• Havana Modern: Nicolás Quintana and the Architecture of the City
    Josef Asteinza & Mariano Ros

Nicolás Quintana, Yacht Club Residential Condominium, clubhouse, 1957, Varadero, Cuba. Courtesy of the Estate of Nicolás Quintana.

Havana Modern: Nicolás Quintana and the Architecture of the City is a documentary film about the architect Nicolás Quintana (1925–2011), who played an important role in the Modern movement in Cuba. The film examines his work as an architect, urban designer, visionary, and teacher. From his building designs in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the United States, to his teaching career and later urban studies, Quintana's work reflects a restless search for an identity that is at once unique to its place and time and universal in its values. The film aims to highlight the legacy of his generation, whose works are threatened, and through his story, reexamine his ever-constant quest for the new and his acts of reinvention that resonate with the Havana of today.

Josef Asteinza studied architecture at Columbia University and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. His architectural research includes travel to Europe (with Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art) for the exhibition Mies in Berlin (1998), and Cuba (through the Architectural League of New York, 1999).  He has worked for architecture firms in New York on residential, commercial, and institutional projects, and has fifteen years of experience in campus planning—first at Columbia University and presently at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, where he manages the office of Space Planning and Management. In 2010–11, he participated in the Leadership New York Program at the Coro Leadership Center.

Mariano Ros has more than thirty years of experience in all aspects of film production, from documentaries to feature films. He was an assistant to director Leon Ichaso on films that included El Super (1979), Crossover Dreams (1985), Azucar Amarga (1995), and El Cantante (2006), among others. He also worked with director Orlando Jiménez Leal on The Other Cuba (1985); with Leal and Nestor Almendros on Mauvaise Conduite (1984); and with Almendros and Jorge Ulla on Nadie Escuchaba (1987). An architecture enthusiast, Ros has served on the joint steering committee for the Cuban-American Society of Engineers and Architects and the Cuban Cultural Center to program the Conference on Cuban Architecture held at the Cooper Union in New York in May 2010.