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This New Indie Feature was Shot Illegally on the Streets of Cuba

Defying rules, reason, and recently-lifted travel embargoes, Art Jones' indie feature Forbidden Cuba was covertly shot, guerilla-style, across Cuba over the course of three weeks, back in 2012, only three years before Obama reached a diplomatic compromise in America's tetchy relationship with its longtime Cold War adversary.

Armed with neither permits nor studio backing, Jones and his four-person Franco-American crew entered the country on the same day that Hurricane Sandy hit Jones' native New York, and managed to shoot for nearly a month while successfully avoiding arrest and deportation by cleverly convincing Cuban bureaucrats that they were filming a documentary on the island's birds. Jones and his crew were ultimately detained by Cuban bureaucrats at the tail-end of the trip, and although much of their equipment was confiscated, the filmmakers were allowed to keep their innocuous, bird-heavy footage.

Forbidden Cuba — which tells the story of an American businessman who travels to Havana to locate an AWOL colleague but finds his eyes opened to Cuba's beauty and culture in the process — admirably aims to spread the truth about a rapidly-changing nation for which Americans still hold many prejudicial preconceptions.

And it needs your help in doing so!

Jones has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover Forbidden Cuba's post-production costs, and has just crossed the halfway mark on its $45,000 goal. Donate here until Saturday, June 27th, and help this ambitious filmmaking team complete their audacious exercise in the long-dormant tradition of guerrilla filmmaking, one that might make for an even greater story than the one being told onscreen.



The boys are back in town. Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth reunited at #Tribeca2017 tonight for a 25th anniversary reunion screening of RESERVOIR DOGS. Audiences at the Beacon Theatre watched Tarantino's explosive debut on the director's own personal 35mm print and were then treated to a special panel with the filmmakers, in which they reminisced about the auspicious shoot. Tarantino recounted that after one rehearsal, he looked at his cast and thought, "Anything else I bring to it is frosting. The cake is right here: it's these guys." (Photos by @Phil.Yoon for @StreetDreamsMag)


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