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Architecture of Havana’s Schools of the Arts: Time and Passion


Panel discussion organized by Dr. Lillian Manzor as part of the Miami International Film Festival’s screening of Unfinished Spaces. With Jean-François Lejeune, Alysa Nahmias, Benjamin Murray, Roberto Gottardi, Eberto García Abreu, and Felipe Dulzaides.



March 4th, 4:00 PM, Freedom Tower
600 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33132

Unfinished Spaces - official trailer (Espacios inacabados) from UNFINISHED SPACES on Vimeo.

Moderated by U.M. Architecture Professor Jean Francois LeJeune, this panel brings together director Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray from New York discussing how the film was made and what it means for an American to shoot a film in Cuba; Roberto Gottardi from Havana addressing his experiences as an architect in Cuba during the early years of the Revolution and his plans for the school of drama; Dr. Eberto García Abreu presenting the theater arts program in Havana’s University of the Arts School and the challenges of working in one of the “unfinished spaces;” and and visual artist Felipe Dulzaides sharing his experiences studying and creating at the school.


Jean-François Lejeune teaches design, urban design, and history-theory at the University of Miami.  His publications have dealt with urban design in Miami and 20th century modernity in Latin America (architecture and urbanism). He  has received grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts, the Fondazione CE.S.A.R. in Rome and the American Academy in Rome.

Alysa Nahmias is founder and executive director of Ajna Films. She holds a Masters degree in architecture from Princeton University and a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has received numerous grants and awards from government agencies and private foundations, including the New York State Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Graham Foundation.

Benjamin Murray holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His post production company, The Room, partners with Technicolor through two Flame Premium suites. His recent projects include: Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home and Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.

Roberto Gottardi graduated in architecture from the Instituto Superiore di Architettura di Venezia in 1952. After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Gottardi moved to Cuba and joined other architects in the cause of building a new country. As part of the three man team who designed the National Art Schools, Gottardi created the School of Dramatic Arts. Today he lives and practices architecture in Havana.

Dr. Eberto Garcia Abreu, chair of School of Theater (one of the unfinished spaces) in Havana National Art Schools. He has published numerous articles on contemporary Cuban theater. He has directed Havana’s International Theater Festival. Currently, he is the director of the Educational Component of Cadiz’ Ibero American Theater Festival.

Felipe Dulzaides has an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. He studied drama at the Instituto Superior de Arte and documentary photography at Miami Dade College. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Cintas Fellowship, Creative Work Fund, Art Matters and the Rome Prize. 

Supported in part by funds from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Italian language and culture at the University of Miami.