Miami, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 31, 2007–Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) (NASDAQ: SBSA) invited legendary individuals who made significant contributions to the world of Cuban film and entertainment. The event, hosted by Gilberto Reyes, the host of “Mega Cine,” was held on Saturday, July 28 at the Goodlet Theater in Hialeah, FL.
Among those who graced the stage with their presence were Sergio Giral, the first director create a film in the Afrocuban genre, and Luis Garcia, who served as the Director of Photography for Giral’s most controversial film, “Techo de Vidrio.” Also in attendance were actors Reynaldo Miravalles, considered by many to be the greatest actor in Cuba’s cinematic history, as well as, Lili Rentería and Jorge Luis Alvarez. The event also served as an opportunity for acclaimed editors Roberto Bravo and Jorge Abello to chat like old friends with Gilberto Reyes in front of the attentive audience that afternoon.
Throughout the event, one of the running topics of discussion among the directors, editors and actors was censorship in Cuba. Each guest shared some of the troubles they went through to get their films viewed by the public and to advance their careers in the industry.
“This movie was created out of the need for free expression and to talk about that part of history that had been obscured all those years,” said Giral of “Techo de Vidrio.” “From the beginning, the film was under intense scrutiny and had to be approved by a great number of people. In addition to this constant supervision, and sometimes censorship, as soon as the film went through its final edits, it disappeared only to suddenly reappear in a meeting that was called by Fidel Castro, where he and his advisors decided the film was damaging to the revolution. As a result, ’Techo de vidrio’ was completed and produced in a high stress and very tense environment.”
“Everyone was afraid,” added Roberto Bravo, the film’s editor. “I hid the first edit of the movie in my kitchen and since we wanted the film to be controversial we had to keep it out of the wrong hands. One day, I came home and everything I had in my editing room was gone. The only answer I got about all that had happened was that I was not to ask too many questions.”
“Our fame developed because we were the only people to make a film that was censored by Fidel Castro himself,” continued Giral. “What was most frustrating for me during the whole ordeal, was that I truly considered another one of my films, “Maria Antonia,” to be my most controversial one. That film deals with more pressing social issues, in particular, the culture of the poor. For many, to imagine a society where everyone was equal caused a lot of controversy at that time.”
Jorge Luis Alvarez, the famous actor who currently resides in Miami, continued the day’s events by speaking about “Una Novia para David,” a film directed by Orlando Rojas, which, interestingly enough, gained popularity in the Soviet Union even though a some lines were censored because they spoke out against Communism.
“My mother, who I have not seen in 14 years, still lives in Cuba and tells me that, to this day, they continue to play ‘Una Novia para David’ on the island,” said Alvarez. “This movie has encouraged young Cubans to feel comfortable and secure in knowing that they have the freedom to choose who they love.”
Reinaldo Miravalles, the renowned actor who, in “Alicia en el Pueblo de Maravillas,” played a role that many took for Fidel Castro, admitted that he never believed that role would bring him so many problems. The reason being, he explained, was that “in Cuba, to agree to impersonate Castro, even in the slightest way, would be suicide.”
“The script for that film was way ahead of its time,” said Lili Rentería, the talented young actress who starred in “Los Sobrevivientes.” “It was almost as if ‘Los Sobrevivientes’ was a peek into what Cubans would later experience in their own lives.”
Once again, Mega TV managed to cause a stir with this event that showcased ground-breaking Cuban films as well as the directors, editors, and actors who made history in creating them. These films are truly a testament to the struggle for freedom of expression Cubans went through and the lengths they will go to in order to achieve it.
Do not miss the ”Mega Cine” film series every Saturday night at 8:00 PM on Mega TV Channel 22 – your favorite station.
About Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. is the largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company in the United States. SBS owns and operates 20 radio stations located in the top Hispanic markets of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Puerto Rico, including the #1 Spanish–language radio station in America, WSKQ-FM in New York City, as well as 4 of the Top 7 rated radio stations airing the Tropical, Regional Mexican, Spanish Adult Contemporary and Hurban format genres. The Company also owns and operates Mega TV, a television operation serving the South Florida market, and produces live concerts and events throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In addition, the Company operates LaMusica.com, a bilingual Spanish-English online site providing content related to Latin music, entertainment, news and culture. The Company’s corporate Web site can be accessed at http://www.spanishbroadcasting.com.
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