Miami-Dade County

Miami’s Borscht Corp. returns to Sundance with new films

The horror film ‘Boniato,’ directed by Andres Meza-Valdes, Diego Meza-Valdes and Eric Mainade
The horror film ‘Boniato,’ directed by Andres Meza-Valdes, Diego Meza-Valdes and Eric Mainade BORSCHT CORP.

For the sixth year in a row, the Miami-based collaborative Borscht Corp. will be representing South Florida at the Sundance Film Festival.

Four short films and one feature-length movie, produced or directed by members of Borscht, will screen in Park City, Utah, during the Jan. 21-31 festival, the most prestigious showcase for independent film in North America.

The short films are:

Boniato, a horror film about an illegal migrant worker who encounters diabolical evil after she tries to find a better job, directed by Andres Meza-Valdes, Diego Meza-Valdes and Eric Mainade.

Swimming in Your Skin Again, a film about motherhood, banality, Miami, the water, the divine feminine and how to sing in church in a way that calls forth your own adulthood, directed by Borscht Guest Filmmaker Terence Nance.

Glove, the tale of the intergalactic journey of an astronaut’s stray glove, directed by Bernardo Britto and Alexa Haas.

Dolfun, the story of a man who fulfills his lifelong dream of swimming with dolphins and is plunged into an existential crisis, directed by Sebastian Silva.

Also screening at Sundance will be Bernardo Britto’s independently-financed feature-length film Jacqueline, shot partly in Miami, about a French woman who seeks political asylum in Argentina.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a supporter of Borscht, will provide a stipend to the Miami filmmakers to help them attend the festival.

“When I started Borscht with some friends, I never dreamt that a few years later this small project would have sent shorts to Sundance for six years in a row,” said Lucas Leyva, a Borscht Corp. founder and filmmaker. “I feel grateful for the support from the community — from the initial inspiration and help making the films, to showing up by the thousands when the rough cuts are screened at the Borscht Film Festival. It’s truly a collaborative effort, and none of this happens without the love from Miami.”

Diego Meza-Valdes, an inveterate horror film fan who co-directed Boniato, said getting accepted into Sundance is a sign of validation.

“We’ve never been to Sundance, nor did we ever think we would get in with a horror movie,” he said. “This is the first time they are screening a program of short films at midnight, so this was the perfect year for us to get in. This is something my brother and I have wanted for the last 10 years. We have always had success in smaller, genre film festivals, but we had always wanted to break through to something more mainstream, because the horror genre doesn’t always get the same respect as other genres. Sundance legitimizes what we do and it’s a great win for us and for horror films.”

For the complete lineup of movies being shown at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, visit www.sundance.org

Rene Rodriguez: 305-376-3611, @ReneMiamiHerald

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