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Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is one of the most unique land properties of The United States of America. A strategic military installation for over 100 years, it’s been the source of controversy from early in the 20th century, again in the mid 20th century with Fidel Castro, and yet again most recently in the post 911 era with the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. It is the only Naval Base located on communist soil and the only military base in a country in which the United States doesn’t have official diplomatic relations.
Would you be shocked to hear that GTMO (pronounced Gitmo) is a great place to raise a family? Or that there are about 5000 men, women and children who live there, who go to school there, who play softball, eat at McDonalds and go bowling there? This film tells the untold history of daily life on the most controversial military base in the world from the perspective of the people who actually lived there. Memories of Guantanamo takes a look back at the unique history of Guantanamo Bay and explores daily life on the island throughout the last century.
In the 50s, life on GTMO was like something from the movie Pleasantville or the TV series Leave it to Beaver: peaceful, social and...well, pleasant. The Cuban Missile Crisis of the 60s introduced us to a new enemy in Fidel Castro and everything changed after that. During the 80s, GTMO ended up housing tens of thousands of refugees from Haiti and Cuba. Most recently GTMO has had the dark reputation of the Camp X-ray detention camps during the post 911 war on terror.
As the news media calls to "Close Guantanamo," and the Obama administration seeks new relations with Cuba, what will be the future of GTMO? What lessons can we learn from daily life on this sleepy base in the middle of a tropical paradise? These are the questions that remain to be answered.
Directed by award winning documentary filmmaker Trevor F. Ward, this film is being produced using historical resources from the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, based out of Columbia University.
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Memories of Guantanamo is currently in post-production and is expected to be completed in 2015.
Over 30 military personnel, adult and child dependents, civilian contractors, refugees, lawyers, journalists and academics who have first hand experience on GTMO were interviewed on camera. These were the people who actually lived history: some in the 50s and 60s, others in the 80s and 90s and yet more in the post 911 era.
Memories of Guantanamo is the most comprehensive documentary film every produced about the history of the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Producer/Director> Trevor F. Ward currently resides in Orlando, Florida, USA. He has directed/produced over 100 documentaries, which have taken him around the world to India, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Several of his films have received recognition including winning an Image Award, two Telly Awards and being awarded Best Documentary (for the feature length film I Met with an Accident).
Trevor's connection to Guantanamo Bay is personal. Fred, Trevor's father, spent his boyhood years living on the base along with his sister, mom and WWII veteran father. Intrigued and inspired by the personal experiences of his family, Trevor began development on a documentary film concept which is now called Memories of Guantanamo.
Producer/Director of Photography> Ryan P. Dean has had a camera in his hands since he was ten years old. Shortly after graduating from film school, he found himself working alongside Academy Award-winning cinematographers, where for the last decade, he's been learning the art of storytelling and cinematic photography from the masters.
Ryan has shot all over the country, as well as internationally, working on over 300 commercials, music videos, documentaries, and features. Having a keen eye for visual aesthetics and emotional imagery, he strives to tell a story truthfully, with beauty, grace and technical prowess.
Producer> Lisa Lampkin has over 20 years experience as a producer in television. She currently is a producer for NBC News (TODAY Show, Nightly News, Dateline, and MSNBC) mostly covering major Florida news stories such as Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman .
Prior to NBC, Lisa spent seven years as a producer for ABC News (Good Morning America, World News, 20/20, and Nightline). She began producing in Los Angeles at Theatre West. She left sunny Southern California for even more sunshine in Florida, which is where she calls home. Additionally she's dipped her toes in acting and directing, both in theatre and television.
Seeking financial partners
We are currently seeking financial partners, co-production companies or executive producers. Please contact us if you'd be interested.
Share your story
Do you or someone you know have personal experience living on GTMO? Want to share your personal experiences for the sake of preserving this unique part of American history? Let us know.
Provide us with your email address and we'll send you occasional updates regarding the progress of the film. (We promise not to spam you or share your address with anyone.)
© 2013 Memories of Gitmo, LLC