Iván Acosta was born in the neighborhood of Los Hoyos in the city of Santiago de Cuba. He escaped the island by boat in August 1961 with his parents and sister and has lived in New York City ever since. He studied film direction at New York University and social studies at The New School. His theater piece El súper has won over twenty prizes in the international arena. Acosta is the founder of the Cuban Cultural Center of New York.