Friends and Neighbors

UM film students to showcase their award-winning projects

 
 
The team of the documentary  <span class="italic">Romana </span>celebrates the win at the recent ’Canes Film Festival at the University of Miami. The young filmmakers will now travel to the Los Angeles Showcase at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California. From left to right are Luis Galvis, Camilo Rodriguez and Barrett Dennison.
The team of the documentary Romana celebrates the win at the recent ’Canes Film Festival at the University of Miami. The young filmmakers will now travel to the Los Angeles Showcase at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California. From left to right are Luis Galvis, Camilo Rodriguez and Barrett Dennison.

Special to the Miami Herald

‘The strength of the film is that it promotes positive social change,” said Elizabeth Youman, a member of one of the eight winning film-making teams to be featured at the upcoming 17th annual University of Miami ’Canes Film Showcase.

Youman wrote and edited the film Emory, which was inspired by the life of the late Overtown artist Purvis Young. Director Ashish Yamdagni and producers Tyler Angellic and Hyser Johnson created the short movie about a young graffiti artist from Miami’s Overtown struggling to begin an art career amid inner-city violence.

“The community really got involved and was so happy to see such a project come to fruition in their neighborhood,” Youman said.

At the 2014 ’Canes Film Showcase on Thursday, the students will have the opportunity to meet and network with alumni and friends of the university’s film program.

“This is a unique event that allows students to hobnob with the best and brightest in the entertainment and film industry,” said Ed Talavera, chair of the department of Cinema and Interactive Media. “It is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them.”

As part of the film program’s curriculum, students can spend a week honing their craft in Guatemala and Greece. Many of the films show South Florida’s cultural and ethnic diversity.

The eight winning films, shorts and documentaries — Emory, Tourist, Romana, For Better or for Worse, Lost in the Aegean, Posthumous, El Empantanado and the TV script PT Pilot — will go on to the Los Angeles Showcase at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California.

“I am excited and nervous about the Showcase,” said Chinese-born Zilong Liu, a first-year graduate student who directed Tourist, a police thriller set in the Everglades . He hopes Tourist will lead him to an internship in the film industry.

Colombian-born Luis Galvis was drawn to study film at an early age through his uncle. When his documentary, Romana, is shown during the Showcase, his uncle, Carlos Diaz, will be in the audience.

Galvis and his team filmed during the week that UM film students spend in Guatemala. The story is that of “a poor Guatemalan mother who does not allow the challenges of poverty to affect her family.” Illiterate and raising seven children, she learns to read alongside her daughters when they go to a new school. You can view Romana at vimeo.com/92343297.

CONGRATULATIONS

Marty L. Steinberg, an attorney with Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, was honored recently with the Judge Learned Hand Award in recognition of his lifetime achievement and “dedication to individual rights and democratic values.” The award, presented by the American Jewish Committee, is considered one of the highest honors in the legal profession.

Steinberg, a partner and litigation co-chair with the law firm, was honored at a gala dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. A trial attorney in practice for more than 40 years, Steinberg joined Bilzin Sumberg in 2012 after serving as U.S. Senate chief counsel and chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Office in New York.

Steinberg is also a dedicated philanthropist. His Symmetry Foundation established the Coral Rock Academy, which is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment for students in grades 4 through 12 who have neurological and socialization disorders.

“I am honored and delighted to celebrate Marty’s achievements and the mark he has left on his community,” said Al Dotson, Bilzin Sumberg partner and Government Relations & Land Development Practice Group leader, in a release. “He truly sets an example for his colleagues and embodies the core values immortalized by Judge Learned Hand: individualism and respect for democratic values.”

The American Jewish Committee established the annual award in 1964 in memory of the distinguished Judge Learned Hand to “recognize leaders in the legal profession for excellence and contributions in the practice of law.”

ORCHID SALES HELP KIDS

Be sure to visit OrchidMania South Florida’s 16th annual orchid sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24-25 at Dante Fascell Park, 8600 SW 57th Ave., South Miami. The event raises money for Project Cradle, the Pediatric AIDS program run by Dr. Gwendolyn Scott at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Tents and tables will be filled with orchids of all varieties for “the beginner, serious collector and everyone in between who just loves these fascinating plants,” said Marianne Swan, a volunteer with OrchidMania South Florida.

The group is an all-volunteer organization of orchid enthusiasts. Members meet throughout the year on Sundays at the OrchidMania greenhouse to care for orchids that have been donated by commercial growers and hobbyists. They can provide expert information and tips for growing orchids. New volunteers are welcome. For more information, visit www.orchidmania.org or call 786-408-3897.

Send news and photos to ChristinaMayo05@aol.com . Please email items at least three weeks in advance of an event.

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