The potential of film collectives to transform indie film is tremendous, says Josh Penn, one of the producers of Beasts. We were only able to do what we did on our movie because of the close-knit nature of our team. The shared vision, goals and the underlying trust combined with the determination to take on something huge and ambitious together allowed us to accomplish something that otherwise would have been impossible. I hope other collectives have the opportunity to make movies this way. There are great stories to be told by groups of people in towns large and small outside the traditional filmmaking hubs.
For this inaugural summit, filmmakers from places ranging from Johannesburg to Missouri to Havana will be making presentations at Borscht of their films and talking about their distinct experiences.
And even though the film hasnt screened in Miami yet, #PostModem has already been accepted to the 2013 Sundance International Film Festival.
This will be my second time going there with a movie I had a hand in writing and directing, Leyva says. It feels really cool because with Uncle Luke, there was always this lingering suspicion that people really only liked our movie because Luther Campbell was in it. This time, theres no doubt.
Borschts growing profile within the industry and public audiences can only help Miamis filmmaking scene, which continues to sprout young talent familiar with South Florida and eager to capture its idiosyncrasies.
The success of Borscht is just another piece of evidence of Miami coming into its own as a cultural center, says Michael Spring, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. We have to generate work by Miami artists about Miami, and Borscht has taken on this commitment head-on. Its an incredible thing to have a festival that celebrates movies that are made here.
Even though the Borscht Film Festival is held roughly every 18 months, the events fallout is felt year-round. Rodriguez, for example, has parlayed his Borscht experience to land a full-time job working as personal assistant to one of the producers of the Starz TV series Magic City. Although the corporation only has four full-time employees (accountants, bookkeepers), members of the collective are using their experience to further their careers in between festivals.
And Leyva says things are about to get kicked up a notch. After this years event, the plan is to develop feature-length films instead of just shorts.
I think weve gotten enough experience that were ready for it, he says. Hopefully were proving that you can make movies in Miami, and the world will hear you.