10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

Yo no me llamo Rubén Blades (Ruben Blades Is Not My Name) (2019 Feature Film)

Abner Benaim | Panama, Argentina, Colombia | 2018 | doc | color | DCP | 85′ | Spanish | e.s.

Salsa legend, presidential candidate, thinker and comic-book collector: who is Rubén Blades? This candid, surprising portrait of the salsa singer provides insight into his life. Featuring archival footage and interviews with colleagues and admirers, including Andy Montañez, Sting and Paul Simon.

Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the most popular unknown person in the world”. Rubén Blades is world famous as a salsa musician, singer and songwriter. He made 40 albums during his 50-year career and won 17 Grammys. The salsa legend with his political lyrics is a Harvard graduate with a degree in international law, was a presidential candidate in his home country of Panama and acted in Hollywood films (Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico for example). From 1995 to 1999 he was also Panama’s Minister for Tourism.

Director and fellow countryman Abner Benaim’s camera team gained access to Rubén Blades’ well protected private life. From rehearsals and film sets to places from his youth and his apartment in New York: “You are the first to be allowed to film here and the last”. Together with Benaim, Blades returns to Panama’s past. Filled out by wonderful archival footage from his rich career, this creates a unique portrait of the most famous unknown.

Place: The Cinemas 3

Date: 10 April 2019

Time: 22:30

Duration: 1:05

Place: The Cinemas 3

Date: 11 April 2019

Time: 20:15

Duration: 1:05

Year in



Abner Benaim


Mauro Colombo
Gaston Girod
Carlos Rossini


Rubén Blades
Gilberto Santa Rosa
Paul Simon




Felipe Guerrero






Rubén Blades


Abner Benaim
Gema Juarez Allen

Year of Production


Regisseur, producent en scenarioschrijver Abner BENAIM (1971, Panama) studeerde internationale betrekkingen aan de universiteit van Pennsylvania in de Verenigde Staten voor hij in Israël de filmacademie van Tel Aviv doorliep. Hij regisseerde meerdere prijswinnende documentaires, waaronder Invasíon (2014), over de Amerikaanse invasie van Panama in 1989. De documentaire werd genomineerd voor een Oscar. Sinds 2004 heeft hij zijn eigen productiebedrijf in Panama City: Apertura Films.



(seelection) Round Trip to Panama (2002), Good Vibes (2004, doc), El otro lado (2005, TV series), Chance (2009), Empleadas y patrones (2010, doc), Invasión (2014, doc), Zachrisson (2016, short doc), Yo no me llamo Rubén Blades/Ruben Blades Is Not My Name (2018)