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March 2024 Newsletter

A MESSAGE FROM STEPHANIE MARTINO

Hello Everyone!

I hope this newsletter finds each of you enjoying the recent beautiful weather and remaining healthy and happy in the new year! The holidays came and went rather quickly and now it is already mid March! Some of you may currently be on a Spring Break vacation while others are gearing up for theirs! And – before we know it the school year will be over and summertime schedules and routines will arrive with much anticipation. The element of “time” is truly fascinating and I personally am trying to make each moment in time memorable and important – personally and professionally! With that being said, my staff and I have embraced the time we have had working with all of the exceptional CINEMA students this school year. It almost feels like just yesterday we launched our program (which was in late August!) and began creating and collaborating as a solid unit. Now the 2023-2024 academic calendar will be ending in a mere 10ish weeks (first week of June)!

Currently, our students have completed their Haiku Poem Videos and are almost done filming/editing their Narrative Short Films. The Micro Films are the last projects on the CINEMA agenda and those will be completed by early May . It has been a very demanding schedule for many of the students but the final version of each project has been impressive so far. Hard work has been put in since day 1 — and we are so grateful that all of the participants have had tons of fun while learning during the whole creative process!

The art and craft of filmmaking is exciting but can also be quite challenging – and FFI, as a team, has overcome the obstacles together. We had to pivot early in the school year and unexpectedly change one of our 3 CINEMA sites. We said goodbye to one school and hello to a new one with very short notice. However, the quick transition was remarkably smooth and I am extremely thankful for everyone’s understanding and patience during that time frame.

FFI projects that were produced last school year and also during the ’23 summer film camp program have been doing exceptionally well on the film fest circuit, see below for detailed info. Our annual CINEMA screening & awards show is coming up and we are also planning for the 2024 summer film camp– all of this and much more is included in this newsletter!

From pre-production development to post-production editing the CINEMA students have proven themselves to be the best young filmmakers in Miami-Dade County! I wholeheartedly thank all of you for your endless and loyal support to the arts – especially for FFI’s award-winning organization!

2023 – 2024 After School CINEMA Program Update

2nd SEMESTER – Students from the 3 CINEMA sites (John A. Ferguson SHS, Miami Northwestern SHS and Turner Tech Arts SHS) returned from the holiday break in January and were very busy working on multiple creative/technical platforms. After completing the projects that were created earlier in the school year (Haiku Poem Videos) the students launched into full production mode for their Narrative Short Films which were recently filmed and are now being edited. The Micro Films are the next and final projects being produced for the CINEMA program this school year. Once all of the projects are completed they will be sent to the judging panel of industry pros from around the country! Winners will be announced at the red carpet end of year screening/awards show in May – please join us if you can, more info below!

2023 – 2024 FFI/CINEMA SCREENING/AWARDS IN-PERSON EVENT @ MDC-N CAMPUS ON 5/22/24 @ 10AM

2023 - 2024 FFI/CINEMA Screening/Awards Show@ MDC-N Campus

Lights, Camera… Summer FFI TEEN FILM CAMP JUNE 17th – JULY 26th, 2024 @ CGAC!

Lights, Camera… Summer FFI TEEN FILM CAMP JUNE 17th - JULY 26th, 2024 @ CGAC!

2022 – 2023 MICROFILM WINNERS SELECTED VIA AUDIENCE CHOICE VOTING!

Film Fest News

Film Fest Updates

 

A plethora of the CINEMA projects from the past year and a half have been entered into film fests locally, statewide and nationwide – and many of these are in consideration of being screened across the planet. It is mind boggling just how much exposure the CINEMA students have received globally as a result of their work being honored in a multitude of festivals. Our student casts/crews go above and beyond each year and we could not be more proud of their amazing cinematic achievements. Listed below is a just a snapshot of the current film fest highlights. For all of the current news and constant updates for each film/festival please check out the FFI website.

FFI CINEMA History

Vegas Shorts
ARAGON VALLEY
Nominee

Tokyo Shorts
ARAGON VALLEY
KNEES
Semi-Finalists

Sacramento Independent Film Festival
ARAGON VALLEY
KNEES
Semi-Finalists

Niagara Falls International Short Film Festival
KNEES
Semi-Finalist

Rome World Cinema Fest
CABANA
Selected

Santa Monica International Filmmaker Awards
CABANA
Semi-Finalist

LA Sun Film Fest
ARAGON VALLEY
KNEES
Nominees

San Francisco Arthouse Short Festival
KNEES
Semi-Finalist

Stockholm Short Festival
KNEES
Semi-Finalist

Dubai Independent Film Festival
ARAGON VALLEY
Semi-Finalist

Brooklyn International Short Awards
KNEES
Semi-Finalist

Dallas Shorts
ARAGON VALLEY
Award Winner

San Diego International Film Awards
ARAGON VALLEY
Semi-Finalist

Palm Beach Shorts
CABANA
CANVAS
IMPUTATION
Semi-Finalists

Denver Movie Awards
ARAGON VALLEY
Semi-Finalist

Palermo International Film Festival
ARAGON VALLEY
KNEES
Semi-Finalists

Madrid Arthouse Film Festival
IMPUTATION
CANVAS
CABANA
Semi-Finalists

Washington Film Awards
KNEES
Award Winner

Berlin Shorts Award
ARAGON VALLEY
Semi-Finalist

Vienna Indie Short Film Festival
IMPUTATION
CABANA
Semi-Finalists

PlanetCinema
ACCEPTANCE
Semi-Finalist

San Jose Independent Film Festival
IMPUTATION
Semi-Finalist

Hollywood International Golden Age Festival
CABANA
ARAGON VALLEY

Semi-Finalists
IMPUTATION
Award Winner

Stockholm Short Festival
ARAGON VALLEY
Semi-Finalist

Rome World Cinema Fest
IMPUTATION
Nominee

Atlanta Movie Awards
IMPUTATION
Semi-Finalist

The Film Contest
CABANA
KNEES
Selected

Dubai Independent Film Festival
IMPUTATION
Semi-Finalist

Nashville Independent Filmmakers Festival
IMPUTATION
CANVAS
Semi-Finalists

New York Arthouse Film Fest
IMPUTATION
Nominee

Hollywood Discovery Awards
IMPUTATION
Nominee

Melbourne Independent Film Festival
CABANA
Semi-Finalist

Rio de Janeiro World Film Festival
IMPUTATION
CANVAS
Semi-Finalists

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT : Amber Perez, FFI-CINEMA Alum (John A. Ferguson SHS)

Amber Pérez

Amber Pérez

What FFI did for me…

I believe FFI is a great resource for South Florida, young, student filmmakers who want to delve deeper into the craft of filmmaking with a supportive team of fellow filmmakers and mentors. Like my time in FFI, cinema still remains as the artform that I believe can connect with people the most, broadening perspectives and providing nuance to bring us closer together. FFI/CINEMA opened my horizons on what the process of filmmaking can look like with a larger team, which was a formative step in my development as a filmmaker.

Current Update…

Amber Pérez is a Cuban-American producer that champions underrepresented artists. She has had work officially selected in festivals such as Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival, Miami Film Festival, NFFTY, and more. Pérez is a 2022 NALIP ECCII Scholar Recipient who has worked in the literary agency space, assisting with film and television projects that have been featured by A24, Hulu, the Department of Motion Pictures, and more. She was also part of the creation of the 2024 White Elephant Group Feature Film Lab, a feature film development lab where emerging talent are trained to pitch their projects directly to industry professionals. Witnessing the growth of up-and-coming artists led her to co-found Abo, a film collective dedicated to nurturing southern, independent, marginalized voices to tell their stories how they want and where they want.

INSTAGRAM + FACEBOOK

Follow FFI on our INSTAGRAM + FACEBOOK pages to check out some awesome behind the scenes production pics:

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DONATIONS TO OUR ORGANIZATION

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.

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Sponsored By

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts, 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, 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) and Coral Gables Art Cinema.

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