Born in Havana in 1926, Massip studied philosophy and letters at the University of Havana and sociology in Harvard in the United States.
Founder of the Cuban Film Institute – ICAIC- and the Nuestro tiempo cultural society, he closely cooperated with Julio García Espinosa, Alfredo Guevara and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea "Titón" in the filming of the documentary El Mégano in 1955, considered the antecedent of Cuba's revolutionary cinema.
Massip has been described by critics as the director who has dealt most with the life of Cuban National Hero José Martí in films such as Páginas del diario de José Martí in 1971 and Los tiempos del joven Martí in 1960. Its best known works include the documentary Historia de un ballet (Suite Yoruba) and Madina Boe in 968.
Given in 2003 for the first time, the National Film Award has formerly been granted to Alfredo Guevara, Julio García Espinosa, Humberto Solás, Enrique Pineda Barnet, Fernando Pérez, Daysi Granados and Leo Brower.