New York-based Cinema Tropical (CT) is the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S.
Founded in 2001 with the mission of distributing, programming and promoting what was to become the biggest boom of Latin American cinema in decades, CT 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, CT is thriving as a dynamic and groundbreaking 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization experimenting in the creation of better and more effective strategies for the distribution and exhibition of foreign cinema in this country.
Cinema Tropical –the brainchild of Carlos A Gutiérrez and Monika Wagenberg, was officially launched on February 19, 2001, with a special screening of Martín Rejtman’s Silvia Prieto at the (now-extinct) Two Boots Pioneer Theater in New York’s East Village with the attendance of the Argentine filmmaker.
Shortly after, Cinema Tropical 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. The organization 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 included the New York Premiere 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 16 releases, more than any other film distributor in the country.
Since its creation over eight years ago, 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.
In 2011 The Museum of Modern Art in New York City paid tribute to the work of the organization with the film series "In Focus: Cinema Tropical" which featured films made by some of the directors that CT has championed throughout these past years.
Today Cinema Tropical is thriving as dynamic and groundbreaking media arts organization experimenting in creating better and more effective platforms for the distribution and exhibition of foreign cinema in this country, introducing American audiences to the rich and diverse tradition of Latin American cinema, as well as advocating inside and outside the film community for a more inclusive take on world cinema.
Clockwise from top left: Cinema Tropical's Co-founding Director Carlos A. Gutiérrez with filmmakers Fernando Eimbcke (Duck Season; Lake Tahoe) and Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También; Children of Men); Brazilian filmmakers Fernando Meireles (City of God; The Constant Gardener) and Paulo Morelli at the NY premiere of City of Men presented as part of Cinema Tropical's "Janeiro in New York" festival; Actor Gael García Bernal and director Alejandro González Iñárritu at the NY premiere of Amores Perros in the spring of 2002; director Chico Teixera, Rachel Greenstein from Havaianas and Cinema Tropical's Mary Jane Marcasiano at a sneak preview of Teixera film Alice's House. Photos by José Luis Ramírez.
Cinema Tropical has become the largest theatrical distributor of Latin American cinema in the U.S., having released 16 films since 2002 (more than any other U.S. distributor). The organization acquires the top Latin American films and assures the directors and producers a wide exposure to be showcased in the most prestigious art-house theaters, institutions and film festivals.
Cinema Tropical has released its films in the following theaters in New York City:
- Film Forum
- IFC Center
- The Quad Cinema
- The Museum of Modern Art
- Cinema Village
- Anthology Film Archives
- reRun Gastropub Theater
- The Pioneer Theater
Cinema Tropical has built a strong library of acclaimed and award-winning Latin American films for the non-theatrical market. Featuring works by acclaimed directors such as Lucrecia Martel, Fernando Meirelles, Natalia Almada, Martín Rejtman, Andrés Wood, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, “The Cinema Tropical Collection” offers films for rental and purchase for the non-theatrical/educational market. Our clients include universities and colleges, cinematheques, libraries, film festivals, film societies, and museums.
Cinema Tropical carefully selects the best available films and serves as a curator of special series and retrospectives to match the needs of a diverse array of theaters, institutions and film festivals.
Our organization has co-presented special film screenings and events with some of the country’s finest cultural institutions including:
The Museum of Modern Art
The Kennedy Arts Center, Washington D.C.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
BAMcinématek / Brooklyn Academy of Music
The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Miami Art Central, Miami, FL.
Cinema Tropical has created numerous film series and programs showcasing the diversity and richness of Latin American cinema. The organization has established some ongoing programs such as:
- Cinema Tropical’s Music + Film Series
- Janeiro in New York
- The Cinema Tropical Premiere Series
Among many other special programs, Cinema Tropical has produced or worked in the production of the following events:
- ‘Acción! Mexican Cinema Now’ and ‘In the Air: Projections of Mexico’ film series at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
- ‘Cinema Chile’ at the Quad Cinema, in partnership with ProChile.
- ‘Film Chile Miami’ at the Colony Theater, Miami Beach Cinematheque and The Wolfsonian Museum, in partnership with ProChile.
- ‘David Bowie Presents 10 Latin American & Spanish Films from the Last 100 Years’ film series, in association with the H&M High Line Festival.
Cinema Tropical has successfully attracted a dedicated audience from among its members and tailors its marketing efforts to effectively target new audiences, maximize attendance to screenings and increase awareness of Latin American cinema.
Cinema Tropical has proven to be a successful and efficient source for publicizing and marketing Latin American films. With customized campaigns and grassroots marketing, Cinema Tropical has designed and implement creative strategy to reach diverse audiences. We offer our professional services to distribution companies, cultural organizations and individual producers create a strategy to promote theatrically-released feature films or film festivals and series.
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, BAMcinématek, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA) and Museo Rufino Tamayo (Mexico City). 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, 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. 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, RythMEK at Jacob’s Pillow and Cleo Parker Robinson as well as a short film in Brazil. 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 United States. In 2004 she produced a documentary film about Capoeira with director Gustavo Moraes. Drawing on her background in non-profit, Marcasiano recently launched "Made With Love in Brazil" in conjunction with "Fashion With a Heart," a groundbreaking program dedicated to producing and selling socially-responsible fashion that benefits NGO's in Brazil and the US.
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.
Andrés M. Bayona, Intern. Social Communicator and Journalist at the Universidad de La Sabana in Bogotá based in New York City. He began my career as a Producer and Director's Assistant for Bichos, a TV show for children owned by RCN Television, one of the most important stations in Colombia. Additionally he worked as an anchor, producer and reporter for the News in English division directed by American journalist Brian Andrews. His experience in strategic communications continued at the Santafé Mall, the second largest shopping center in Colombia, where he served as the Communications Director in charge of developing strategies, performing spokespersons training and crisis management. Afterwards, he worked for he independent firm Dattis Comunicaciones, where he supported press events, one on one meetings with opinion leaders, implemented regional tours, and designed strategies for stakeholders such as clients, employees, authorities, journalists, editors, producers, and directors. He is currently earning his Masters in Media Management at The New School.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CONTACT US PRESS
- Debbie Zimmerman, Executive Director, Women Make Movies
- Josh Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art
- Warren James, Architect
- Fernando Ramírez, Entertainment Lawyer
- Monika Wagenberg, Director, Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival
- Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Executive Director, Cinema Tropical (ex officio)
611 Broadway Suite 836
New York, NY 10012
Tel. +1 (212) 254-5474
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Cinema Tropical programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support provided by by the Media Arts Technical Assistance Fund of NYSCA Electronic Media and Film.