Project Team

Mariano Ros.  Producer and Director.  Mariano brings to the project over thirty years’ experience in all aspects of film production from documentaries to feature films.  He was assistant to director Leon Ichaso on films that include El Super (1979), Crossover Dreams (1985), Azucar Amarga (1995), El Cantante (2006),  among others.  He also worked with director Orlando Jiménez Leal on The Other Cuba (1985), with Leal and Nestor Almendros on Mauvaise Conduite (1984) and with Almendros and Jorge Ulla on Nadie Escuchaba (1987).  An architecture enthusiast, Mariano served on the joint steering committee for the Cuban-American Society of Engineers and Architects and the Cuban Cultural Center to program the Conference on Cuban Architecture held at the Cooper-Union in New York in May 2010.

Leon Ichaso. Director. Leon’s distinguished filmmaking career begins with El Super (1979), based on an off-Broadway play about an immigrant struggling in New York City. His next film, Crossover Dreams (1985), examines life in US Latino communities and the drive of salsa music. He has made action series for TV (such as Miami Vice, Crime Story, and The Equalizer) and TV movies (The Fear Inside, The Take and others). In 1994, he turned to the subject of his native Cuba to film Azúcar Amarga (Bitter Sugar) about disillusionment in Communist Cuba. He has taken on biographical material in subsequent work such as Dan White, murderer of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in Execution of Justice (1999), the boxing legend in Ali: An American Hero (2000) the rock icon in Hendrix(2000) and salsa singer Héctor Lavoe in El Cantate (2006).

Josef Asteinza.  Producer and Writer. Born in New York, Josef studied architecture at Columbia University and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.  His architectural research travels include Europe in 1998 with Columbia and the Museum of Modern Art for the exhibition Mies in Berlin; and Cuba in 1999 through the Architectural League of New York.   He has worked for architecture firms in New York on residential, commercial and institutional projects.  He has fifteen years’ experience in campus planning, first at Columbia University and presently at NYU Medical Center.  In 2010-2011 Josef participated in the Leadership New York program at the Coro Leadership Center.

Paul Echaniz. Executive Producer.  Paul was born in Havana.  He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, specializing in Geotechnical Engineering.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 1980 Paul founded the firm EGS Associates, Inc., and has been Director of Geotechnical Services at CME Associates since 2007.  Paul is past-president of the Cuban-American Society of Engineers and Architects, and served on the Board of the Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic County for 15 years. He has written articles on the life and work of the engineer Ysrael Seinuk and the architect Nicolás Quintana, which were published in the magazine Cuban Cultural Heritage.

Alysa Nahmias, Consulting Producer. Alysa’s debut feature film, Unfinished Spaces (2011, co-directed with Benjamin Murray) about the Cuba’s “forgotten” national art school, was broadcast on PBS, HBO Latin America, and Al-Jazeera English, won a 2012 Independent Spirit Award, numerous film festival prizes, and was selected for Sundance Film Forward. Her producing credits also include Shield and Spear (dir. Petter Ringbom, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2014) and Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq (dir. Nancy Buirski; creative advisor Martin Scorsese; New York Film Festival, Berlinale, PBS American Masters, 2013). As a consulting producer, she recently worked on Academy Award-nominated director Jennifer Redfearn’s Tocando La Luz (ITVS, Full Frame 2015). Her current projects include producing No Light and No Land Anywhere, a fiction feature directed by Amber Sealey with executive producer Miranda July (2016), and directing a documentary about the artist Jesse Krimes.  http://www.ajnafilms.com/

Teresita Echaniz.  Producer.  Born in Havana and resides in New York City.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems at Baruch College, City University of New York.  Teresita has over thirty years experience in the Information Technology field in various positions, including project management.  Her professional accreditations include Associate Customer Service from LOMA (Life Office Management Association), Fellow Life Management Institute from LOMA, and Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute.  Teresita currently teaches in the Computer Information Systems Department at Baruch College, including courses in Project Management, Ethics and Systems Analysis and Design.  She also volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ricardo Acosta, C.C.E., Editor. Genie, Gemini and CSA nominated and Emmy winner editor Ricardo Acosta has been working in the film industry for over 25 years. His outstanding work and keen sense of the human condition has contributed to the making of several award-winning and award-nominated films that have premiered in several world film Festivals including Herman’s House Emmy winner for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming 2014. Ricardo, a Sundance Alumni, has been a fellow in 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2014 for the prestigious Documentary Film Editing and Story Labs and The Composers and Sound Design Lab.  Nominated- Best Picture Editing in a Documentary – CSA Awards 2014 – Herman’s House.  Winner of Best Documentary Editing at the 2014 AIFFl with Marmato.  Sembene!, directed and produced by Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo premiered at the Sundance  and Cannes Film Festivals,  2015. Ricardo just won Best Picture Editor in a Documentary at the Canadian Cinema Editors 2015, for his work in Marmato.

Matthew Cohn, Associate Editor. Matthew has been working as an editor since 2013. His first feature documentary, “Through A Lens Darkly”, which he co-edited, premiered at Sundance 2014 and won such awards as Outstanding Documentary at the NAACP Image Awards 2015 and Best Diaspora Documentary at the African Movie Academy Awards 2014. As associate editor he worked alongside award-winning editor Ricardo Acosta on “Sembene!”, which premiered at Sundance 2015 and was an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2015.

 

Project Advisors

Angel Ayón

Norma Barbacci

Barry Bergdoll

Patricio del Real

Belmont Freeman

Rosalie Genevro

Jasper Goldman

Gaspar Gonzalez

Mary Kay Judy

Hermes Mallea

Alysa Nahmias

Pablo Quintana

Eduardo Luis Rodriguez