Campesino

A journey deep into the tobacco fields of Cuba

Campesino An amateur photographer working as a skycap at Salt Lake City Airport documents the disappearing way of life of Cuba’s Campesino farmers over the last 15 years, forging friendships and capturing dignity and sacrifice while introducing us to a community brimming with character.

Festivals and Awards


LaurelEdmonton International Film Festival - Jury Award Best International Feature Documentary
LaurelChain NYC Film Festival - Best Feature Documentary
LaurelWashington West Film Festival - Audience Award Best Feature Documentary
LaurelSanta Cruz Film Festival - Director’s Award for Artistic Merit
LaurelOjai Film Festival - Best Documentary Feature
LaurelMontreal World Film Festival
LaurelPortland Film Festival
LaurelFestival Internacional Del Nuevo Cine Latino Americano (Havana)
LaurelBahamas International Film Festival
LaurelDocLands Documentary Film Festival
LaurelSedona International Film Festival
LaurelSan Luis Obispo International Film Festival

Reviews and More

We are let into a world preserved by time on the brink of opening up into the world in a way few people will ever see again. This is such a special documentation told with great respect. ” – Lauren Cioffi - Sundance Documentary Film Programmer

Campesino reveals another Cuba. A Cuba whose iconic identity no longer goes by the music, but by the fields, by simple facts, by friendship. Life may be rough and rustic, but nothing prevents you from biting into it, like this man filmed while rolling his tobacco leaves.” – Le Devoir Newspaper (Montreal)

The Producers


Mia Tate - Director

Mia Tate has been a professional actress for over 20 years, working in television and on both independent and major studio films with such talents as the Coen brothers, Antonio Banderas, George Clooney, Spike Jonze, Martin Sheen and Trent Harris to name a few. She moved into production eight years ago, producing the film Boys at the Bar, starring Bo Hopkins and founding the production company Big Hat Productions. She has won awards for her screenplays, Good Grief, The Bend and Bird Sh*t House. She currently has a feature documentary and episodic in pre-production. Campesino is her directorial debut.


Tchavdar Georgiev - Producer/Writer

Tchavdar Georgiev is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and a member of ACE (American Cinema Editors). “The Desert of Forbidden Art,” (Independent Lens) that he produced and directed together with Amanda Pope was nominated for two Emmys and won international accolades. He edited the two times Emmy-nominated "Valentine Road" (HBO) as well as "Finders Keepers", both of which premiered at Sundance. He wrote, co-produced and edited "Off The Rails" (Hot Docs, Full Frame, Sundance Channel) that won many awards including DOC NYC FF. He edited “Skidrow Marathon” that won numerous awards including LAFF. He directed and edited together with Dana Berry for Nat Geo "Finding the Next Earth" and edited the Emmy-nominated "Alien Earths”. He also edited on “The American Meme” (Tribeca FF, Hot Docs, Netflix Original), “Served Like A Girl” (SXSW, Independent Lens), "One Lucky Elephant" (Best Doc Editing at Woodstock FF) and "Bite Size" (Best Doc at Cinequest). He has also written, produced, directed or edited for BBC, History Channel, USA Network, STARZ and Amazon Studios.


Roberto Chile - Cinematographer

Michael’s feature film editing credits include Never Cry Wolf, Mishima, and Amadeus, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He produced and directed the feature documentaries Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank (Showtime Premiere), Knee Deep (PBS), and Forgotten Fires (PBS). His documentary writing & editing credits include Freedom on My Mind (Academy Award Nomination), Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey (Academy Award Nomination), The Squires of San Quentin (Academy Award Nomination), and Yosemite: The Fate of Heaven (Emmy Award). He was consulting editor on The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Academy Award Nomination).


Curt Wallin - Cinematographer

Passionate about telling stories of both the natural world and the history of humankind, Curt Wallin has spent the past twenty years filming and directing around the globe. As an accomplished director of photography, he has developed an eye for expressing the world’s stories with a unique approach. Whether shooting and producing for the Olympic broadcast or climbing the volcanoes of Central America, Curt Wallin will continue to meld the crafts of distinctive storytelling and exceptional cinematography. Over the years, filming, producing and directing documentaries has become Curt’s forte - making him one of today’s rising talents in the world of film making. Recent award-winning documentary films: Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt: Director and Director of Photography; Musicwood: Director of Photography.


Michael Chandler - Editor

Michael’s feature film editing credits include Never Cry Wolf, Mishima, and Amadeus, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He produced and directed the feature documentaries Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank (Showtime Premiere), Knee Deep (PBS), and Forgotten Fires (PBS). His documentary writing & editing credits include Freedom on My Mind (Academy Award Nomination), Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey (Academy Award Nomination), The Squires of San Quentin (Academy Award Nomination), and Yosemite: The Fate of Heaven (Emmy Award). He was consulting editor on The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Academy Award Nomination).

Making The Film


Director's Statement

This film means the world to me. I had fallen in love with Carl Oelerich's photos over a decade ago, longing to get the stories behind the faces that he so beautifully captured. We made this happen for the first time in 2014 when I put a crew together and headed to Cuba. Since then we have gone back four time, including when we returned to screen Campesino at the Havana Film Festival and then returning the finished film to the farmers for a great celebration. Every time I return to Cuba I fall more in love, they even inspired me to move from my home in the suburbs out to a farm in the country. I am thankful to Carl for his quiet passion, for the beautiful people in Viñales who trusted us with their stories and could not be more proud of our award winning crew. It wasn't easy, shooting a documentary in Cuba is a great and challenging adventure. But the heart of this film makes everything worth it, I love watching people watch our story. Q and A’s after have been both emotional and filled with laughter and definitely a lot of storytelling. With over a dozen festivals and museum screenings, taking home top awards from Edmonton International Film Festival, Washington West and Ojai was a celebrated validation that our story resonated with people. This story is not political, however in our world today I think it’s simple message is more important than ever. The word I have always used for Campesino is connection. I so hope you enjoy our film.

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