Cuban producer Miguel Mendoza, who produced the acclaimed 1968 film Memories of Underdevelopment directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea—often cited as the best Latin American film in history—died last Sunday at the age of 88 in Havana.
Mendoza had a longstanding producing film career, having worked in 45 feature and medium-length films. He also served as one of the founders of the Cuban Film Institute (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográfica, ICAIC), where he served in different capacities including production director.
At 21, he served as production manager for the 1964 epic Soviet-Cuban co-production I Am Cuba directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. Other producing titles include Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío’s Strawberry and Chocolate / Fresa y chocolate (1993), Alberto Lecchi’s Operación Fangio (1999), Ruy Guerra’s Turbulence / Estorvo (2000), and Valeria Sarmiento’s Rosa la China (2002).
Mendoza was recently announced as one of the recipient of the 2019 Cuba’s National Film Award for his film career. The awards ceremony was scheduled for March 22.