A Rubén Blades Documentary Is Coming to HBO: Exclusive


Abner Benaim’s “Yo No Me Llamo Ruben Blades” reveals “the man behind the artist.”

A new Rubén Blades documentary has been picked up by HBO, Billboard has learned.

Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades (Rubén Blades is Not My Name), which won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival, will be available on HBO on an as-yet-to-be-decided date, according to Abner Benaim, the doc’s director.

“I was looking to find out who is the man behind the artist,” Benaim (who, like Blades, is from Panama) tells Billboard. “Who is the guy who writes these songs that are so incredible and that have moved so many people and have made people think. A couple generations Latin Americans have his songs in their heads.”

In the film — which was shot in Blades’ native Panama City, his longtime home town New York, and in various locations on the road — the famed salsa singer, actor and humanitarian narrates the story his life and career. Blades takes the viewer on a tour the neighborhood where he was born, the former Fania Records fices and his Manhattan home, among other locations.

 The revealing film includes performances “Pedro Navaja” and other well-known tracks, and Paul Simon, Sting and Calle 13’s Residente also make cameos. 

No Me Llamo Rubén Blades will also have a theatrical run in in Latin America, premiering on Aug. 30.

Watch the trailer for Yo no me llamo Rubén Blades from Apertura Films below.