“No one told me I should bring Kleenex”

One of the most inspiring (and terrifying) aspects of Free the People’s ethos is our willingness to tackle the impossible. With that, we set out to premiere our latest film during Art Basel last December, for an arty, progressive audience not particularly inclined to respond positively to a story about one artist’s self-liberation from the clutches of a socialist dictatorship.

As you can imagine, planning this event in Miami was a little nerve wracking. It’s not exactly our home turf, and we were competing with countless other prestigious events. But we knew we had a cool venue, an amazing movie, a beautiful art exhibit, great Mezcal, and even a pop-up fashion show. Now we just had to get the right people to show up. But show up they did! We were oversold for what turned out to be a fabulous evening under the stars.

It was a new crowd for us—We barely knew anyone at the beginning of the evening, but we had local art collectors, prestigious members of the Miami Cuban community, and even a few anti-Castro dissidents. One couple showed up because they had been told about the premiere from a local art gallery owner. They left inspired and motivated.

We’ve always strived to help drive the cultural conversation; a conversation typically dominated by wannabe authoritarians and their bad ideas. That night in Miami was affirmation of what is possible when you take some (slightly terrifying) risks.

My favorite comment after the film: “No one told me I should bring Kleenex.” And he was right, there were few dry eyes in the house because our film is an emotional rollercoaster that follows artist Carlos Luna’s Hero’s Journey from Communist Cuba to his free, flourishing life in the United States. You’ve heard us say this a thousand times: You must reach people through their emotions, breaking through preconceived biases, before they will consider new ways of thinking about individual freedom and the toxic nature of government power.

You can watch a short recap of the evening here.

We’re working to bring the full documentary to a broader audience soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer for the film here.

It’s such an honor to have produced this film illustrating the universal values of personal achievement and artistic freedom. Telling stories like Carlos’ is why we started Free the People, and it’s what motivates us to keep fighting to create a better, freer world for everyone. And it’s your support that makes this all possible.

Sign up here for more announcements about The Free Life, as well as many other projects currently in development and production. 2024 is going to be a productive, inspiring (and slightly terrifying) year for all of us!

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Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Terry Kibbe

Terry Kibbe is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Free the People.

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