Cynthia Cazanas Garin

Cynthia Cazanas Garin

Assistant Professor

Cynthia Cazanas-Garin is an award-winning filmmaker from Cuba with over seven years of experience in directing, cinematography, editing, and digital animation for live TV shows, narrative films, documentaries, and commercials. She is one of the founders of Ajar Film Productions, a production company based in Colorado.

Her filmmaking content is informed by personal and social issues such as immigration, racism, identity, and professional fulfillment. Her documentary "Natural Selection" (2016) raised public awareness about animal abuse and contributed to the first animal-welfare law in Cuba.

Ms. Cazanas was the Director of Photography for the animated short film "La Huida" (The Runaway), combining puppet animation, shadow theatre technique, and 2D animation. She was among four animators selected by the British Council to attend animation and visual effects workshops at the Animae Caribe Film Festival in Trinidad and Tobago.

Cynthia's next project as a director is a feature-length documentary about the history and legacy of the Colorado Rockies, the first Major League team in the Rocky Mountain region.

Education, Licensure & Certifications

Emerson College Boston, Mass.
MFA; Film and Media Arts

University of Arts Havana, Cuba
BFA; Film, Radio and Television


• 2021 - "The Implausible". Best First Time Filmmaker Nominee at Cannes Shorts; Silver Remi Award at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival; Official Selection at Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival; Best Long Short Nominee Golden Nugget Int. Film Fest; Best Student Short at Dreamachine International Film Fest. LA; Honorable Mention at Roma Short Film Festival; Official Selection at New York Flash Film Festival 

• 2020 - Emerging Content Creators Inclusion Initiative Scholarship for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers 2020 Media Summit.

• 2018 - Prestigious Emerson College Fellowship for the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Media Art Program and Emerson Community Scholarship.

• 2018-2020 - La Huida. Official Selection at Seattle Latino Film Festival in Washington; Official Selection at Festival de Cinéma d’Animation de Pontarlier in France; Best Animation, Best Original Score and Collateral Prize at Muestra Joven ICAIC film festival in Havana; Grand Prize at University of Arts' Festival Imago in Havana; Official Selection at IV Anima Latina Animation Film Festival in Buenos Aires, and Official Selection at International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema, Havana.

• 2016 - Natural Selection. Official Selection and Semifinalist at the Los Angeles CineFest; Ludwig Foundation Grant in Havana; Official Selection at the Animal Rights Film Festival in Bogotá; Official Selection at the Ethnografilm Festival in Paris; Official Selection at the America’s Rainbow Film Festival in New York, and Official Selection at the Indie Wise Free Virtual Festival.


University Film and Video Association (UFVA)

College of Arts & Media

CU Denver

Arts Building

1150 10th Street

Suite 177

Denver, CO 80204


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