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.