Jordan Allott is Founder and Executive Producer for In Altum Productions, a Washington D.C based film and video production company. Through In Altum Productions, Mr. Allott has produced documentary projects with themes ranging from Catholic spirituality and religious freedom to Cuban and American politics. IAP has worked with organizations including: The George W. Bush Institute, USAID, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Pan-American Development Foundation and International Relief and Development, among many others. 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 25-stop university tour. Members of Congress, ambassadors and mayors of 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 National Review, 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, D.C. Independent Film Festival. Mr. Allott is a 2012 National Review Institute Washington D.C. 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, Virginia.
Music provided by SugarCane Rush
Gloria Maria Strassburger
Co Host: Fernan Hernandez, author of The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States: A collective biography
In the author’s words:
Havana, 1939—The glamorous capital city of an alluring Caribbean island, the year that Rolando Fernández and Ninina Perea meet and fall in love. Strassburger begins her story with her parents’ courtship in the golden years of pre-Castro Cuba. Her memoir recounts how her father’s mental collapse and the communist revolution of 1959 uprooted her privileged childhood, both physically and emotionally.
While providing substantial background on Fidel Castro’s political revolt, Strassburger focuses on her family’s experiences: The appropriation of their wealth and properties by the rebel regime. How families were torn apart as children were taken from their parents, forced to undergo communist indoctrination in Russia. Strassburger narrowly escaped such a fate through Operation Peter Pan, one of the largest political exoduses of children in history. Fearing for her future, her parents sent her out of Cuba—alone—in 1961. She relates the terror of being separated from her family and living in a foreign country without them.
With affecting detail, Strassburger depicts her family’s disintegration as her father spiraled into schizophrenia and communism forced them into exile. They left behind their loved ones, their homes, and their identities to face the hardships of a new life in the United States. Palm Trees in the Snow is a family’s story of love, sacrifice, and survival. It is the author’s tribute to a way of life lost forever and the embracing of a new one in America.
Published by Cold River Studio
Music by SugarCane Rush
Luis Gonzalez grew up in Culver City, California after his widowed mother of three fled Communist Cuba in the late 1960’s. Though he quickly assimilated into his new country and culture, and though he had no trouble mastering his new language, Cuba never left him. Cuba was always with him: inside him, driving him, calling him. He realized this more than ever when, in the 6th grade, he did his country report on Cuba and thus began a love affair with his homeland that continues to this day. It was only natural that Cuba should play a part in his writing, and even from grammar school age, Luis Gonzalez knew that writing was in his blood.
“I always loved to write, even as a young child, I guess I’ve always been an indie author because when I was in the third grade, after only having been in this country a couple of years, I wrote two stories. One was called The Magic Slippers, the other “The Dolphins.” I took sheets of paper that I folded over and stapled and not only did I write the stories, but I illustrated them and made the cover and everything for them. I still have these two first books of mine and I look back on them now and wonder, wow, I really always was a writer. To this day those two items remain some of my most treasured possessions for they provide a glimpse into the passion that helped shape the person that I am, and if I’m anything, I’m passionate, and if I’m passionate about anything, it’s writing.”
As someone who is deeply moved and inspired by politics and religion and the arts, it was no wonder that he came up with the idea for his novel, Luz, a story that grapples with all three realms. These days Luis Gonzalez calls San Francisco home where he lives with his wife and two of four daughters.
Music on the show by Terio.
Co Host: Orestes Matacena.
Matacena has worked as an actor with high profile directors on films, television and commercials.
Orestes first ventured into films at the age of six when he worked as an actor in “The Life of Billy the Kid,” with a cast comprised only of children. The movie was shot at the Mercedes Sugar Mill in Matanzas, Cuba, where he lived with his parents. In the last few years, Orestes has expanded his versatility as a playwright and screenwriter. His writing encompasses a variety of styles: thrillers, dramas, comedies, horror and action-adventures. Five of the 23 screenplays he has written have been produced, and six more have been optioned.
Special Guest: Danilo de la Torre
Danilo is a Cuban born actor, aka Adora is a drag queen performer and Miami DJ, he is also part of the performance art group “Homocipian Art for Evolucion”. Trained as a classical dancer, Danilo began dancing professionally at age 17, he traveled to Paris, France to continue his dancing career.
In 1989 Danilo’s career took a turn towards the sunny City of Miami, in 1991 the persona Adora was born and since then, Adora aka Danilo De La Torre has been one of the most popular and sought after drag artist in Florida. Adora has been traveling nationally and internationally entertaining the public far and wide with her glamour, beauty and talent.
Co Host: Monica Rosales, executive Director of DocMiami.
Ida Hendel She was a child prodigy. At 4, she began formal studies with Miecyzslaw Michalowicz at the Warsaw Conservatory, where she won its gold medal in 1933. She then pursued training in Paris and London with Flesch and Enesco. She attracted notice in London when she appeared as soloist in the Brahms Concerto under Sir Henry Wood’s direction at a Proms concert. During World War II, she gave many concerts for Allied troops. Her career was the subject of the CBC-TV documentary IDA HAENDEL: A VOYAGE OF MUSIC in 1988.
And Giselle Brodsky the founder, director and chief artistic advisor of Patrons of Exceptional Artists, Inc. a foundation dedicated to the support of exceptionally gifted performing artists. She is also the co-founder and artistic director of the Miami International Piano Festival where she oversees all music events. Her track record for finding and presenting exceptional artists has been impressive and she is widely recognized as an authority figure in the field of classical musical.
Beginning February through May, Sugar Sand Park will welcome this one-of-a-kind documentary film festival experience. Tickets are $5.00 per film and can be purchased at the Willow Theatre Box Office at Sugar Sand Park at 561-347-3948, or online. Each film begins at 7:00 pm, and the films are not yet rated, so adult supervision is required. To learn more about DocMiami International Film Festival, visit www.docmiami.org.
Huber Matos (26 November 1918 – 27 February 2014) was a Cuban dissident activist and writer. Previously, he had been a revolutionary who assisted Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and other members of the 26th of July Movement (M-26-7) in successfully overthrowing the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista as part of the Cuban Revolution. Matos had opposed Batista since the general’s effective coup in 1952, which he regarded as unconstitutional, but became increasingly critical of the movement’s shift towards Marxist principles, and closening ties with leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Convicted of “treason and sedition” by the new Castro regime, he would spend 20 years in prison (1959–1979) before being released in 1979.
Celebrating Life in Union, narrated by Andy Garcia is a one-hour documentary about a group of cuban former political prisoners who fought with Fidel Castro, and later after Huber Matos, the third high ranking officer of the Fidel Castro revolution resigned, these men fought against Fidel Castro and were jailed, abuse and tortured.
Producer of Celebrating Life in Union, Gladys Bensimon shares the similarities of what occured in Cuba 1959 and the atrocieties the Venezuelan people are undergoing right now.
Ana Margarita Martinez
Ana Margarita Martinez was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a child. She was a divorced mother of two young children in suburban Miami when she was courted and wed by a Cuban spy. This is a story of love and betrayal, espionage and murder.
Ana Margarita Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States at the age of six with her mother and grandmother in 1966 during the Freedom Flights Exodus. She was just another Cuban-American working mother and wife when her entire world crashed in 1996 after her husband turned up in Cuba just two days after the Cuban government shot down two civilian planes and killing four volunteer pilots and co-pilots in a Brothers to the Rescue search and rescue mission – an organization of which her husband, a Cuban MiG pilot who had reportedly defected from Cuba, had been a member. Juan Pablo Roque’s marriage to her had been part of his cover – and a sham, making Ana Margarita and her children a part of the machiavellic espionage plan. She was suddenly thrust into the public limelight and consequently became active in the Cuban pro-democracy cause and politics. Her marriage to Roque was annulled in a civil court of law.
Three years after Roque returned to Cuba, Ana Margarita won two judgments against the Cuban government – $7,175 million in personal damages and $20 million in punitive damages, for the rogue government’s role in the fraud. The debt is still unpaid. In her personal battle against the Cuban government, Ana Margarita has seized three Cuban airplanes that have arrived at U.S. territory as partial payment to her judgment. Her story has circulated the globe on such programs as ABC’s 20/20; Good Morning America, CBS’s 60 Minutes; Inside Edition; The Leeza Gibbons Show; Court TV; Univision Network’s Aqui y Ahora and many more, as well as in articles published in Time magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, The London Guardian, People Magazine, Discovery ID and Lifetime Television, just to name a few.
In February of 2010, lawyers for Ana Margarita filed motions to garnish eight charter companies that do business with the Cuban government in order to collect the legal debt ordered by a circuit court judge. The U.S. Department of Justice intervened in court in defense of the Cuban government.
Ana Margarita still lives in a Miami suburb, but in a different home. She lives close to her daughter and ten-year-old grandson (her son lives out of state) and works as a public relations consultant, specializing in Hispanic media and outreach as well as English-language marketing. There is a book about her story in Spanish that only scratches the surface. A feature film and a fuller, deeper book are in the works.
Story featured following publications:
New York Times
Los Angeles Times