In the past year, it’s been hard to miss glimpses of charming Old Havana streets and her majestic skyline appear as a colorful backdrop for numerous high profile feature film, TV and concert events.
With the détente between the U.S. and Cuba, American production companies and event planners have rushed in to seize on Cuba’s new openness and bottle some of the once forbidden fruit. Some notable projects include a massive Rolling Stones concert and concert film, feature film Fast & Furious 8 and Netflix’s series, The AO.
For Barry Pasternak, president of Cuba International Network (CIN), last week’s official notification from the U.S. government for approval to operate his business in Cuba is the culmination of years of planning and sometimes frantic anticipation for Cuba’s eventual re-entrance to the mainstream of media.
Official U.S. government approval is only part of the equation. Mr. Pasternak has cultivated relationships with Cuba’s leading broadcast network, Empresa Comercializadora de la Radio y la Television (RTV), to offer professional services, cutting-edge technology and equipment on the ground in Cuba for foreign production companies to bring the richness of Cuba’s urban and tropical gifts to the screen. Through RTV, CIN will employ and train local Cubans in the latest film and broadcasting technology and help Cuba realize its potential as a new force in the media world.
Mr. Pasternak is no stranger to the film and broadcasting world’s frontier. The two Emmy award winner has traversed the globe bringing broadcast and film projects to fruition under time and resource constraints. A recent project involved providing the technical capability to broadcast the X-Games in Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil for his client, ESPN. The CIN team has worked with virtually all the major players in the US TV and broadcasting industry.
“Cuba is emerging as a major destination for the film and broadcasting industry and we are excited about our partnership with the Cubans to develop this promising industry,” said Mr. Pasternak.
Like anywhere else in the world, developing a one-stop production solution involves a lot of moving parts. Partnering with CIN is U.S.-based PRG, the industry leading entertainment and event production company, and Gearhouse, a leader in turnkey event production services. From staging and technology to assistance with obtaining Cuban visas, the CIN team can organize a wide variety of projects at the same high standards expected in the U.S. but on the ground in Cuba.
“Working with Barry & CIN’s team has been extrordinary, and in the words of Babe Ruth, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up”, in this case it is CIN’s leadership and vision that has never wavered. PRG is proud to be a part of CIN’s team and this spectacular venture into Cuba.” James M. Lehner Senior VP – Field Operations, Global Special Projects
Current projects in pre-production and production include the Friendship Rally of Classic Cars in Havana and a jazz event featuring several of Cuba’s leading jazz musicians. In addition, Mr. Pasternak has his eyes on baseball, boxing, golf and feature films.