Havana Divas


S. Louisa WEI

99 minutes | 2018/2023 | Documentary | Cantonese, Spanish and English | English and Chinese Subtitles
World Premiere (2023 Director’s Cut)

5:00 PM, FRI, AUG 18
Innis Town Hall


Caridad Amaran and Georgina Wong Gutierrez learned the art of Cantonese opera in the1930s in Havana. Caridad’s mentor was her Chinese foster father, Julian FONG, who immigrated to Cuba in the 1920s after his family forbade him to perform opera. Georgina’s father was a famous tailor in Havana Chinatown, who encouraged her to learn kung-fu and the lion dance. Though neither had any siblings, they formed a sisterhood on the stage. Through the 1940s, Caridad toured all over Cuba, performing in cities with Chinese communities as the leading actress of her opera troupe. Georgina quit opera to attend college, but her studies were interrupted by Castro’s 1959 revolution and her required military service. Eventually, she went on to become a diplomat. Following their retirement, and well into their sixties, the two sisters began performing Cantonese opera again. In their eighties, they found a new audience in China.


S. Louisa WEI’s award-winning Golden Gate Girls (2014) was well reviewed by international media including The Hollywood Reporter, South China Morning Post, and China Daily. The film was the opening and closing film of several international film festivals and many international conferences. Louisa’s first feature documentary, Storm under the Sun (2009, co-director PENG Xiaolian) and recent TV doc Wang Shiwei: The Buried Writer (2016) both obtained acclaim for reflecting Chinese intellectuals’ history. Her feature documentary Havana Divas (2019) has been screening in Hong Kong and selected for film festivals like CAAMFest36 (San Francisco), Shanghai International Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and Beijing International Film Festivals. The film has received positive reviews from critics and high ratings from audiences. She is currently editing a documentary on CUI Jian with the working title Red Rock—in collaboration with CUI Jian.


  • Director: S. Louisa WEI
  • Principal Cast: Caridad Amaran, Georgina Wong Guitierrez
  • Producer: LAW Kar, Helen H.S. WONG
  • Cinematographer: Joyce Yunyi HUANG, WAN Kin Fai, Melanie Y. WONG, Jeff HU, Green G. ZHOU, Angelo Costadimas, Eugene X. ZHANG, Paul H. CHAN, Bowl Y. LI, S. Louisa WEI
  • Editor: Eugene CHEUNG
  • Sound: Mary Y. CHEN, Charles C.W. CHAN
  • Music: Robert Ellis-Geiger

Supported by HKETO (Toronto)

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO Toronto)
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