Winner: Grand Jury Prize Award - Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival 2018
Winner: Best Director - Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival 2018
Winner: Best International Short Film - Official Latino Film Festival 2017
Winner: Audience Award - Gainesville Latino Film Festival
Winner: Best Short Film Script - Premios Latino, España
Winner: Best Direction - Premios Latino, España
Official Selection: Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival
Official Selection: Official Latino Film Festival 2017
Official Selection: San Francisco Latino Film Festival 2017
Official Selection: Gainesville Latino Film Festival 2017
Official Selection: Short to the Point September 2017
Official Selection: Feminist Border Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Cine Miami Fest 2018
Official Selection: Cuban International Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Chicago Latino Film Festival 2019
Official Selection: I'm Not Going to Move to LA Film Festival 2019
Palante is a very common Cuban phrase stemming from 'Para' and 'Adelante'. Living in a predominantly Cuban household, I heard this all the time growing up in Miami. It's an interesting word as it doesn't quite have a direct translation to English, It's used a lot of time in motivational talks by your grandparents. It means "Forward" or "To Move Forward." My grandmother would always tell me "Palante, Palante" if I was ever feeling down or stuck in a moment.
I had always wanted to visit Cuba to go further into my roots, but not as a tourist. Then came the opportunity of a lifetime. I was one of 55 chosen to participate in a workshop in Cuba with the legend, Werner Herzog. He was very humble and kind man, he spent the time talking with all the students--often bumming cigarettes off of them and talking less about film and more about life and poetry.
My family left Cuba in the late 1950s and haven't returned since. I was the first in 60 years generationally to return to Cuba, and it changed my life.
This film is a product of telling a story that is authentic to Cuba, not one that is washed over by its touristy beaches, vintage cars and cigars. A story that far too many Cubans experience.