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Amberly Alene EllisAmberly Alene Ellis
filmmaker, writer, documentarian
wwww.amberinthesky.com

Amberly Alene Ellis is a filmmaker, writer and photographer. Her films and photography focus on the untold stories of peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the recipient of a Tinker Grant to study women, cinema and race in Cuba. She is the director of Film For The People Productions, and a writer for American University's Center for Media & Social Impact blog on Cuba.

www.film4thepeople.com and www.facebook.com/film4thepeople

YouTube Channel

Vimeo video list

www.instagram.com/amberly.alene

Because You Are Beautiful, and Black Like Me: Reflections on Cuba, Race and Adolescence, AfroCubaWeb, 9/22/2014

Meet February’s Leona of The Month: @AmberlyAlene  2/2/2016 Fearless Leon: Interview with Amberly Ellis

REGLA | ..el tipo este.. feat. Orly 1 & Sigrid from Amberly Alene Ellis on Vimeo.
See also
Obsesión, Alexey's group with Magia Lopez.

Writings top

For the Record: After 10 Years, one of Cuba’s first female DJs returns home - This is DJ Leydis  3/26/2016 Huck Magazine: "It was ten years that my body, my physical was outside of Cuba. But in my mind, my sprit, my energy, my culture, and in everything that I did, Cuba was always present”, DJ Leydis tells me. “ I am proud to be Cuban. I have been outside of Cuba all of this time, but now I want to return, I want to bring back my art.” Born in the city of Camaguey, Cuba, DJ Leydis is now a permanent resident of the United States. Now repping from the Bay Area of California, Leydis has spun on the turntables for artists such as Quest Love, Erykah Badu, Mos Def and Talib Kweli."

Straight From the Underground: Freedom and Street Art in Havana  2/26/2016 CMSI: "Like his fellow street artists and friends Yulier P. and Fabian (2+2=5), 5stars is dedicated to using his art to show that Cuban culture is multifaceted, multicultural and so much more than the old cars, cigars and salsa music that attracts so many tourists to the Cuban capital of Havana. He has recently started a hashtag on social media called #CubaSiempre in his efforts to use art to show the lesser known culture of his country. He seeks to show the culture from the streets, from the youth in the underground. 5stars often seeks areas where youth gather to skateboard, and has also expanded to the Regla neighborhood, where monthly hip hop shows take place."

Straight From the Underground: Freedom and Street Art in Havana  2/22/2016 Amber in the Sky: "Street art is some what of a new phenomenon in Havana. Spaces that were once nothing, are now filling up with the work of young people dedicated to bringing art to their city. The risks are high for street artists, as they are not often commissioned for their work and can face trouble for painting without permission. I’ve always wondered of the audacity of these artists, and their bravery to share their work so boldly to the world."

Why ‘Naturalization’ Laws in the Dominican Republic are not just a “Dominican” Problem  11/25/2015 Amber in the Sky: "Many black and brown American people do not know the deep history of the issue or what it means for their own collective struggles in the United States. I argue for fighters against the devaluing of black American bodies to critically access the global infrastructures of racial injustice. In particular, these fighters for justice in America should examine how injustice is sustained for their very close neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Our Cuba: Afrocuban Women, Filmmaking and Equality  11/15/2015 For Harriet: "After the Cuban revolution of 1959, cinema became a major component in the socio-political revolution of the Cuban consciousness. Some filmmakers experienced a rise to fame, while the names of other filmmakers are almost forgotten in the public memory. Two years ago, I embarked on research to begin filming Nuestra Cuba (Our Cuba), a documentary that follows the untold stories of the Institute of Cuban Cinematographic Art and Industry’s (ICAIC) first women and Afro-Cuban filmmakers: Sara Gomez and Gloria Rolando. Nuestra Cuba invites dialogue amongst filmmakers, cultural producers, and scholars on the future of Cuban cinema, and the place it holds for the drastic minority of women in the Cuban filmmaking industry. The film confronts the long silence surrounding the impact of Gomez and Rolando not only in Cuba, but also in movements of counter cinema around the world."

Masters of the Digital Divide: The Past and Future of Hip Hop in Cuba  10/24/2015 Amber in the Sky: "Economic hardship drove youth to search for new ways of self-expression. For some young Cubans, the struggles expressed by African American Hip hop artists connected to the marginalization that blacks in Cuba would experience in the 90’s as the economic disparity and the lack of equal opportunities made it more obvious that the racial problem in Cuba were no longer something that could be concealed. Hip-hop would provide a voice to the voiceless. In Cuba, Hip hop has served as an informant for the youth. Long before social media, cell phones, and email, music was a critical way to share new thoughts and ideas."

Cuba Through the iPhone 6  10/24/2015 Amber in the Sky: photos

Nuestra Cuba: Women, Filmmaking and Equality  6/15/2015 CMSI: " I embarked on the filming of Nuestra Cuba (Our Cuba), a documentary that follows the untold stories of the Institute of Cuban Cinematographic Art and Industry’s (ICIAC) first women and Afro-Cuban filmmakers: Sara Gomez and Gloria Rolando. Nuestra Cuba invites dialogue amongst historians, cultural producers, and scholars on the future of Cuban cinema, and the place it holds for the drastic minority of women in the Cuban filmmaking industry. The film confronts the long silence surrounding the impact of Gomez and Rolando not only in Cuba, but also in movements of counter cinema around the world."

Because You Are Beautiful, and Black Like Me: Reflections on Cuba, Race and Adolescence  9/22/2014 AfroCubaWeb: "There is a small neighborhood outside of Havana, Cuba called La Piedra. In La Piedra groups of Cuban-born Haitians and Haitian-born Cubans have found a home. It is here that I met the little girl who now, as I write, has become my source of inspiration."
 
See also wwww.amberinthesky.com

Articles/Artículos

REGLA | ..el tipo este..  10/4/2016 Viemo - Amberly Ellis: Directed by Amberly Alene Ellis - ""Regla" is the first release of acclaimed Cuban hip hop artist Alexey El Tipo Este's Dilla mixtape. The mixtape is a tribute to his favorite producer, the late J.Dilla. This song is dedicated to his neighborhood, Regla in Havana, Cuba. | "Regla" es la primera tema del mixtape Dilla, de Alexy "El Tipo Este". El mixtape es un tributo a su productor preferido, J. Dilla. Esta cancion es dedicada a su barrio, Regla en La Habana, Cuba."top

Women In Cuba Are Skateboarding Into The Revolution  7/22/2016 Vibe: "Skateboarding, a pastime politically rooted in contesting private property by intruding into public space, is burgeoning a cultural revolution in Cuba, fronted by the island’s younger generation. Among the most dedicated riders of the country’s rising skateboard culture are women, whose very presence is a direct affront to traditional notions of gender and machista culture. A new documentary film, Hermanas en Ruedas, directed by Amberly Arlene Ellis, chronicles the journey of female skaters in the Cuban subculture’s underground, liberated by their love of the sport."

The female pioneers driving Cuba’s emerging skate scene - Amiga Skate  3/22/2016 Huck Magazine: "Skating in Cuba is still a huge challenge that requires dedication and hustle. Director Amberly Alene Ellis’ new documentary profiles Cuba’s female skaters, pushing through obstacles even bigger than for their male counterparts." [with trailer]

Meet February’s Leona of The Month: @AmberlyAlene  2/2/2016 Fearless Leon: Interview with Amberly Ellis - "Amberly’s way of bringing different people’s stories to life was celebrated when she told the story of “A young man’s journey through recovery and personal loss after a traumatic gunshot wound.” Bullets Without Names went on to be selected for Best Documentary Short at the 2014 American Visions Awards. After being awarded a grant that same year, Amberly set her sights on Cuba and the great women Filmmakers that the country has produced. Currently on location in Cuba, Amberly took time away from her busy shooting schedule to talk about Nuestra Cuba, the challenges she faces as a Filmmaker, and her passion for telling untold stories."

8 Beautiful Instagram Accounts to Discover Cuba  1/11/2016 Ink 361: "If you are reading this from some place where the sun barely warms up the day, then these accounts will help you escape the chill and invite you to discover the beauty of Cuba. They are also the perfect profiles to follow for those who have always wanted to know more about this nation or plan to make it the destination of their next trip abroad."

Crowdfunder: Bringing inspirational stories of Cuba’s first women and Afro-cuban film directors to the screen  11/17/2015 Latina Lista: "Nuestra Cuba tells the inspiring stories of Cuba's first women and Afrocuban film directors. In the years following the Cuban Revolution, the island would become a leader in the Latin American film movements to eradicate colonial ideologies that once controlled the region. Nuestra Cuba is a two-part documentary series, directed by Amberly Alene Ellis, that reveals the role that black women film directors had in the development of a new Cuban cinema during two very different time periods in Cuban history."

Caribe en el lente  4/22/2015 Arte Aché: "Compartimos una apurada cena en la cual me informo muchas de sus pasiones e intereses, el cine, los medios de comunicación en América Latina y el Caribe y la influencia del cine en los movimientos sociales. En ese momento comencé a tejer esta entrevista e informal, como se dice de pasillo, para poder atrapar la ardor de esta nueva realizadora americana. Sus influencias están desde La década de 1960 y 1970 francófona cine de África hasta los países latinoamericanos como Cuba y México."


Links/Enlaces top

From Cuba, With Love, Vimeo, 5/29/15
Students at the FBR Branch Boys and Girls Club created a video with questions for Students in Cuba and students in Cuba responded back!

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