New York and Los Angeles may be where films are made, but Miami and South Florida are where films can be made. If you want to be where there is history and tradition, then you’re better off in New York or LA. But if you want to be where history is being made and the independent DIY spirit of filmmaking is encouraged, then look no further than the warm shores of South Florida.

The crown jewel of independent film production in Miami is the Borscht Film Festival and Borscht Corp. In December 2012, Borscht received a $500,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It was the second time it has received a grant from the Knight Foundation since 2010 when it received $150,000. The film festival has caught the eyes of the independent filmmaking world. Borscht continues to be a launch pad for local films with some moving on to the Sundance and SXSW film festivals.

Internationally, many students come to Miami to study all aspects of film production. The University of Miami, the Art Institute, and Miami Dade College offer undergraduate and graduate courses in film production. Miami Dade College organizes the celebrated Miami International Film Festival. But Miami also has more than 15 cultural film festivals and UM’s student showcase, the Canes Film Festival.

In Miami, you don’t have to wait for the film festivals to see some great foreign or independent films. The Tower Theatre, Miami Beach Cinematheque, Bill Cosford, O Cinema, Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale and the Coral Gables Art Cinema offer a great selection year-round. While landmark venues like the Gusman Theatre, Colony Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center showcase films for special events. There is no shortage of events for film lovers in Miami.

— Nancy Cermeno
Spring 2013

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