Hispanic Heritage Month: Filmmaker Chris Mason to speak at New Kensington campus

Documentary highlights connections between Pittsburgh and the country of Cuba
Car in Cuba

“3 Rivers to Cuba” documentary banner. The filmmaker, Chris Mason, will talk about the film Sept. 27 at Penn State New Kensington. 

Credit: Chris Mason

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. -- To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month, Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Mason visits Penn State New Kensington at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Café 780, for a presentation on the ties between Pittsburgh and Cuba. Mason will talk about the contributions of African heritage to Cuban culture.

Mason’s documentary project, “3 Rivers to Cuba,” features interviews with six artists and advocates in Pittsburgh and Cuba who highlight the connections of the city and country. The film traces the African influence on Latin music, dance, culture and religion. Boris Balsindes Urquiola, a Cuban artist and producer, was interviewed in August during his artist residency in Pittsburgh. Urquiola provided the perspective of growing up in a poor neighborhood in Havana, and the importance of art, identity and expression.

The casual dinner will feature Cuban cuisine. The documentary begins at 6 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. For more information, call 724-334-6063.

The event is a part of the campus’ “Dinner and Dialogue” program, an annual series that promotes greater awareness and understanding of world issues, international trends, and global policy debates. Each year, the campus adopts a country or region of the world to inspire teaching and scholarship.

Mason is an independent, female documentary and experimental filmmaker and videographer who focuses on unique storytelling projects that explore music, culture, and history of diaspora populations.  She produces social justice videos and experimental pieces that incorporate poetry, philosophy and archive films.

A native of Pittsburgh, Mason received an associate degree in cultural anthropology and social sciences from the Community College of Allegheny County.

Mason was invited to campus by Melba Amador, instructor in social sciences and education. Amador joined the faculty in 2015 and has brought a wealth of Latino, Chicano and Latin American cultural opportunities to the campus.

For the trailer of the documentary, visit 3 Rivers to Cuba


Bill Woodard

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

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