Entertainment

Borscht returning to Sundance in 2017 with two new works

‘Kaiju Bunraku,’ a domestic drama about a day in the life of a couple living in a world of giant monsters, was written and directed by Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer. The film will screen at the Sundance International Film Festival in January.
‘Kaiju Bunraku,’ a domestic drama about a day in the life of a couple living in a world of giant monsters, was written and directed by Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer. The film will screen at the Sundance International Film Festival in January.

For the seventh year in a row, the Borscht Corp. — the Miami collective of filmmakers, artists and musicians who present the biannual Borscht Film Festival — will be screening new works at the Sundance Film Festival.

Two Borscht productions will screen at the 2017 edition of Sundance, the largest independent film festival in the U.S., to be held Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah:

▪  “Kaiju Bunraku,” a drama about a day in the life of a married couple who live in a world of giant monsters, written and directed by Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer;

▪  “The Sky is a Gap,” a virtual reality installation by Rachel Rossin, uses a positionally-tracked headset to allow participants to experience a multi-dimensional pyroclastic explosion inspired by the climax of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film “Zabriskie Point.”

68 short films out of 9,000 entries were selected by Sundance programmers for inclusion in the 2017 festival.

Borscht Diez, the 10th edition of the Borscht Film Festival, will be held Feb. 22-26 at various locations in Miami, Hialeah, South Beach, Overtown and Biscayne Bay.

The Borscht Corp. was unofficially founded in 2004 by a group of students from various disciplines at the New World School of the Arts as a way to show each other their current work and form a network of creatives to work on each other’s projects.

The collective has received several grants from the Knight Foundation and produced a number of shorts that have won awards on the international film festival circuit, including “Papa Machete,” a documentary about the art of Haitian machete fencing; “Boniato,” a horror film about an illegal migrant worker fighting supernatural forces; and “Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke,” a loose reworking of Chris Marker’s classic time-travel fantasy “La Jetee” starring Luther Campbell.

Moonlight,” the acclaimed drama about a young man coming of age in Liberty City that’s been racking up critical praise, was born out of a collaboration between Borscht and writer-director Barry Jenkins, who was living in San Francisco when he was commissioned to return to his native Miami to make a short film, “Chlorophyl,” for the 2011 Borscht Film Festival. Through that experience, Jenkins met playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose original work “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” inspired the film.

“[Moonlight] would not exist — it would not have happened — if it wasn’t for [Borscht co-founders] Lucas and Andrew [Hevia],” Jenkins told the Herald in September. “They’ve got some interesting methods, but I give them credit. It was the culmination of this master plan they had to make me come home and make a feature in Miami.”

Rene Rodriguez: 305-376-3611, @ReneMiamiHerald

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