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February 2013 Newsletter

A Message From Stephanie Martino

Hello Everyone!

Well it has definitely been a very intense and fabulous few months for FFI. Our CINEMA program was produced in three schools last semester and currently we are working with an additional three schools this semester. Three of the projects have already been filmed and we look forward to filming our next three short films within the next couple of months. In addition to our busy schedule within the schools and coordinating some upcoming film programs, there have been some exciting changes within The Florida Film Institute. We have a beautiful new website and FFI has added some more social networking sites to our organization! And while we have said goodbye to a long term& loyal employee, we have also welcomed in amazing new talent to our crew! Please see below for all of the details!

But first, I need to give a big shout and sincere thank you to Dean Roman, our website designer and webmaster! He is extremely wonderful and easy to work with and I am beyond pleased with what he created for us. Based in Manhattan, Dean Roman ( has been designing and coding sites with integrated Social Media connectivity for the past 15 years. His diverse background as a Fine Artist, Professor of Design, eLearning Course Developer, Gallery Director, and Pastry Chef allows him to identify with a diverse clientele and provide solutions which focus on the essential aspects of each business, product or personality within a minimal design aesthetic which serves to clarify content and sustain viewer interest. If you are interested in contacting Dean about designing a website for your or your company, he can be reached at or visit

We are extremely proud of all of the students and cannot wait to show everyone the six films that have been created through our award winning CINEMA program! Stay tuned for our annual June screening info!

Thanks for your support and please check out or new website at and tell us what you think!

Stephanie Martino
President & Executive Director
Florida Film Institute



South Dade Senior High School, teacher Patrick Sicher

Fitting in during high school is tough. Every day is a battle for social survival and anything that makes you different can keep you on the outside looking in. Like most kids his age, Kyle is just trying to find his place in the world. He wants to make friends, maybe even meet a girl, and bring people into his world. But he is different. He lives in a world of Silence.

Miami Beach Senior High School, teacher Elizabeth Pierce

Calvin Dooley, a high school student, has become a target for Troy Cannon. After getting picked and bullied, a janitor takes a stand and helps Calvin boost his confidence. Troy’s girlfriend, Lucy Stuart is a long-time friend of Calvin. As the Winter Talent Show approaches, Calvin tries to get in contact with her by signing up to play the guitar in the show.

North Miami Senior High School, teacher Gladezz McCoy

Blake and Oliver, (have been best friends since childhood). One day, Blake has an unpleasant surprise for Oliver; Oliver is now engulfed with anger, Oliver’s little sister gets involved now, and a search to find her brother is of the essence.


South Miami Senior High School, teacher Rudy Diaz
These CINEMA classes have finalized their script and are holding auditions next week! Their film shoot date is on March 9th!

Miami Central High School, teacher Cindy Phillips
This CINEMA class is currently working their pre-production tasks and getting ready to choose their film crew and cast. Their film shoot date is March 22nd!

Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of The Arts, teacher Dr. Devin Marsh
This CINEMA class just chose their film idea and the writing team is currently working on a first draft! Their film shoot date is May 4th!


We are sad to say goodbye to Ana Alba, our Data Tracker expert! Many years ago she was a CINEMA participant and while she was seeking her degree from UM she began working us as our film camp assistant and then became our data person. She graduated from college last year and she finally found her full time dream job and we couldn’t be more happy and proud of her! Ana, we wish you the very best in your future endeavors! Good luck and stay in touch! Here is a personal message written by Ana that she would like us to share with all of you:

Although it is a shame to have to part ways from the Florida Film Institute after so many years, being part of this team has truly been a privilege. FFI provides real, hands-on experience to students who have a passion for film and the arts; students who are trying to find a way to follow their dreams, much like when I participated in the program myself. Being a part of this team didn’t only allow me to share my passion for film; it also shaped me as a professional, prepared me, and motivated me to follow a career in the entertainment industry. I wish the best to all the beautiful people who share their knowledge of the arts with so many students year after year. And I also thank them for being a huge part of my development as a motivated professional, a passionate adult, and an avid film lover.

~ Ana Alba

We would like to welcome Yalexis Gonzalez to the FFI family. She will be our new Program Assistant and we are thrilled to have her as part of our crew! Yalexis is happily married and a proud mother of two beautiful daughters. She received her college degree in Business Administration. In addition to working with FFI, Yalexis also works as a paralegal / legal assistant for an attorney’s office. She loves to dance and is a woman who takes a stand to defend anything that is true!

Meagan’s back from maternity leave and is very happy to be back working with the FFI crew and the CINEMA students. Her second daughter, Brooklyn Rose Lewis was born on November 14th, 2012! Her family is now complete with two cool kids, a friendly dog and a wonderful husband!


News from the FLIFF, I SELL CHOCOLATES, THE PURR and THE VAULT has won the 2012 Award of Merit in the student film competition!!

“THE PURR” – this film (created by last year’s students from our CINERAMA Saturday program) received The Sierra Film Award at the 2012 Yosemite Film Festival!


FFI is excited to announce a summer partnership with the Coral Gables Cinemateque (CGC). CINEMA, a film education summer camp will be held at the CGC’s Coral Gables Art Cinema, located at 260 Aragon Avenue in Coral Gables, Dates and times TBA.


FFI is always seeking financial and in-kind support. In the event that you would like to donate dollars (or maybe just some sense!) please click HERE or contact the FFI office directly and speak with Stephanie.


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County, Miami Dade College North Campus, School of Entertainment & Design Technology (SEDT), Garnet Productions, Coral Gables Art Cinema, VideoLab Solutions, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

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