2014 SAH Award for Film and Video Winner Unfinished Spaces - Now available on Netflix!
Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray
Bullfrog Films, 2011
The 2014 SAH award for Film & Video was presented to Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray for their film Unfinished Spaces. Their film takes us back to the birth of Cuba’s National Art Schools in 1961, a time when post-revolution Cuba was full of promise, and devoted to supporting the arts. The complex of schools was conceived by Fidel Castro and Che Guevera, who immediately chose three architects and a site. The building designs were radical, tapping into multiple influences, and were rapidly inhabited by budding musicians, dancers, visual artists and actors. However, changes in Cuba’s political relations and overall climate interfered with completion, and the past fifty years have included near-abandonment and re-discovery. Unfinished Spaces presents a concise history of 20th-century Cuba through the lens of this fascinating subject. Through the filmmakers’ use of rich archival and contemporary texts, film, and still images, we meet the schools’ architects then and now, and watch the intriguing, and frustrating, journey they take.
The selection committee was impressed with the coverage and treatment of this worthwhile subject, and unanimously agreed on Unfinished Spaces as the first recipient for this new award. It encompasses everything the award founder and the committee hoped to see in their selection.
Official Website: unfinishedspaces.com
Bullfrog Films: Unfinished Spaces