TAFFNY VIRTUAL CINEMA
*In partnership with the Havana Film Festival New York
JUNE 23, 2021. Available from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Followed by a pre-recorded conversation with filmmaker Roberto Salinas
ORIGINAL TITLE: Cuban Dancer
DIRECTOR: Roberto Salinas
Date completed: 2020
Country: Italy, Canada, Chile
Film Category: Documentary
Length of Film: 96 min
Alexis is a 15 year old talented and proud student of the National Ballet School of Cuba. He spends his life practicing chassé and entrechats with his girlfriend and dance partner Yelenia. However, when his parents move to Florida to be reunited with his sister, his happy teenage world is turned upside down. He’s forced to leave behind Cuba, his colleagues at school, his relatives and his beloved girlfriend.
Facing rejection and homesick for his native Cuba, Alexis feels lost and alone. When he gets accepted in the prestigious Harid Ballet school he has to start all over. He doesn’t speak the language, has no friends and his Cuban style of ballet does not match the American school method. Meanwhile his parents are making sacrifices for his career working extra hours at their humble jobs. Alexis knows that he has to find his way quickly in the bourgeois and elitist world of American ballet while trying to remain faithful to his roots.
Roberto Salinas is a Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Director of Photography. His previously directed documentary THE TROUBLEMAKER, BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE UNITED NATIONS was co-produced by Italian GA&A productions and New York based Sirk Productions and developed with the support of the MEDIA program of the European Union. It premiered at the 36th Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, La Habana, Cuba and was official selection of the16th Havana Film Festival New York; the 11th Biografilm Festival, Italy; the 16th International Human Rights film Festival, Buenos Aires Argentina and the 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival, among others.
Salinas has worked as a documentary director and D.O.P. on numerous productions including feature documentaries, commercials and TV series in Italy and internationally. His work is focused mainly on social and cultural issues. Roberto lives between Managua, Nicaragua and Rome, Italy