Cuban filmmaker Aram Vidal was invited to W&M to participate as a special guest at the W&M Global Film Festival this spring. On February 24, Aram screened a director’s cut of his debut feature film El pez azul [The Blue Fish] and discussed his filmmaking process. El pez azul follows Ernesto after he leaves Cuba, abandoning the love of his life, and continues to exist in two stages: his new life in Mexico and his past in Cuba with Clara. While in Williamsburg, W&M Libraries also hosted a “meet and greet” with Aram on February 23, where he shared his work as a filmmaker and showed a few clips from the film.
Aram began his career as a writer. He won the El Caballo de Coral, Premio Nacional FEU prize and the Pinos Nuevos award which led him to publish his book La gente sí se da cuenta (2007). In 2005 he graduated from the University of Havana with a degree in Communication and started to work as a screenwriter and director at the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC). He has participated in artist residencies in Cuba, Mexico and the United States. His fiction productions include Recursion (2012), Relief (2013), and Cat (2016), which have garnered numerous awards. You can watch clips from his films here.
This was not Aram’s first time at W&M. During the summer of 2010, Aram became the inaugural Swem Media Artist in Residence. During that summer, Aram shared his documentary “Ex-Generación”, a film about Cubans who have migrated to Mexico City, and which was subtitled by W&M students in Prof. Stock’s New Media Workshop.