New York-based Cinema Tropical is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization that has become the leading presenter of 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 screenings 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 Cinema Tropical with the special series ‘In Focus: Cinema Tropical.’
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.