New “Family Commissions” program invested a total of $120,000 into local filmmakers to develop original new works
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 Miamifrom 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, “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 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