About

Corazón Cubano (Cuban Heart) received several film festival awards including Best Short Documentary Film from the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Best Story from the Madrid International Film Festival, Award of Merit from the Best Shorts Competition, Golden Palm Award from the Mexico Film Festival, Silver Remi Award from the Houston Film Festival and was officially selected to screen at the Glendale Film Festival and the Nice Market Film Festival.

Since then, Jake directed and completed his latest film “Si Me Faltas Tú” (If I’m Without You).  This short narrative has entered the film festival circuit for 2019-2020.

Synopsis: Si Me Faltas Tú

Guajiro, an endearing old widower, lives alone in his peaceful home. The memory of his wife, the love of his life, is the only incentive that helps him to cope with the loneliness of his day to day…until he receives an unexpected visit from his old friends.

Does this happy moment finally end his loneliness? Several drinks, music from his youth and his beloved guitar, is all that the Guajiro needs to come back to life.

This simple and heartbreaking beauty, SI ME FALTAS TÚ (IF I’M WITHOUT YOU), takes us by the hand, between tears and smiles, to the deepest corners of the heart.

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, an 11th grade high school student from Pasadena, California, is a promising director with a great passion for filmmaking. He completed his first short documentary film, Corazón Cubano, the day before his 16th birthday. This film was selected by several film festivals and won prestigious awards such as Best Short Documentary at the Beverly Hills Film Festival and Best Story at the Madrid International Film festival to name a few. At 17, he completed his first narrative, Si Me Faltas Tú (If I’m Without You).

He hopes to attend film school in the Fall of 2020. 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. He is a member of his high school’s broadcast team, LTV, and on his free time, he works on new projects.

 

What People Are Saying

What an awesome movie. It’s rich in family and love. Beautiful memories of the land where he was born. Very well written and heartfelt passages that touches the heart. Bravo to the Blanco family.

Esther Preciado Garcia

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!

Myrka Dellanos Journalist

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!!!!!!

Laura Webb London, England

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.

Laura Mackey Nattans Baltimore, Maryland

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.

Nunu Editor-in-Chief​, Blog de Los Angeles

So great! Congratulations. I watched it with my assistant who’s Cuban-American, from Miami. She cried like a baby!

Juan Alfonso Vice President, Drama Development at ABC Studios

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.

Natalie Friberg Editor-in-Chief, LA Dreams Magazine

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!

Ty Fischer President, TF West Los Angeles

Corazón Cubano Film Premiere at the Harmony Gold Theater