Introducing our next documentary: A crowdsourced film about Cuban food and identity.
Ken and Zuzy on set with shooting with Louie Estrada of Brooklyn’s My Cuban Spot. Photo: Startup Cuba File

If you’ve been following us, you probably know our story; we made two award-winning films about Cuba. One was a nine-episode docuseries called Startup Cuba about Cuba’s entrepreneurs. The other was a documentary called Craving Cuba about Cuban-American identity.

“…what we really want is your voice at the table. The film is about food but really, that means community. So we need you — our community — involved from day one.”

Fast forward 24-months, one pandemic, and many Zoom cooking classes later and we’re at it again. We’re making another film: a feature length documentary about Cuban food as a magical vessel for keeping traditions alive and for connecting the Cuban diaspora around the globe. From beautiful sexy shots of bubbling picadillo and espumita laden cafecito to conversations with top Cuban-American chefs, abuelos and Cuban food fans, we plan to tell the story of the joy, and the heartache, that Cuban food represents to millions.

And this time we’re crowdsourcing the entire movie and want you to come onboard from day one.

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Dale! Let’s Do It. Together.

For real.

We’re not just crowdsourcing it because we want your money. I mean, yes, your financial support would mean so much to us (you can support us on Indiegogo for as little as $5). But, what we really want is your voice at the table. The film is about food but really, that means community. So we need you — our community — involved from day one. Look for surveys, events and both live and online meetups to talk with us as we produce the film.

Through the project we’re going to invite you and other supporters to come with us on set, join us for our creative meetings, provide input at sit downs with some of the world’s top Cuban-American chefs and of course… sample food tastings. Plus, we’re going to be giving away all sorts of cool merch, Cuban cookbooks and one-on-ones with us and the rockstar chefs featured in the film.

Oh, and some of you can choose to join us at film festivals if we’re accepted.

sundance for our cuban food film
We don’t know if we’ll get into festivals like Sundance but if we do, you can come with us.

Again, give as little as $5 if that’s what you can. We’re grateful for any contribution. We just want you involved because there’s a lot to uncover as we go and we won’t have all the answers. Your investment in this project will enable us to involve you in creative and production discussions and incorporate your feedback along the way as the project unfolds.

Having you involved, especially as one of the supporters, for this Cuban food film would mean the world to us. For more information and to get on our update list, go here.

Gracias y abrazos! Watch this column for updates!

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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