MISSION

New York based Cinema Tropical is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization dedicated to promoting, programming and distributing Latin American cinema in the United States.  Founded in 2001 with the mission of distributing, programming and promoting what was to become the biggest boom of Latin American cinema in decades, Cinema Tropical brought U.S. audiences some of the first screening of films such as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También.

Through a diversity of programs and initiatives, Cinema Tropical is thriving as a dynamic and groundbreaking organization experimenting in the creation of better and more effective strategies for the distribution and exhibition of foreign cinema in this country.

In 2011, in occasion of the organization's tenth anniversary, The Museum of Modern Art paid tribute to the work of the organization with the series ‘In Focus: Cinema Tropical.’

 

HISTORY

Cinema Tropical—the brainchild of Carlos A Gutiérrez and Monika Wagenberg—was officially launched on February 19, 2001,  with a special screening of the Argentinean film Silvia Prieto by Martín Rejtman at the (now-extinct) Two Boots Pioneer Theater in New York City’s East Village with the attendance of the Argentine filmmaker.

Shortly after, the organization held a special sneak preview of the Mexican film Amores Perros with director Alejandro González Iñárritu and actor Gael García Bernal in attendance followed by a reception at Café Frida. Few weeks later, Cinema Tropical got a start as a cineclub organizing film series with weekly screenings at the Pioneer Theater.

The Cinema Tropical Series showed retrospectives on directors such as Carlos Diegues and Leonardo Favio, and in conjunction with the Guggenheim Museum organized the series “Acción! Mexican Cinema Now,” which featured a sneak preview of Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2002, the organization soon expanded to create a non-theatrical circuit that would also held regular screenings in 13 of the most important cinemathèques around North America including Facets Cinémathèque in Chicago, the NW Film Center in Portland and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among others.

It was in 2003, that Cinema Tropical launched Israel Adrián Caetano's film Bolivia as its first theatrical release at Film Forum, and to date the organization has done 23 theatrical releases, more than any other film distributor in the country.

Since its creation, Cinema Tropical has produced numerous projects including “Cine Móvil,” a traveling open-air film festival; ‘David Bowie Presents 10 Latin American & Spanish Films from the Last 100 Years’ film series, in association with the H&M High Line Festival; and ‘Cinema Chile’ at the Quad Cinema, in partnership with ProChile.

We are proud to have built a dedicated audience for Latin American cinema in the U.S., and for having served as a platform for the distribution and exhibition for the talent of the region. 

STAFF


Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Co-founder and Executive Director

Carlos A. Gutiérrez is a film/video programmer, cultural promoter and arts consultant based in New York City. As a guest curator, he has presented several film/video series at different cultural institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and BAMcinématek. Along with Mahen Bonetti, he curated the 53rd edition of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. He is a contributing editor to BOMB Magazine and has served as a member of the jury and the selection committees for various film festivals including the Morelia Film Festival, SANFIC - Santiago Film Festival, DocsDF, The Hamptons International Film Festival, The Asian American International Film Festival and New Fest: The New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among others. He has served as both expert nominator and panelist for the Rockefeller Fellowship Program for Mexican Film & Media Arts and for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, as well as a screening panelist for the Oscars' Academy Awards for film students. He holds MA in Cinema Studies from New York University and a BA in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City).

 

Mary Jane Marcasiano, Director of Development and Special Projects

Mary Jane Marcasiano is the president of her eponymous design company in New York City and actively involved in the arts and non-profit community in NY, Brazil and West Africa.  She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design/The New School and the recipient of the Cartier, DuPont, Cutty Sark and Wool Knit Awards. Marcasiano has designed costumes for DanceBrazil, the New York City Ballet, the Brazilian films: Até Quando (2008), Reaching for the Moon (2013), and for Grammy award winning singer Angelique Kidjo. Marcasiano has produced several films in Brazil: Ginga (Gustavo Moraes, 2004), Reaching for the Moon" (Bruno Barreto), Alair Gomes (Gustavo Moraes, in development), and in the U.S. a documentary film, Jack Lenor Larsen (2016) with CheckerBoard Films. For three years she served as the President of the Board of Directors of DanceBrazil, a non-profit foundation dedicated to cultural exchange between Brazil and the U.S. She is the programmer for Cinema Tropical’s Music+Film series and founder of their Brazilian film initiative Janeiro in New York. In 2007 Marcasiano created the Made With Love Project, a non-profit global initiative dedicated to raising funds and awareness for NGOs aiding women and children in need in Brazil, Africa and Haiti.

 

Laura SchwabPublicist

Laura Schwab was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in England and Japan. She returned to the United States for her undergraduate studies at New York University majoring in Art History and History. She recently obtained her MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. 

 

Mara Behrens, Art Director

Mara Behrens was born and raised in Venezuela. In 1991, she moved to Mexico City where she completed a BA in Design at Universidad Iberoamericana. She lived in Paris, where she took Fine Art courses at George Pompidou Center. Between 1996 and 1999, she worked as Art Director in Editorial Televisa in Mexico City, where she was in charge of the design supervision of Harper's Bazaar. In 1999 she moved to New York City where she worked as Senior Art Director at the advertising agency Reynardus & Moya and as Creative Director at Venaca.com, a digital design firm.

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Monika Wagenberg
Co-founder, Cinema Tropical

Josh Siegel
Curator, The Museum of Modern Art

Fernando Ramirez
Entertainment Lawyer

Vilma Vale-Brennan
Communications Executive

Debra Zimmerman
Executive Director, Women Make Movies

Warren James
Architect

Carlos A. Gutiérrez
Cinema Tropical (ex officio)

 

Cinema Tropical's programs are made possible with the support of the New York State Council on the Arts
with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.