Jose Enrique Pardo was born in Havana, Cuba. At the age of seven, he departed Cuba with his father for the United States. Raised in the Cuban-American community of Union City, New Jersey, Jose Enrique graduated from Colgate University with a major in English and received his law degree at Rutgers Law School in Newark, NJ. To offset the rigors of legal training, he began writing poetry then progressed to short fiction, which he published in university journals.
While working as an attorney, Jose Enrique continued to write fiction, completing three novels (Dealing from Heaven, Leverage and Hurricanes) and a collection of stories (Poised Upon the Precipice). His stories and poetry were published in literary journals and in Under the Pomegranate Tree, an anthology of Latino erotica.
Jose Enrique’s first screenplay was an adaptation of his novel Dealing From Heaven. He has written three other original full-length screenplays (Persuasion, God’s Law, and Feelanthropy). Jose Enrique has studied film at UCLA and has produced and directed two short films: Proposition and Birthday Boy. CUBAMERICAN is his first feature film.
Originally from New Mexico, Kimby Caplan is an award-winning filmmaker whose student Academy Award winning film LISTEN has aired on PBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates. Her documentaries and short films have been shown in festivals across the country and internationally. She has received festival prizes in all genres; documentary, horror, dramatic narrative, and experimental. Her second unit videography has been televised nationally. Ms. Caplan is currently in preproduction for a narrative short about Hungarian political refugees. Additionally, she has multiple short form narrative projects that will be hitting the festival circuit this fall.
A product of a Cuban-American household, Victor grew up in Florida and is a recent graduate of Brooklyn College Film School. Prior to that he attended Santa Fe College on a theater scholarship. He previously directed and edited a behind the scenes documentary of Brittany Murphy’s last movie Deadline. CUBAMERICAN is his first feature documentary.
Carlos José Alvarez was raised in a musical Cuban household where he was exposed to a spectrum of music from the Cuban masters to the great symphonies. Enthralled by Cuban rhythms, Carlos took up percussion and earned a music scholarship to Florida State University. At graduation, Carlos was honored with a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music. At Berklee he connected his life-long passion for the cinema with his musical talents, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Film Scoring. Prior to writing the score for CUBAMERICAN, Carlos composed the scores to Deadline and Discover the Gift, composed and arranged music for the films 9 and One for the Money, and has composed music for over one hundred national commercials.
Nicolas Emiliani was born in Toronto, Canada of Colombian parents. They immigrated to the United States and settled in Virginia, where Nicolas was raised and educated. An American Film Institute (AFI) graduate, Nicolas has produced seven short theatrical films; two of them received awards (Homefront – Best Short Film – Chinese American Festival of Film and Culture; Mayday Mayday -- Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Award) and two others (Song of David and Zoom) were multiple festival entries.
A Pittsburgh native, Melissa Burns is devoted to film. For the past seven years she has worked on eight films in diverse aspects of production. In 2006, Melissa worked on her first documentary, (A Perfect Soldier) which explored the devastating damage and deaths from land mines in Cambodia. This film sparked an interest that led Melissa to work on 4 other feature length documentary films, amongst them Discover the Gift. Since September of 2011, Melissa has been responsible for CUBAMERICAN’s post-production.