Michelle Leigh Farrell is an associate professor of Spanish at Fairfield University, in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. In her research she focuses on the contemporary changes in Cuban and Venezuelan audiovisual landscapes through national cultural initiatives and emerging independent cinemas. She has published on the young and independent Cuban filmmakers, contemporary women filmmakers in Cuba, the Muestra Joven film showcase, Cuban film made off the island, the offline Internet and audiovisual distribution platform el paquete semanal, and contemporary Venezuelan film under the Chávez administration. Currently she is working on a book manuscript about Cuba’s nuevos realizadores – young digital filmmakers whose films often occupy the space of independent media on and off the island. She has received generous research support from the American Association of University Women, the American Philosophical Society, and the Fairfield University Humanities Institute. Additionally, she has served as film juror for the Havana Film Festival NYC, the Americas Film Festival, and the Cinema Tropical Annual Film Awards.