January 1, 2012
by Canadian Architect
This intriguing film will screen on Thursday, January 19, 2012 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, and will feature an introduction by co-director Benjamin Murray.
Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.
In 1961, three young visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school’s first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country revelled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream.
Unfinished Spaces features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art, and it also documents the struggle and passion of three revolutionary artists.
Co-director and co-producer Alysa Nahmias is the is founder and executive director of Ajna Films. Unfinished Spaces is her feature directing debut, but her producing credits also include The Listening Archive and Outside the Giardini. She has received numerous grants and awards from government agencies and private foundations, including the New York State Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Graham Foundation. Nahmias holds a Masters degree in Architecture (M.Arch) from Princeton University and a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Co-director, co-producer and director of photography Benjamin Murray started his post-production company The Room in 2010 and currently partners with Technicolor through two Flame Premium suites. His regular clients include major networks and numerous independent production companies. Murray’s recent projects include: No Direction Home, directed by Martin Scorsese; Capitalism: A Love Story, directed by Michael Moore; The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, directed by Thom Zimny; Client 9, directed by Alex Gibney; Reagan, directed by Eugene Jarecki; Fog of War, directed by Errol Morris; My Architect, directed by Nathaniel Kahn; Born Into Brothels, directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman; and Once In a Lifetime, directed by Paul Crowder. Murray holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
For more information on the film, please visit www.unfinishedspaces.com.