Tony Lesesne loves living and working in South Florida, but the idea of moving his multimedia entertainment company to another city is always on his mind.
“As far as a place to live, I think Miami’s as good as any place in the world,” said Lesesne, co-founder and chief creative officer of Lesesne Media Group Entertainment in Miami. But infrastructure supporting the film industry and companies that specialize in creative content are missing, he said.
In Los Angeles, for example, organizations, charitable groups, industry associations, unions and universities regularly hold networking events or lectures.
As part of his quest to help Miami become a better home for companies like the one he started with his wife some 20 years ago — and which also now employes his 20-year-old son, Cameron — Lesesne is co-producing the Miami Urban Music & Film Festival from Sept. 25-27 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.
“One of the things we’re trying to do with this upcoming event is to find ways to stimulate the entertainment economy the way Seattle and Austin have,” he said.
By email, Lesesne talked about the company he runs with his wife and business partner Woodie Lesesne, the benefits and drawbacks of staying in Miami and the potential pitfalls of working with family.
I hope we can help get that started. If the cruise lines, hotel powerhouses and international businesses see local talent with the potential to grow, they can invest and mentor that firm, which can in turn do the same for newcomers. Women and blacks cannot be left out of the process because it leaves too much great talent and innovation on the table. This will never be L.A. or New York and that’s fine with me. But this region can be much more relevant in the industry. It starts with talent that is supported by the powers that be. Look at the art industry since Art Basel came here. So we don’t complain, we just try to find solutions.