Beer (cash bar)

and DISCOVER: The Mystery of the power---

Discover the mystery of the power within the legendary tradition of the cigar and its Cuban origins in SMOKESCREEN A CUBAN MYSTERY in a new film by MARILYN PEREZ.

In THE RETURN OF THE DIVAS become enchanted by a group of Cuban women who after many years regroup to play Authentic Chinese Theater in Havana. The film by director ANGEL MA ARGUDIN shines a tender light on these women who performed over 50 years ago when the largest Chinatown in all of Latin America was in Cuba.

Come DINE, DANCE, DRINK (cash bar), DELIGHT AND DONATE while you enjoy previewing selections from these films which will be shown throughout the evening.

SMOKESCREEN A CUBAN MYSTERY the film gives a wistful look upon Cuba. By doing this, we hope that others pass through the metaphorical smoke and reclaim our former good relations, symbolized by the cigar, lost for almost half a century. What divides is a smokescreen. Who will cross this divide?

THE RETURN OF THE DIVAS reveals the traditional art preserved by these women. For the sequel we move into a more contemporary terain. What follows is a rich mixture of Chinese, African and Spanish arts and culture.

Your attendance at this event and your donation will continue the support for these impactful films. The post-production completion dates rest on raising an additional $50,000 in total.

We thank you for attending, and we are very grateful for your generous donation.
Admission: Minimum $25.* donation.

All admission and contributions may be prepaid through Paypal at http://www.marilynperez.com For info and future events, Contact 917-538-2276 
*(CONTRIBUTIONS of $100. or more get you a 100% tax deduction) 

DIRECTIONS: By Subway, take F, J, or M train to ESSEX/DELANCY (Neighborhood Parking Convenient.) Walk to corner of SUFFOLK & RIVINGTON enter half block in at 107 SUFFOLK STREET.

24 Fifth Avenue, 1101 NYC 10011, 212.353-1111


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What inspired you to make Smokescreen?

Early memories of my father smoking. Later I traveled to Cuba as an adult and it hit me, that all the others Cubans smoked with a particular reverence. The actual ritual in Cuba had nothing to do with what I was accustomed to through the movies and marketing. And I thought it would make a great film. Concealed within the cigar were all these layers of meaning that even I as a Cuban American, was completely unaware of.

2. Could you speak about the main locations and how this story of the cigar develops?

As smoke can be defined as having no borders we see this story issue forth from the Precolumbian discovery, which was the stage for Columbus and especially Rodrigo de Xerez, who is attributed with making the first acquaintance with this long tradition on the island of Cuba. So it is in Cuba where the story developes and it is out of Cuba where we go with the story always connected with the homeland in Cuba by the handmade cigar.

3. Who is your target audience?

Of course the Latin American and American audiences but the cigar is a universal sign of fellowship that I am happy to say will be appreciated by smokeers and non smokers alike. Because of this fact there is interest with global feature film distribution companies.

4. How long is the film?

Originally conceived as a short form film it is now intended for over 50 minutes.

5. Why longer?

More people see feature films and this will give it greater audience and distribution.

6. How have you funded this film to date?

As a documentary filmmaker you need to be resourceful so I began with family, friends and cultural institutions. I've invested much of my own funds and I continue to bring in funds from my for-profit work as a videographer.

7. Is this a political film and if so whose side are you on?

This story about smoke is not political. It clings to the possibility of people having what they need in regards to a cessation of fighting and like a messenger of both sides of the same argument perhaps to see the unification of opposing sides. Another traditional value of smoke was promoted by our indegenous aboriginal tribal families as a bridge to the Spirit. And while, I suppose the act of a "Hav-an -a Smoke" might be construed to be political, I don't.

8. Was there any redeeming social value in the social revolution of 1959 for the tobaco industry?

Obviously it depends on who you talk to. You see following the social revolution in Cuba the cigar industry became nationalized. Many proprietors were left out or basically kicked out and had to get out. This was unfortunate for the the many private cigar labels that left. Yet then again, Celia Sanchez, who was a close ally to Fidel Castro and credited with offering more possibilities for women in the revolutionalry society, that allowed more women to work outside the home. Also the unfortunate immoral white supremist racist attitudes in general were not supported as much as before.

9.What drove you to make this film?

Smokescreen explore the sense of cultural identity inherent when a Cuban smokes a cigar yet at the same time, it becomes a symbol of separation from homeland.

10. Why did the story of Smokescreen shift to become a Cuban mystery?

After seeing people from over the world appreciate this grand tradition you realize that there has got to be more than meets the eye. Here we are not referrring to the traditional sense of a "Whodunit?" and features of a suspense novel but rather occult mysteries that abound in the universe. You see, the spiritual and religious origins of the cigar are very deep and need to be articulated because they have been supplanted by its contraband status and power. This contrast adds significantly to the drama in the mystery

11. Which facet of this mystery gets articulated the most?

This is a great question because it takes you right to the character of the smoke and how the various plots are interwoven. And because Smokescreen is the discovery of a metaphor. A journey if you will, into this interconnectedness within our "Big Family of Smoke", this answer will depend on who is asking the question.

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