Eight Miami filmmakers, who shared in a grant of $120,000 to produce original films using the theme of family will showcase their films on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Tower Theater Miami, 1508 SW 8th St, Miami.
The films are part of "Family Commissions," presented by Oolite Arts and MDC’s Miami Film Festival and co-funded by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation.
“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," said Nicolas Calzada, interim executive director of MDC’s Miami Film Festival and Tower Theater Miami, in a press release. "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,”
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 and CEO, in the same press release.
The eight filmmakers, who had up to six months to work on their respective films, will be at the screening. The filmmakers and their films. :
- 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, “Boy.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 Thursday, Aug. 25, and for more information, visit www.towertheatermiami.com.
Michelle F. Solomon is a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle.