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
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.
The Museum of Modern Art
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 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.
, 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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
How NYC Became a Capital of Latin American Film in a Decade | MoMA In Focus: Cinema Tropical
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.