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When Cuba’s former dictator “ Fulgencio Batista” was overthrown from power by Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries in the late 1950’s. The people of Cuba were promised a better Cuba. They were promised the opportunity to rise to a higher standard of living, but according to many struggling to survive within the population, Fidel Castro failed to deliver his promise, delivering instead a growing stagnation of an aging economy.
Fidelandia takes a look at the country’s current culture "post" Fidel’s fifty plus -year reign. The film explores how the youth deal with the influence of Western culture impacting the country by way of tourism, the use of illegal Internet, television, and the rise of unofficial governmental protection in prostitution.

  • Isaias Castañeda
    Season of Death: Chasing the American dream.
  • Isaias Castañeda
  • Ignacio J. Reveco
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Television, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 16 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 21, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Cuba, United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SNOWDANCE Film Festival
    Landsberg Am Lech
    February 1, 2017
    European Premiere
  • SNOWDANCE Film Festival
    Landsberg Am Lech
    February 4, 2017
    European Permiere
Distribution Information
  • Pragda
    Country: United States
Director Biography - Isaias Castañeda

Isaias Castaneda is an American filmmaker who was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 2005, he directed and produced a controversial film "Season of Death: Chasing The American Dream." The film follows several migrants on their journey toward the United States, capturing the harsh reality for many of those attempting to cross the country illegally. Five years later, he attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Film and Television Production in 2013. Shortly thereafter, he travelled to Cuba several times to film yet another controversial (short) film "Santeria: Discovering Religion," an original piece which took several years in the making. He is currently in the final stages of his latest film "Fidelandia: Behind The Curtain of Cuba's Revolution" and in preproduction stages of "Finding John Doe", a follow up to his first documentary film "Season of Death."

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Director Statement

It is hard to believe that a society as technologically advanced as America, it remains ignorant of many events, cultures, and traditions around the world. Not because we refuse to learn about them, but simply because explorers like myself often lack the financial backup from big production houses or investors who are willing to take a chance on education. In spite of this, as a director and filmmaker, I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of artists to make a difference in breaking down barriers of knowledge, by introducing new experiences through any artistic mediums available. Be it through painting, design, music, dance, theater, film, etc.

In 2005 I directed my first documentary film Season of Death: Chasing the American Dream, with the collaboration of people who believed in the film because of its content and message behind it, not because of its financial outcome. It was at this time when I discovered my true passion in life, and filmmaking became my outlet. I knew then that empathy and humanity were necessary for any society to continue evolving, and I wanted to be a part of that process.

FIDELANDIA takes place in Havana’s diverse and multicultural society, which provides a unique backdrop for the film – showcasing intriguing aspects and opinions of life in one of the world’s most expressional cities.
It began in the spring of 2013 when I traveled to the island for the very first time to learn about a religion called SANTERIA. FIDELANDIA immerses itself in the culture by way of direct experience. I lived and traveled in Havana as locals do, and through a series of interviews and risky adventures, I was able to learn first hand about its incredibly rich culture.

The messages and interviews are the results of people who agreed to share their experiences and personal observations willingly on camera. They did so because they want to show the outside world their “true" Cuba.

I hope this film will educate, inspire, and motivate viewers to learn about other cultures.

Isaias Castañeda