Yoani Sanchez, the Film, Raises $110,000

By Café Fuerte

Yoani Sanchez during her first international tour in early 2013. Photo: cafefuerte.com
Yoani Sanchez during her first international tour in early 2013. Photo: cafefuerte.com

HAVANA TIMES — Puerto Rican actress and filmmaker Kesia Elwin has secured funding for a movie based on the life of Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez through the on-line crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

Elwin and her production company, Open View Producciones, raised some US $110,079, going over the $108,000 requested. A total of 199 people donated funds to the project, which should be ready for distribution around December of 2015.

The donation amounts were set at a minimum of one and a maximum of US $10,000. The campaign was promoted over social networks and relied on the decisive support of HavanaNewYork.com and New York’s Cuban Cultural Centre. The donation period ended on June 28th.

The producers expressed their gratitude for the support offered the project and reaffirmed their commitment to the defense of freedom of expression and human rights around the world.

“The inspiring story of Yoani needs to be told, not only to Cubans, but also to the entire world,” they stated.

Yoani Sanchez from her blog Generación Y
Yoani Sanchez from her blog Generación Y

A Universal Message

Elwin plans on making a fiction film inspired by Sanchez, to be shot in Cuba, the United States and Europe. She is also hoping to convey an important message: “Ours is a movement aimed at raising people’s awareness and bringing about profound social changes. Our aim is to use cinema as a vehicle for conveying a universal message: regardless of where we are born, we all have basic rights as citizens of the world,” the filmmaker stated in her project description.

The funds raised will be destined to hiring a scriptwriter, traveling to Cuba, filming and editing a sizzle reel and hiring a person responsible for promoting the film over social networks. In total, the film aims to secure a budget of some $ 2.4 million dollars.

The project emerged two years ago, when Elwin felt compelled to do something when she read an article in a newspaper describing how a Cuban blogger was being harassed and beaten for what she wrote in a blog titled Generation Y. Before that moment, the filmmaker had no knowledge of Yoani Sanchez’ existence.

Sanchez and her husband, journalist Reynaldo Escobar, are currently in Spain.

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