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Documentary: Cuba's Hope

(This article expired 02.02.2013.)

February 7, 6:30 pm - The Embassy will screen the documentary Cuba's Hope, followed by a Q&A; with Jordan Allott, executive producer, and Šimon Panek, founder and executive director of People in Need. The event is part of the Embassy's project: Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World, dedicated to Miloš Forman and Václav Havel, running from February-May 2012.

About the film:
In 2008, Fidel Castro handed over control of Cuba to his younger brother, Raul. Since then, people around the world have predicted significant changes in the lives of the Cuban people― especially in the lives of young Cubans. While hope springs eternal, the Cuban government's continued use of laws that violate basic standards of international human rights makes it almost impossible for citizens to openly voice their desires for change. Despite the obstacles, many young people in Cuba risk their lives to work for a better, more just future. In the spring of 2011, Livio, an independent librarian and Cuban youth leader, visited five people: a blogger, a student, a professor, a journalist and a musician; the film depicts their stories.

More information: www.inaltumproductions.com/cubashope/

Jordan Allott
Jordan Allott is founder and executive producer for In Altum Productions, a Washington, DC, based film and video production company. Through In Altum Productions, Mr. Allott has produced and distributed documentary projects with themes ranging from Catholic spirituality and mountain climbing to Cuban and American politics. In 2010, Mr. Allott and In Altum Productions released Oscar’s Cuba, a 60-minute documentary about imprisoned Cuban human rights advocate and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize finalist Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet. The acclaimed documentary has been screened across Europe, the United States, and South America, including during a 20-stop university tour. Members of Congress, ambassadors and mayors of the U.S. and European cities hosted additional screenings. Mr. Allott’s work has been seen globally on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), CNN International, Telemundo, and Univision and has been featured by media outlets globally, including the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. Mr. Allott has also written opinion pieces for the Washington Times, the American Spectator and Catholic World Report. Additionally, Mr. Allott’s work has screened at several film festivals across the United States and Canada, including the Washington, DC Independent Film Festival. Mr. Allott is a 2012 National Review Institute Washington DC Fellow. Mr. Allott was born in Reading, England, received a B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy and Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and resides in McLean, Virgina.

Web: www.inaltumproductions.com/about/contributors/

Šimon Panek
Šimon Panek was a prominent student leader of the 1989 Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, and he worked for President Vaclav Havel in the 1990s. Currently, he is the director and one of the founders of People in Need (PIN), a Czech non-governmental organization. PIN focuses on relief aid and development cooperation, as well as human rights and democracy promotion abroad. The organization also administers social integration programs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and provides informative and educational activities. PIN is one of the largest organizations of its kind in post-communist Europe, and has administered projects in thirty-seven countries over the past 20 years. Panek has worked in Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, Kosovo, Burma, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Haiti and another 20 countries in which People In Need is involved.

Web: www.clovekvtisni.cz/indexen.php

Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World

The Embassy of the Czech Republic presents the project Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World, which is dedicated to lifelong friends and symbols of the fight for democracy and freedom: the renowned Czech film director Miloš Forman and former Czech and Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel. Running from February-May 2012, the project incorporates documentary screenings, panel discussions, exhibitions, and lectures focusing on freedom of expression particularly in Burma, Belarus, and Cuba.

Mutual Inspirations Festival 2012-Miloš Forman

The project is a prelude to the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2012-Miloš Forman which will take place September-October 2012. The festival will celebrate Oscar-winning, Czech director Miloš Forman’s 80th birthday, the best of Czech cinematography, and the accomplishments of the transatlantic film industry, featuring over 30 films and events in prestigious venues throughout the Washington area. In addition, the festival will incorporate concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and theatrical performances related to film, photography, and/or the multimedia realm.

Website: www.mutualinspirations.org