Originally from Mexico, Armando Croda has been working in art and film in the US, Europe and Mexico for the past decade. He is a cinematographer and editor of the feature documentary HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (Perlmutt Productions, 2014) directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt. Co-director, Cinematographer and Editor of the documentary LOS COJOLITES, A LOOK INTO SON JAROCHO MUSIC (Viento del Norte Cine, 2014) for Canal 22 International in Mexico. Currently he is working as Co-director and editor of his feature documentary FIRMES about a group of Mexican undocumented immigrants who have left the gang life and formed a Lowrider car club in the Bronx. He completed the feature film, VICTORIO (2008, DMM Films) as Co-Director and Editor, which was awarded the Opera Prima at the Guanajuato Film Festival, and screened in various festivals in Europe and Latin America, including Valencia, Huelva, St. Petersburg, Havana and selected for the Human Right competition in Bilbao festival.http://www.vimeo.com/armandocroda
I’m Leaving Now – Ya me voy
Feature Documentary Film (currently in post-production)
Lindsey Cordero, co-director.
Armando Croda, co-director.
Josh Alexander, producer.
J. Xavier Velasco, co-producer.
Felipe, an undocumented Mexican immigrant in Brooklyn, struggles with whether to return home to Mexico, to the wife and children he no longer really knows.
Felipe has come to a crossroads. After 16 years in Brooklyn, working three low-paying jobs and collecting bottles on the street in his spare time and sending the bulk of his earnings home to his family in Mexico, he’s decided to return to his wife and the children he hasn’t seen in almost two decades. But when he informs his family of his homecoming, he discovers that they’ve squandered the money, are deeply in debt and don’t want him to return. They need him to stay in the US, continuing to earn.
Shot over two years in the heart of Brooklyn’s immigrant community, YA ME VOY (I’m Leaving Now) is a searingly intimate portrait of one undocumented worker on the margins. A blend of documentary with some fictional elements, the film allows the rhythms, emotions and sounds of Felipe’s life and the city to drive the story, utilizing a structure and a style often not seen in documentaries. Impressionistic, cinematic and with the city as its soundscape, the film pushes the boundary of how documentary can capture the lives of the unseen, ultimately elevating this one lonely man’s story into a lyrical meditation on themes of family and home, loneliness and love. As Felipe debates whether to stay or go, the film builds to a heartbreaking portrait of the struggle and drama that exist in the lives of the often invisible figures toiling away in the kitchens, hotel rooms and construction sites of our biggest cities. Eschewing politics, the film is political nonetheless – a quiet and unforgettable snapshot of one man held in suspension between a world of endless work and a faraway home.
Armando Croda – Documentary DP Reel
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Mary
High Line Park – Field Trips
With its design, history, horticulture, and public art, the High Line offers unique and diverse teaching tools for schools and educators all year long. Friends of the High Line’s education programs serve more than 10,000 students annually through guided field trips, after-school programs, teaching artist residencies, and school partnerships.
New York City Department of Education – SEP – Pathfinders Mentorship
The New York City Department of Education seeks hosts for a unique 7-week internship program. The program, “Pathfinders,” is an integral part of the DOE’s efforts to prepare 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students for the 21st Century workforce, providing exposure to potential career paths and context for their schoolwork.
Xenia Rubinos – L.O.V.E.
“L.O.V.E.” by Xenia Rubinos
Streaming on Amazon Music
From The Amazon Music Original Playlist “Love Me”
Music video directed by Armando Croda and Jano Mejía.
Xenia Rubinos: Live Lowrider Session
Music: “Just Like I” by Xenia Rubinos
Directed by Armando Croda, Alejandro Mejia
Produced by Mu Media, Jaba Jaba Music
Live Sound Recording: Lindsey Cordero
Live Sound Engineering: Marco Buccelli
Editing: Armando Croda
DP, Color Correction: Alejandro Mejia
Movi Operator: Axel Rodil
Camera Assistant: Eduardo Valderrama
Styling: Jordan Galloway
Special Thanks to Unique Rollers Car Club: Israel Nophal, Ricardo Morales, Luis Torres, Oscar Bello
Music is my Mother Language
Short Documentary Film – 22 minutes
Todd Clouser, co-director.
Billy Martin, co-director.
Armando Croda, editor and producer.
Carlos Sosa, producer.
Jim Stark, producer.
Musicians Todd Clouser and Billy Martin (drummer of Medeski, Martin and Wood) made and exploration trip to Chiapas, Mexico in search of inspiring sounds. What they found it couldn’t be expressed with words, a great richness of culture and stories expressed through the heart language, the music. They visited Zinacantán, San Juan Chamula and San Cristobal de las Casas and present in this short documentary a sample of yesterday and today’s music in Chiapas, with the main purpose of showing solidarity with all the people who need to express their stories and feelings through music.
Music is my Mother Language was presented in the San Cristobal de las Casas Film Festival in January 21st of 2015.
Read the news about the screening here:
This documentary will be release very soon. If you need a screener please contact Armando Croda.
Armando Croda, co-director, cinematographer, editor.
Lindsey Cordero. co-director, sound, editor.
Beth Miranda Botshon. line producer.
Carlos Sosa. producer. Viento del Norte Films.
Laura Imperiale. producer. Cacerola Films.
Ex-gang members in search of a more dignified life, FIRMES is the story of the hardships and triumphs faced by a group of Mexican immigrants fighting for survival in the Bronx. United by their love for art, culture and Mexican traditions, they’ve formed strong bonds and a solid community. Together they attempt to stay away from gang life, get over past mistakes and hash out a legitimate existence in the tangled urban landscape of New York City.
Lindsey Cordero, co-director and sound
Armando Croda, co-director and editor
j. Xavier Velasco, cinematographer
House of Ink is a tattoo shop located in Mount Vernon, NY that is run by Mexicans. It’s not just another tattoo shop – it’s a home, a hangout were mostly Chicanos and Mexican immigrants come together.
Intensely proud of their Mexican heritage while trying to make sense of a new country, they express their identity through art and design, decorating their skin with folkloric and revolutionary Mexican icons. Prehispanic Aztec figures, La Llorona, La Cartina, La Santa Muerte and Our Lady of Guadalupe are all staples.
House of Ink customers say that police target them because of the way they look, dress and their multiple tattoos.
Although some of the customers were once involved with gangs, they all say they have learned to step away from that life. Now they have honest jobs and work hard to support their families.
They still miss where they come from — the traditions, the family, and the life they had across the border. But while they still yearn to keep Mexican traditions alive, they also seek to create a new community in New York.
At House of Ink at least, they can freely express their identity by rescuing their sense of belonging to a family — a family of artists and strivers with Mexican roots; a family trying to build a new life together in a place that’s not always welcoming.
Dyablo, a regular customer at House of Ink has the words “The Revolution Continues” tattooed on his forehead.
“In a way we are still fighting a revolution,” says Cruz. “We are still defending who we are, what we like and what we represent. The revolution continues,” he says.
“We stand solid and we never stop.”
Havana Motor Club
Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, director, editor.
Zelmira Gainza, cinematographer.
Armando Croda, cinematographer, editor.
Lindsey Cordero, sound, assistant editor.
Julio C. Pérez IV, editor.
Javier de Pablos, assistant editor.
Laura Duarte, associate producer
Gloss Studio, producer.
HAVANA MOTOR CLUB was recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Fetsival 2015 in competition for Best Documentary. Tells a personal, character-driven story about Cuba’s vibrant community of underground drag racers and their quest to hold Cuba’s first official car race since the Revolution. It tackles how Cuba’s recent reforms — the owning of property, allowance of small businesses, and greater exchange between Cubans, Cuban Americans, tourists, and other foreigners — have affected the lives of these racers and their families. One racer enlists the help of a Cuban American patron in Miami to smuggle in parts for his modern car. His main competitor is a renowned mechanic who uses ingenuity rather than resources to create a racing monster. Another racer ponders whether he will participate in the race or sell his motor — one that he recovered on the ocean floor from a ship used to smuggle Cubans off the island — in order to flee Cuba on a raft headed to Florida. Through the eyes of these racers and their community, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB explores how Cuba is changing today.