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August 2013 Newsletter


Hello Everyone!

Hope all of you have been having a great summer! FFI has been extremely busy since the school year ended in early June. We kicked off the summer season with our annual CINEMA screenings on June 15th at The Coral Gables Art Cinema. It was a huge success and all of the students and teachers enjoyed seeing the films on the big screen. Please see the complete list of winners below. But first let me bring you up to date about what we have been doing these past couple of months!

On June 17th at CGAC we started the first of six weeks of our annual summer film camp program! The students we worked with this year impressed and inspired us. My staff and I are always excited to work with such wonderful and creative students that are committed and focused to venture on a filmmaking journey. This year’s group, determined as a team, they wanted to write/produce/direct a film about a high school student who has Asperger’s Syndrome. “BEING DINO BOY” is an engaging short story that will entertain and educate everyone. This project was filmed at the end of July at School of Entertainment & Design Technology (SEDT) at Miami Dade College, North Campus and is currently being edited by the student editors. I would like to personally congratulate our cast and crew on a fantastic summer camp and everyone at FFI looks forward to premiering this film sometime in the late Fall!

FFI was so fortunate to be able to use the CGAC theatre again for our summer film camp. This is the perfect space for our program and I would like to thank Robert Rosenberg and his amazing staff at the theater for welcoming us!

Thanks for supporting FFI and our award winning programs. I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished so far this year, and there is so much more to come!

In just a few weeks, the 2013-2014 school years will begin and we will be entering 6 new schools in the MDCPS system to produce our Award winning CINEMA program. Stay tuned for more info about the schools and their films!

WINNERS from 2012-2013 CINEMA Programs

Best Film







FFI will be moving our end of the year annual screening to the School of Entertainment & Design Technology (SEDT) at Miami Dade College, North Campus. In May 2014, FFI’s students will be picked up from their schools and taken to the North Campus for a red carpet premiere of their short film! This is a huge opportunity for our six CINEMA schools to show their work in an educational setting and at a professional venue such as SEDT’s Motion Picture Screening Room, equipped with high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound. In addition to the screening, the students will be given lunch and a private tour of SEDT’s production facilities!

“We are delighted to welcome these aspiring filmmakers to the North Campus to screen their final productions before a live audience” said Dr. José A. Vicente, President of the North Campus. “This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the students to our state-of-the-art facilities and make them aware of the academic film and television production programs the College offers” he added.

“The School of Entertainment & Design Technology and FFI working together will afford these young filmmakers the very best training to nurture their talent. The opportunities for academic career instruction at MDC and future employment in the entertainment industry here in South Florida have never been better” commented Barry Gordon, Director of SEDT.


This summer FFI had the privilege of working with two of our amazing alumni! Max Cherry and Melanie Zardoya have both participated in our award winning CINEMA program and now they are using their creative experiences to mentor other young FFI filmmakers!

MAX CHERRY, our summer film camp volunteer, attended FFI’s CINERAMA Saturday’s program in 2009 -2010. Max was the head writer for the film, “Little Ceramic Shop of Horrors.” Currently, he is preparing for his first year at Emerson College where he will be majoring in film production.

MELANIE ZARDOYA, our summer film camp intern, attended FFI’s CINEMA program at Coral Gables HS in 2009-2010. Melanie was the director for the film, “The Clean Up.” This was the second summer Melanie has worked with us and she was a great asset to our program. Melanie will be finishing up her senior year at Florida State University. She would like to travel abroad after graduation and become a teacher before considering grad school for her Master’s degree.

We wish Max and Melanie the best of luck with their future endeavors and we thank them both for their devoted time and creative energy this summer during film camp!


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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