October 2015 Newsletter
A MESSAGE FROM STEPHANIE MARTINO
I hope all of you had a wonderful Summer and that you are starting to enjoy the beginning of the Fall season. The past few months have been extremely busy for my staff and I. Before the school year ended in early June, FFI produced the annual CINEMA screenings/awards event on May 13th, 2015 at Miami Dade College, North Campus, in collaboration with The School of Entertainment and Design Technology. It was a huge success and all of the students and teachers enjoyed seeing the films in the state of the art motion picture screening room. In addition to the screenings, all attendees were given a tour of the studio facilities. It truly was a special event for everyone involved in this year’s short film productions! You can see the complete list of CINEMA winners below.
I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished so far this year, and now we are entering into yet another exciting phase of production with our restructured programming. A few weeks ago FFI began the 2015-2016 school years with a brand new after school CINEMA program which takes places in three separate Miami-Dade County sites. Please read all about it in this newsletter!
As always, thanks for supporting FFI and our award winning programs. And please stay tuned for our weekly updates and news in the coming months!
STUDENT FILM AWARDS 2014-2015
And the Winners are!
Best Film – MATCH.KOM (MBSHS)
Best Director – DIMITRYUS GRAZIANA (APMAYS), A PART OF HER STORY
Best Sound – MATCH.KOM (MBSHS) and A PART OF HER STORY (APMAYS)
Best Lighting – THE OUTCAST (WHSHS), A PART OF HER STORY (APMAYS), CURIOSITY AT BEST (HMLSHS)
Best Cinematography – UNDERGROUND ARTIST (JFSHS) and SIMPLE STEPS (SMSHS)
Best Editing – UNDERGROUND ARTIST (JFSHS), SIMPLE STEPS (SMSHS), A PART OF HER STORY (APMAYS)
Best Screenplay – UNDERGROUND ARTIST (JFSHS), MATCH.KOM (MBSHS)
Best Lead Female Actor- MADISON DECK (MBSHS), STEPHANIE BAKER (JFSHS)
Best Lead Male Actor – SANTIAGO PAEZ (MBSHS), MILTON MENDEZ (JFSHS)
Movie Poster Design
1st Place – MATCH.KOM (MBSHS)
2nd Place – THE OUTCAST (WHSHS)
3rd Place – UNDERGROUND ARTIST (JFSHS)
CONGRATS TO ALL OF THE FILMMAKERS!!!
SUMMER FILM CAMP UPDATE
In the middle of June the six week annual summer film camp program began at The Coral Gables Art Cinema! The students that were chosen to be a part of the camp were absolutely wonderful to meet, teach and learn from. My staff and I are always excited to work with such focused and creative students that are dedicated to experience the adventures within the journey of filmmaking. This year’s group filmed their project, COUNTDOWN, at the end of July @ Miami Dade College, North Campus (SEDT). I would like to personally congratulate our cast and crew on another successful summer camp. Everyone enjoyed the premiere of COUNTDOWN on September 26th at 10am @ CGAC in Coral Gables!
The official trailer for the Florida Film Institute’s Summer Camp film COUNTDOWN!!!
After School CINEMA Program
The Florida Film Institute has been awarded a grant by the Children’s Trust to produce an after school filmmaking program. This program is solely designed to help at risk high school students, with a focus on those children that have learning disabilities and/or behavioral issues. FFI is providing a creative and educational outlet for students that need to focus on their potential and also help them plan for their future careers. In addition, the vision of this program is to provide a fun, captivating and necessary environment that allows students be involved in something that will encourage them to follow a positive path in life. The program runs for a full school calendar year (Sept – June), and the program meets 2 days per week after school. Throughout the duration of this program students will receive the following:
- homework assistance for 2 hours a week
- 4 hours of learning film studies
- critical thinking
- team work, writing, and technical skills
- planning for production deadlines
After School CINEMA Program Sites Selected for 2015 – 2016:
Miami Beach Senior High School
Booker T. Washington Senior High School
Joe C. Celestin Center
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS
MAD WORLD, a short film FFI produced with students from CRSHS was selected to be screened at Arlington International Film Festival, check out www.aiffest.org.
MATCH.KOM, the short film produced at MBSHS last year through FFI’s CINEMA program has been selected to be screened at the Miami short Film Festival, www.miamishortfilmfestival.com.
UNDERGROUND ARTIST, a short film produced by JFHSHS has been selected to screen at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, www.kidsfirst.org.
Congrats to all of the filmmakers!
Brian is a rising sophomore at the University of Florida. He is currently majoring in Telecommunication Production in the College of Journalism and Communications. He plans to graduate in May of 2018. While he’s in college, Brian also works with Tangible Productions, a UF-based video production group. For greater experience in the entertainment industry, Brian just completed a summer internship at 2C Media, a Miami-based television production company, where he became well-versed in Avid editing software. His love for and knowledge of cinema brought him to the Florida Film Institute three years ago, where he learned the various aspects of making a movie, including lighting, sound design, and camerawork. Through FFI, Brian had the experience of actually helping make a short film, along with others who shared his passion for filmmaking.
FFI’s NEW STAFF MEMBERS
Alexandra O’Neale, Assistant Site Coordinator
A South Florida native, Alexandra is a graduate from The New School University with a degree in Culture and Media with a Digital Media focus. While earning her degree in New York City, she gained experience within different fields of media. As a Corporate Public Relations Intern at Nickelodeon, Inc. she worked events such as their annual upfronts and press events promoting various shows such as Avatar, The Last Airbender and Spongebob Squarepants. Alexandra developed her love of television and working behind the scenes as a Production Intern at the Emmy awarded show, The Colbert Report. Post graduation, she continued to work in the comedy scene while studying improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York City before moving back to Miami, Florida.
Jeff Soldinger, Assistant Site Coordinator
Jeff’s production career started working on print shoots while still in high school. After graduating from the University of Miami with a triple major in Scriptwriting/Literature/Creative Writing, Jeff spent several years working on music videos, commercials, and feature films. Today Jeff works almost exclusively in non-scripted formats, helping to both develop and produce projects across a variety of platforms. Jeff has produced shows for networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, TNT, & VH1 to name a few. Jeff is extremely excited about joining the Florida Film Institute as it allows him to combine two of his greatest passions: storytelling and working with young people.
Chichi Pierce, Assistant Site Coordinator
Chichi Pierce is the TV/Film Production instructor at Miami Beach Senior High. She comes directly from the industry as a producer in New York. She worked in small production companies producing for Nickelodeon, HBO, Lifetime, Court TV, National Geographic, A&E and more. She started out in animation and moved into mixed media; working in mediums such as commercials, IDs, children’s series and informationals. She then got very involved in real stories, producing Nick News for Linda Ellerbee. That grew into a love for documentaries. As a graphic designer and painter she was the creator of 3d&i, the webby award winning website in 2001. Chichi’s production classes mimic that of a production company. She has been teaching for ten years and creates a hands-on teaching environment where students learn the ins & outs of production.
Claudio Marcotulli, Director & Producer – Instructor
Venezuelan-born, Claudio received his B.F.A. in Communications from Emerson College in Boston and his M.F.A in Film Production from the Miami International University of Art and Design. Parallel to his freelance work as producer and director of feature and independent films, he worked with Venevisión Continental, producing and directing broadcast content. Claudio has over 12 years of experience as aerial cinematographer and filmmaker, building and flying his own radio-controlled (RC) helicopters. He likes integrating aerial footage into his commercial video productions, which include real state, music business and marketing clients. He taught Film Production and other courses at Miami Dade College for five years. Claudio has also collaborated with Miami-based choreographer Pioneer Winter, spoken word artist Oscar Fuentes and theater director Jose Manuel Dominguez, mixing film with other genres. Biscayne Blues, Claudio’s most recent short film, combines aerial and underwater cinematography.
Thank you for your continued support!
I want to send a special thanks to the wonderful organizations that provide us with the funding we need to operate, they are the real heart of our Institute. With their help we are able to create an increased educational awareness in hundreds of students a year, many of whom would never get the kind of life altering experience that our programs bring to them.
The Children’s Trust
Miami Dade College
Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
Coral Gables Art Cinema
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
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.