About Hugo Perez


In this program, “Portrait of the Artist as a Cuban Filmmaker,” writer/director Hugo Perez will share his experiences producing documentaries in Cuba, making the transition from non-fiction to fiction filmmaking, and his experiences as a filmmaker who’s been described as a ‘Latino Almodóvar.’

Hugo Perez is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, whose films often focus on his Cuban-American heritage and the systematic oppression of marginalized people. He was the recipient of the 2009 Estela Award for Documentary Filmmaking presented by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and his work has frequently appeared on PBS and in film festivals. This series represents a rare opportunity to see his work. Neither Memory Nor Magic explores the life, work, and legacy of the remarkable Miklós Radnóti—one of the greatest Hungarian poets and an important voice speaking through and from the horrors of the Holocaust. Best known to English speakers from Carolyn Forché’s brilliant anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, Radnóti kept a notebook throughout his final years, spent in a World War II forced labor camp. The notebook, containing some of his most remarkable poems, was found on his body after his death. The other films in the series are short films exploring the Cuban as artist and, perhaps, the artist as Cuban.

These two short films will screen during Perez’s talk:

The Old Man and Hemingway (2004, 8 min.) Directed by Hugo Perez

The Old Man and Hemingway is a portrait of 100-year-old Gregorio Fuentes, Ernest Hemingway’s boat captain in Cuba, as he talks about his 20-year friendship with Hemingway. The film was named an Outstanding Short Film for 2004–05 by the Museum of Modern Art. In Spanish with English subtitles. 

Betty La Flaca (2006, 8 min.) Directed by Hugo Perez

The winner of the 2006 HBO Short Film Award, Betty La Flaca aired for two years on HBO, becoming their most successful Latino short film ever. In this Latino comedy, the character of ‘skinny’ Betty decides she needs to enhance her figure through homegrown plastic surgery and hijinx ensue. In Spanish with English subtitles. 



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