Nearly 200 works of film, shorts and video created by Puerto Rico residents and boricuas of the diaspora have been conveniently compiled into a spreadsheet—with detailed info for each listing and a link to each work’s home on the internet. It’s an ongoing, crowdsourced effort.
Puerto Rican artist Gisela Rosario Ramos got the ball rolling on Sunday when she shared her short, El Hijo de Ruby—which is centered around one person’s route to familial reconciliation through bomba.
“I posted a hashtag [#coronandoelcinelocal] inviting other local filmmakers [to post their works],” says Ramos.
The 52-year-old artist is multitalented and prolific. She’s also the director of “Emergencia!,” a documentary about the Puerto Rican band Superaquello, and the screenplay writer and producer of the mother-daughter relationship short, Sábado de Gloria, just to name a few. (Fun fact: Ramos is also a stalwart of the indie music scene; she’s the singer of the longstanding pop act Macha Colón y los Okapi.)
As the frequency of #coronandoelcinelocal posts grew, local art curator Marina Reyes Franco jumped in and suggested an open-access Google spreadsheet to allow for anybody to add their works or the works of others. And tons—seriously, a lot—of filmmakers and fans have done just that.
Though she originally only called on local artists (e.g.., filmmakers based in Puerto Rico—whether Puerto Rican or not) to participate, Ramos soon seized the opportunity to invite artists who might not feel immediately included. Now, queer filmmakers, artists who are no longer active and Puerto Ricans living outside the island are in the mix too.
“Also, there are several works that were created for local TV—a possibility that no longer exists in our economic climate due to budget cuts to the state-run TV channel TUTV/WIPR,” Franco notes.
Her picks for getting started? “El Hijo de Ruby,” of course. But she’s also partial to El hombre qué nadie conoció, a short she co-produced with her boyfriend, director Oswaldo Colón Ortiz.
“It’s about our former neighbor, Enriquelo, a 69-year-old queer man who runs a flea market out of his garage,” she says. “And also imitates Michael Jackson in Old San Juan.”
Both selections, along with Carla Cavina’s full-length Extra Terrestres (available to rent on Amazon Prime) and the Buscabulla-soundtracked doc on queer and trans identity in Puerto Rico, “Mala Mala” (Hulu) are Remezcla favorites.
Guillermo Gómez Álvarez, the guitarist for long-running punk act La Experiencia de Toñito Cabanilla$$$, is a promising act too. We expect his docs about Puerto Rican identity, the history of brutality from the island’s police force from 2009, and a dispatch from Puerto Rico’s underground punk scene circa 2005 to be particularly enlightening.
Some of the films on the list will be available for only a short time, while other Puerto Rican works have yet to appear, but will likely be posted soon. (Hint: We’re waiting as patiently as possible for a specific doc from Rosario).
Now is a great time to learn more about the island’s stellar film and video art output. The sheet is available here.