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We set out on a simple journey - tell the story of how handmade cigars are created. What we found was much more interesting...

We focused our lenses on a small shop in perhaps the most famous cigar locale in America: Miami's Calle Ocho (8th Street). We discovered how the tobacco leaves packed in huge crates arrive from far away places like the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. How each type of leaf has a different purpose and why the "tabaquero" chooses certain leaves to create unique flavor profiles. We were amazed at the passion and the artistry each of them infused into their work. Like fine chefs preparing a meal, the "tabaqueros" understand their work will be consumed and enjoyed if the cigars are crafted with love.

Yet, even though the process of making a handmade cigar was fascinating, what surprised us most was the cultural aspect. Many of the "tabaqueros" had been doing this job since childhood. It was ingrained into the very fabric of their being. Their "art" was accomplished with a pride of heritage rarely seen today.

Personally, we feel privileged to have been allowed to document their world. And, we take with us a newfound passion to create art in all that we do... especially our filmmaking.
by Russell Griffin
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