Cuba: The Forgotten Revolution, a documentary created by SFTV Professor Glenn Gebhard, is airing on PBS nationwide through American Public Television. The film amends history by telling the story of a school teacher named Frank Pais and an architecture student named Jose Antonio Echeverria, who were both critical figures in the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldiva. Although not as well-known as the historically famous Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, both men played important roles in Batista’s eventual overthrow.
“My film is unique…a deconstruction of the well-worn myths about the Cuban revolution,” said Gebhard. “I’ve been on this film for five years and shot [it] from Cuba to Puerto Rico, to New York and New Haven to LA, Oregon and a few other places.”
Cuba: The Forgotten Revolution chronicles Pais’ and Echeverria’s roles through footage and interviews with family members, Cuban revolutionaries and a former CIA agent. It is commonly believed that Batista’s overthrow was a result of Fidel Castro’s actions alone. Gebhard’s documentary, however, illustrates how both Pais and Echeverria rallied for support against Batista. Above all, the film examines how we view and remember history and seeks to shed light on how Pais and Echeverria helped shape Cuban history.
While the film took Gebhard five years to complete, he had a little help from the LMU SFTV community. Alumnus Tim Guest (Screenwriting – B.A. ‘10) co-wrote the film and Lecturer Mario Congreve served as the film’s co-producer. The Recording Arts Department’s Associate Professor Kurt Daugherty recorded much of the sound and Professor Mladen Milicevic composed the music. The film has star power, too. SFTV Dean Stephen Ujlaki connected the actress and singer Rita Moreno to the project; she is the film’s off-camera narrator.
Clinical Assistant Professor Gino Brancolini, the Associate Producer, contributed to both the scripting and editing of the film. Brancolini also helped secure a partnership with WTIU Public Television, who he worked for in the past. WTIU Public Television shared the film with American Public Television, who selected it for national distribution. Sixty-five PBS stations across the country have agreed to air the film, including those in large metropolitan markets including New York, Boston, Chicago and Miami.
“This film was a joint project of all of us. I’m happy that we finally got this done, and have such wide distribution,” said Gebhard.
The film airs on the local L.A. PBS station, KCLS, Tuesday, April 28 at 9:30pm. All other markets, please check your local listings.
Watch the documentary trailer below. Congratulations Glenn!