ESPLENDIDO PRODUCTIONS was founded by Jake Ajamian in 2017, when he produced his first short film called CORAZÓN CUBANO. This film was dedicated to his Cuban grandfather and was what sparked his passion for masterful film making.
Synopsis: Corazón Cubano
In 1961, after the death of Benito Blanco in The Bay of Pigs invasion, his brother, Armando, was compelled to come to the United States, thus escaping the political persecution that had ensued in Cuba at the time.
One day, after almost forty years of exile in California, Armando Blanco received a call from his sister to announce that one of his brothers, still living in Cuba, was dying. Devastated by the news, Armando was faced with the decision as to whether he should stay true to his moral duty, thus refusing to set foot again in the communist island or to embrace the love he had for his dying brother.
The dilemma then was opting to betray the Cuban exile community, break the laws of the United States therein undermining his own political convictions, all of which stood in the way of his return to his country. Or, would he let his heart dictate and go back to his small town, the one that he had dreamed of from far away so he could embrace his brother one last time? The heart won out and he decided to go back.
And so it was that Armando found his way back for just one day to find himself once again amongst his own, immersed in hours full of joy, laughter and song. There in the small town of Guáimaro, he was surrounded by the profound love that had remained intact despite the many years in exile. It was an unforgettable experience in the company of his loved ones who from that moment on, he would never see again.
Meet The Director
Jake Ajamian, a 10th grade high school student from Pasadena, California, is a promising director with a great passion for filmmaking. He completed his first short film, Corazón Cubano, the day before his 16th birthday. Both of his parents are children of immigrants. His father is Armenian and his mother, Cuban and Colombian. He’s proud of the rich cultures he’s been fortunate enough to enjoy his whole life.
Jake was inspired to direct and edit Corazón Cubano after he and his mother found a old family VHS video of a trip she took to Cuba with her father many years ago. She had always wanted to share this experience, so he offered to direct and edit a short film, if she would produce it. He is a member of his high school’s broadcast team, LTV, and on his free time, he is working on a new project; a narrative short film he hopes to complete before the end of 2018.
What People Are Saying
I cried from the first images set to music in the film. I have never been to Cuba but Eddy and the family portrayed just felt like home to me. For anyone that has ever been ripped apart from family members, or just values family, this film is for you! Loved it!
Omg! I’m balling. I had chills throughout the whole film. So breathtakingly sad and beautiful. I love their spirit and the running philosophy they share to keep fighting. They go along with the power that strips them down, literally takes their shirts off their backs, but they keep fighting. They can never take their soul, their joy, their spirit. They are a remarkable culture and your dad’s reunions and sense of humour and music is so captivating!! I love all the black and white footage – showing the prosperous and happy times. Everyone so resistant and joyful! That lady at the pig roast saying that moment is theirs and can’t be messed with. So true! Seeing the deceased dates and knowing them through the film was heart wrenching. I was crying out loud. This is amazing beyond!!! I cannot wait to share it – if and when you say it’s ok. This wins Oscar of the last two decades!!! Loved it so much!! It’s a gift to share with many. And I love your dad’s song and his bonds with people. So unique and special. Each and every reunion and his brothers!! Love love love. I give it a billion stars!!!!!!
What an incredible story. Jake did an exceptional job capturing the emotions of all involved in your father’s story. I loved the English subtitles, the music!!!! And of course the people. Not only is it an education in Cuban history but an education in human spirit as a whole. I laughed, I cried, I felt anger. For Jake to be able to do this at such a young age is impressive. He has a gift! What is your next step? Movie festivals around the world? You should definitely enter them if you haven’t already.
The editing was excellent too. I loved the real life footage from back in the day. And the music!!! Off the chain. Your dad is Grammy worthy no joke.
Visto desde el prisma del amor fraternal, el entendimiento del paso del tiempo y la brevedad de la vida a través de los ojos del jovencísimo director Ajamian te rompe de ternura. Un inesperado viaje emocional donde, si la política te ciega, el corazón te abre los ojos… El mejor corto del año.
So great! Congratulations. I watched it with my assistant who’s Cuban-American, from Miami. She cried like a baby!
Documenting and story-telling at its finest! I could really feel the internal struggle Armando was experiencing at the beginning of the film, and as it progressed, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster all the way until the end. The short film of the year in my opinion.
One of the only films I’ve watched that made me feel a range of true emotions. From suspense and sadness, to the feeling of connection and love, Corazon Cubano makes you feel it all in a captivating 30 minutes. In today’s time of discord and divide, I can’t recommend this film enough. A must-watch!