AMIGO SKATE, CUBA
Running Time: 72min
Film Year: 2018
Category: Knight Documentary Achievement Award
Skateboarding is as much a passion as a leisure activity—but to skate in Cuba requires a level of ardor, we Americans know nothing about. Vanesa Wilkey-Escobar’s debut documentary tracks a transnational effort led by Miami’s own Rene Lecour, founder of Amigo Skate, to get Cuban skaters the gear and space they need.
The journey is uphill: the only current skate-park in Havana is built on a drainage ditch and the Cuban government is reluctant to recognize skateboarding—an American invention—as a valid sport. What’s more, negotiating with government officials demands a demonstrative respect for authority that can feel antithetical to those whose credo is founded in skate culture’s outlaw mentality.
Filled with thrilling sequences of skate virtuosity, Amigo Skate, Cuba presents a fascinating case of cooperation overcoming culture clash—and a universal portrait of freedom on four little wheels.
Director: Vanesa Wilkey-Escobar
Producer: Chris Wedding and Vanesa Wilkey- Escobar
Screenwriter: Vanesa Wilkey-Escobar
Executive Producer: Brian Leaghty
Production Company: Brandish Entertainment & Bohemian Adventures
Music: Devilsbelt, Alfonso X, El Barbaro, Yimi Koncalse, Liquorbox
Cinematographer: Chris Wedding
Editor: Florencia Marano and Carlos Aldana