Experiencing Interruptions?

Cuban American Gothic

CUBAN AMERICAN GOTHIC is the comic and slightly surreal story of Maggie, who is living alone in New York City during the early 2020 pandemic. When her Cuban parents return from the dead to help, they remind her of their immigrant journey and that they have given her everything she needs to meet the moment.

  • Maria Teresa Rodriguez
    Mirror Dance, Niños de la Memoria
  • Maggie Bofill
    Devil of Choice, Drawn and Quartered, Winners
  • Maria Teresa Rodriguez
  • Maria Teresa Rodriguez
  • Maggie Diaz Bofill
  • Maggie Diaz Bofill
    Key Cast
    "as herself"
  • Elia Lyssy
    Director of Photography
    American Exile, The Seed Warriors, Phish, Ursula
  • Virginia Plottier
  • Fernando Epstein
    Utama, 25 Watts, Whisky
  • Cristian Amigo
  • Daniel Marquez
    Sound Design
    El baño del Papa
  • Cristian Amigo
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Hybrid, Documentary, Magical Realism, Animation
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 4, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    53,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The Latino Experience, PBS (12:41 minute version)

    United States
    July 20, 2021
    US Broadcast Premiere, Television version
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
    San Diego, California
    United States
    March 15, 2022
    World Premiere (Director's Cut)
    Official Selection
  • Philadelphia Latino Film Festival
    United States
    East Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Cine las Americas
    United States
    Regional Premiere
    Official Selection, Documentary Competition
  • Women Over 50 Film Festival

    United Kingdom
    United Kingdom Premiere
    Winner, WOFFF London Film Academy Documentary Award 2022
  • Prague International Independent Film Festival
    Czech Republic
    October 15, 2022
    Czech Republic Premiere
  • DC International Independent Film Festival
    Washington, DC
    United States
    March 4, 2023
    Regional Premiere
  • La Vida es Cortos
    United States
    December 3, 2022
    Audience Favorite Finalist
  • Nomadic International Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 30, 2023
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Pata de Perro Productions
    Country: United States
Director Biography - Maria Teresa Rodriguez

María Teresa Rodríguez (Producer/Director) is a filmmaker whose work often explores the intersection between family, memory, history and identity. Her award winning documentary films include the ITVS, LPB and Sundance funded Niños de la Memoria/Children of Memory (2013, broadcast premiere: Global Voices, World Channel) Mirror Dance (2005, broadcast premiere: Independent Lens, PBS); Becoming American for the series Unnatural Causes produced by California Newsreel/Vital Pictures (2008, broadcast premiere: PBS); and From Here to There/ De Aquí a Allá (1998, broadcast premiere: WGBH, La Plaza). Working with adult learners nationwide, she directed six half-hour programs on Literature and the Arts for the KET/PBS educational series GEDConnection, which premiered in 2001. María has taught workshops and facilitated community media projects with older adults, high school youth and Mexican migrant workers through her 19 year affiliation with Scribe Video Center. She is a Sundance Documentary Fellow (2011 Edit and Story Lab) and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including a 2012 Fulbright Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and a Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation, which recognizes the work of women artists engaged in social change. María has taught at The University of the Arts, Swarthmore College, Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) and is currently on faculty at the University of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Part monologue, part poem, part improv and song, Cuban American Gothic, is a short hybrid documentary that traverses the emotional roller coaster of the early 2020 pandemic and reveals how being reminded of from where you come from can save you. And it did.

The short is a pandemic passion project and collaboration between soul sisters-- myself, María and Maggie Diaz Bofill. We met almost 30 years ago, when Maggie picked my name out of a hat for an MFA acting for the camera assignment at Temple University, and we have been fast friends and creative confidants ever since.

Stylistically blurring the boundaries between documentary, performance and imagination, Cuban American Gothic glides between English and Spanish. Working in a hybrid medium is a natural outcome of our place in the world as first generation Latino/a/x born in the US. We straddle the world we have heard about in stories, memories and pictures, and the one in which we fight to create a space for ourselves -to be seen and heard on our terms- and reveal the messy complexities and myriad ways of being that the word “Latino/a/x” can never truly capture.

Although grounded in specifics of a Cuban-American experience, I hope the film will have broad appeal to all who have an immigrant present and past, and the millions of us who experienced urban shut-in during the pandemic.