Borscht Diez Announced Project Commissions By Filmmakers from, Living in, Or Inspired by Miami
Photo Credit: Faren Humes
Festivals , Film

Borscht Diez Announced Project Commissions By Filmmakers from, Living in, Or Inspired by Miami

Faren Humes
Faren Humes

Last year Borscht Diez launched a free open call, asking for project ideas from artists from, living in, or inspired by Miami. After receiving over 300 entries that were carefully considered, the selected projects have been in development and production, with an eye towards premiering at the next Borscht Film Festival February 22-27.

Here are the 28 original projects that have been commissioned for Borscht Diez. It’s a diverse list that includes names you may already be familiar with, given that we’ve covered their previous work on this blog in the past, like Faren Humes whose “Magic Proxy” based on a true story of a murder of a Haitian Voodoo priest, is one of the selected:

— Love in the Time of Zika

Monica Peña

A pair of star-crossed Miami teens seal their fate at Santa’s Enchanted Forest.

— Great Choice

Robin Comisar

Woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.

— T

Keisha Rae Witherspoon

Set decades in the future, T follows three participants in the 50th Annual T Ball, in which community members of Liberty City assemble to model wildly innovative “R.I.P.” T-shirts designed to honor their deceased loved ones.

— Lance Lizardi

Xander Robin

Lance is on a quest to become the #1 lizard collector in South Florida.

— Magic Proxy

Faren Humes

The true story of the Miami killing of a Haitian Voodoo priest & how feminine prowess always prevails.

— Agua Viva

Alexa Lim Haas

A manicurist in Miami attempts to communicate her inner desires, feelings, and daydreams through a language she cannot speak.

— Escaped Exotics

Rachel Johnson

A series of ethnobotanical videos uncover the unseen histories latent in the alien anatomies of invasive non-native species embedded within the landscape of South Florida.

— Babymama Voicemail

King Coochie

In a claymation based off of an actual voicemail, a vengeful babymama defends her relationship with an unloyal babydaddy.

— My Trip To Miami

Dylan Redford

I’m going on vacation to Miami for a week and will document myself visiting all of TripAdvisor’s “315 Top Attractions in Miami.”

— The Sky is a Gap

Rachel Rossin

An interactive virtual reality experience that reveals time as a substrate. Inspired by the final scene of Zabriskie Point where the main character blows up a house with their mind, the installation uses the viewer’s tracking data outside the headset to control the pyroclastic explosion inside. The piece unravels and reassembles itself like a sneaky dance with the Big Bang.

— La Sirene

Monica Sorelle

A young, alluring Haitian-American goddess in rapidly gentrifying Little Haiti spends her time singing, swimming, dancing, praising, and plotting revenge while awaiting Miami’s impending environmental doom.

— Miami 2001

Nick Corirossi

Found footage from the tragic 2001 South Miami Senior High Homecoming. A sequel to “Miami 1996.”


Giancarlo Loffredo

A young songstress sings Selena covers in a local Honduran Karaoke bar.

— The People in the Aquifer

Devyn Waitt

A native Floridian returns home with her boyfriend to find a new housing development may be disrupting the original inhabitants of the land. When the earth opens up to reveal its poisons the couple will do anything to get out.

— Beer Jimmy

Yung Jake

Beer Jimmy goes to the Borscht Film Festival, but not without some trouble from his arch nemesis Whiskey Rich.

— Growing Girl

Marnie Ellen Hertzler

One woman’s story of vengeance and that aching feeling from all the things you wish you would have said. Music by Dan Deacon.

— Miedo De Monos

Michael Arcos

Filmmaker Michael Arcos adapts an audio recording of his father telling a story about when he was attacked by a monkey as a child in Ecuador.

— I Don’t Care If I Do, I Do

Eric Cade Schoenborn

A first person 3D Interactive storybook that tells the true story of a mad genius who disappeared into the wilds of Big Cypress Swamp after writing one of the most important American songs of the 20th Century.

— Sale el Sol

Caroline Castro

A documentation of the anticipation, exhilaration, fear, space, time, and experience of imminent tropical storms/hurricanes in an increasingly inundated Miami.

— One Dog Gone Summer

Julian Yuri Rodriguez

After losing his dog, a boy is determined to do anything it takes to make sure his doggy goes to heaven.

— First Lady of Miami Soul

Marlon Johnson, Dennis Scholl and Chad Tingle

For over forty years Helene Smith, the 1960s Queen of the Miami Sound has not been in a recording studio. But she is ready to make her first record in almost five decades, with DJ Spam producing and the legendary Willie Clarke on the board. One song, one take, one time.

— Wild Lines

Fereshteh Toosi

A documentary about a unique Miami resident.

— Fly Away

Antonio Alonso

An uncle and nephew lose control of a drone and make a ghastly discovery.

— There’s a monster behind the shower curtain.

Isabela Dos Santos

A hand-drawn animated short about a girl encountering the monster behind the shower curtain and discovering the comforts and frustrations of friendship, the intangible and other metaphysical woes.

— Foam Sweet Foam

Kelly Loudenberg

A video essay of the uncanny foam furniture used as designer training props by police and SWAT.

— Fangirl Mail

Ambar Navarro

An animated/live-action documentary explores an online fascination of who we follow and why we form these online friendships.

— Based Miami

Mo Twine

An experimental narrative film series that edits and re-contextualizes existing footage from the City of Miami’s filmography to craft alternative narratives and moments.

— You’re My Perfect Husband

Betsy Holt

A wife penetrates her husband with a strap-on for her birthday. A rom com.

These films received all or some of the following support:

-Financing for all or part of the project.

-Access to production offices.

-Access to in-kind gear rental and production insurance.

-Access to consultations from filmmakers in the Borscht Corp. network.

-Access to other potential sources of in-kind production support.

-Potential to screen at a Borscht Film Festival Event in February 2017.

-Future consideration for festival submission and marketing support.

— Goons

Edson Jean and Joshua Jean-Baptiste

A satire on the intellect and setbacks of the urban-hood mentality.

— Sacred Ground

Ty Flowers

A documentary following Seminole Indian Samuel Tommie’s legal battle against a corporation’s attempts to enact the closure of a secretive primate testing and breeding facility, on the grounds that they violate Tribal Law with respects to his rights as a Native American.

— Barre

Monica Sorelle

A mother and daughter experience a series of micro-agressions on the first day of ballet class.

— Sorry I’m Late

Verena Faden

An often tardy, young woman in Miami tries to make it on time to ring in the New Year.

— Visual Description

Lauren Smitelli

As a brother and sister describe what is happening in a movie to their blind grandmother, they begin to notice seeing things differently. Tensions escalate as deep-seeded issues come to the surface, and the gender disparity is put on full display.

Through the Coral Gables Cinematheque’s Miami Film Development Project, these productions will receive access to equipment, space, and other in-kind services.

Catch all these films at the next Borscht in February.

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