New “Family Commissions” program invested a total of $120,000 into local filmmakers to develop original new works
MIAMI (August 9, 2022) – Using vastly different storylines, eight Miami filmmakers will showcase their own perspective on what “family” means during a free screening at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Tower Theater Miami from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, August 25. The films are part of “Family Commissions,” a program of eight short films presented by Oolite Arts and MDC’s Miami Film Festival. Co-funded by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, each filmmaker received a share of $120,000 to produce original works using the theme of family.
“Alongside our friends at Oolite Arts, we are thrilled to be supporting the work of these immensely talented local filmmakers and helping them take this next step in advancing their promising careers,” said Nicolas Calzada, interim executive director of MDC’s Miami Film Festival and Tower Theater Miami. “These films are both entertaining and impressive. We can’t encourage the community enough to come out and experience the unique stories that these emerging filmmakers have to share.”
The stories include two teenagers’ quest to find an ancient good luck charm in hopes of saving their family booths and a flea market from closure; a first-person account of a filmmaker’s quarter-life crisis brought on by his ever-changing family dynamics, and the escapades of a young man who will stop at nothing to recover a stolen family heirloom.
“Our talented community of indie filmmakers has done it again, turning a topic we all embrace – family – into an on-screen investigation of the human condition,” said Dennis Scholl, Oolite Arts’ president & CEO. “We’re delighted to support our local filmmakers by bringing their stories to the big screen in partnership with the Miami Film Festival and the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation.”
At the August 25 screening event, attendees will also have an opportunity to meet the eight filmmakers who had up to six months to work on their respective films. They are:
- Adrian Cardenas, “In an Orderly Fashion” – A Zen-seeking nurse refuses to comply with her husband’s unwavering wish after he’s diagnosed with a terminal illness. Cardenas, a former Major League Baseball player, turned the lens on his parents, their family home and home videos in the creation of his film.
- Javier Labrador, “Road Work Ahead” – After a hard day at work, Ernesto and Sebastián go out for a walk. The two are father and son, but haven’t lived together in a while. Everything goes as planned, until they get into an awkward conversation they have been avoiding. Both try to understand each other, but still, communication for the deaf son and his father is a long road.
- Chris Molina, “I Wonder If I’m Growing” – In this first-person documentary, Molina combines talking heads with his own archival footage to document a quarter-life crisis brought on by his ever-changing family dynamics as he sinks deeper into adulthood.
- Frantzy Moreau, “with.angel.wings” – A young man returns home for the holidays to be with the family he has left. After he gets robbed of a family heirloom, he will stop at nothing to recover it, even if it brings him to his demise.
- Michael J. Ruiz-Unger, “Save the Flea” – Teenagers Miguel and Rosa go on a first date, embarking on a search for a mysterious booth that holds an ancient good luck charm that can save the flea market – home to their family businesses – from permanent closure.
- Mariana Serrano, “Arroz, Leche y Powerball!” – A dysfunctional Hispanic family plays the Powerball in hopes to better their lives, but they learn the real prize lies within them.
- Randy Valdes, “Remedios” – After a brain transplant, Remedios struggles to redefine her identity in a male body. When she finds her former body standing in the attic, alive and healthy albeit vacant of mind, it thrusts her meddling family into chaos over what she should do with it.
- Rahe-wanitanama, “Arihuna ( Foreigner)” – This first-person documentary tells the story of an Indigenous woman who explores routine denial in the context of family and personal losses, while other certain forms of her original territories are devalued.
To RSVP to the FREE screening on August 25, visit https://www.towertheatermiami.com/event/mff-oolite-arts-family-commissions.
“Family Commissions” Works-in-Progress Screening
Eight short films by local filmmakers centered on the theme family
Presented by Oolite Arts and MDC’s Miami Film Festival
7-9 p.m. Thursday, August 25 at Tower Theater Miami
1508 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, the nonprofit is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. Coming in 2024—in time for the organization’s 40th anniversary—Oolite Arts will open a new campus in the City of Miami that will help build Miami’s next creative chapter. For more, visit oolitearts.org.
Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information, visit oolitearts.org. Follow @oolitearts on social media.
About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival
Miami Film Festival is an international film event that serves as a major film showcase for world cinema. Considered the preeminent film festival for highlighting Ibero-American cinema in the U.S, Miami Film Festival has become renowned for championing films made by the South Florida community, first-time feature filmmakers, and International Feature Film submissions to the Academy Awards. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry professionals. Since 1984, the Festival has screened over 2,500 films from more than 75 countries and given out more than $2 million in cash awards to filmmakers and distributors. Miami Film Festival is the oldest major festival housed in a university or college and also operates a year-round art cinema, Tower Theater Miami and Miami Film Festival GEMS in November. For more information, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).
Oolite Arts + Miami Film Festival Media Relations Contacts:
Andrea Salazar, Pinzur Communications | 954-756-0652 | andrea@PinzurPR.com
Rachel Pinzur, Pinzur Communications | 305-725-2875 | Rachel@PinzurPR.com