Miguel Coyula Aquino (born March 31, 1977 in Havana) is a Cuban filmmaker and writer. At age 17, he made his first short with a VHS camcorder, which led to his admittance to Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television (The International Film and Television School) of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV). Since then he has won awards in his country with his short films Bailar Sobre Agujas (1999), Buena Onda, (1999), and Clase Z "Tropical" (2000). His work has always been shot on very low budgets, his features taking several years to complete, using heavy digital manipulation in postproduction.
In 2000, he traveled to the United States on an invitation from the Providence Latino Film Festival. While visiting New York City, he met Anna Strasberg of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and after screening his thesis film was offered a scholarship. While attending the Strasberg Institute, Coyula made his first feature, Red Cockroaches (2003), for less than $2000 over a two-year period. The film was described by Variety as "a triumph of technology in the hands of a visionary with know-how..." The film won over twenty awards in film festivals around the world.
In 2009, Coyula was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship by The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for developing his second feature, the film Memories of Overdevelopment, a follow-up to the Cuban classic Memorias del Subdesarrollo (1968), based on the novel by Cuban writer Edmundo Desnoes. After its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film went to gather several awards and honors. The International Film Guide described it as one of the best films Cuba has produced. In 2013 La Pereza Ediciones published his first novel Mar Rojo, Mal Azul. From 2015 to the 2016 he produced the web Series Rafael Alcides and the documentary feature Nadie (Nobody) which won the Best Documentary award at the Global Film Festival in Santo Domingo and screened at MoMA. Currently Coyula working on his fourth feature, Corazon Azul (Blue Heart).
- Pirámide (1996)
- Válvula de luz (1997)
- Detalles (1998)
- Idea (1998)
- Buena Onda (Nice Going) (1999)
- Bailar sobre agujas (Dancing on Needles) (1999)
- Clase Z "Tropical" (2000)
- El Tenedor plástico (The Plastic Fork) (2001)
- Cucarachas rojas (Red Cockroaches) (2003)
- Memorias del Desarrollo (aka Memories of Overdevelopment) (2010)
- Blue Heart (in production)
- Nadie (Nobody) (2017)
Miguel Coyula has won several awards for his two features and shorts
Memorias del Desarrollo has won 20 awards, including:
- Audience award for Best Foreign Film, Mostra Principal, Arraial CineFest, Brasil, 2012
- Best Director of Latinamerican Section, Málaga Film Festival, Spain 2011
- Best Film, Muestra Nacional de Nuevos Realizadores, Cuba, 2011
- Special Award, Premios ACE, USA, 2011
- Cine Latino Award, Washington DC Independent Film Festival, USA, 2011
- Most Innovative, Cero Latitud Film Festival, Ecuador, 2010
- Best Narrative Feature, Dallas Video Fest, USA, 2010
- Best Feature, New Media Film Festival, USA 2010
- Special Mention, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, USA, 2010
- Best Film, Havana Film Festival New York, USA, 2010
Red Cockroaches has won 23 awards, including:
- Best Editing, Fearless Tales Genre Festival, USA, 2005
- GreenCine Online Film Festival, New Media Film Festival, USA, 2005
- Best Film, Microcinema Festival, USA, 2004
- Special Jury Award, Muestra de Jóvenes Realizadores, Cuba, 2004
- Gran Premio Plaza, Festival Cineplaza, Cuba 2004.
- Special Mention for Visual Concept, Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre, Argentina, 2004
- Best Editing, Encuentro Nacional de Video, Cuba, 2004
- Special Mention, Festival Internazionale de la Fantascienza, Italy, 2004.
- Best Feature, Festival Almacén de la Imagen, Cuba, 2003
Clase Z "Tropical" is a short has won 9 awards, including:
- Best Experimental Video, Encuentro Nacional de Video, Cuba 2001
- FIPRESCI Award, Festival Almacén de la Imagen, Cuba 2000
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