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October 2022 Newsletter

A MESSAGE FROM STEPHANIE MARTINO

Greetings and wishing all of you a pleasant Fall so far!

My sincere wish is that this new season brings abundance and health to all of FFI’s friends, family, fans, students and staff. The last 2 ½ years have been quite a roller coaster to say the least, but I truly hope that the worst of the pandemic is in the rear view mirror. It is vital to focus on the present & future with so many wonderful things to look forward to! With that being said, I am so grateful to lead an organization that is still afloat and growing as each new school year arises.

Amazingly, FFI has been able to continue producing award-winning programming in the classroom with our fantastic crew for over 30 years!

The 2022 summer film camp program was an unbelievable success, producing two films! Currently, FFI is deep in production with the after-school CINEMA program projects. With countless staff meetings and imperative feedback from students, the schedules and class content has been refreshed, and we are implementing updated/online filmmaking platforms with each semester.

The FFI crew have all been excited and eager to experiment with the latest and greatest film production options and state-of-the-art technology. With only two months of classes in session so far, our students are vastly learning and exploring within the technical and creative worlds of real filmmaking.

Please read below for all the news and updates that FFI has to share… and thanks so much for your continued support!

2022 – 2023 After School CINEMA Program Update

The 3 CINEMA chosen sites for the 2022-2023 school year are Hialeah Gardens SHS, John A. Ferguson SHS and South Miami SHS. Madcaps and FFI are doing the absolute best to keep the classroom environment healthy, clean and safe. Currently, our students are learning about new filmmaking tools used for all types of productions. They just completed filming their Haiku films and are now entering the world of screenwriting. Students from each site will be filming their original TV commercials next month.

After the new year, all CINEMA participants will form teams and prepare for production on narrative short films. In addition, before the 2nd semester begins there is strong encouragement for interested students to join the after-school program as well the Dual Enrollment program (being offered in partnership with Miami Dade College, North Campus). Students who complete the program for one or both semesters will earn college credit for their participation. It’s an incredible opportunity for high school students who are interested in exploring filmmaking as a creative path into their future careers!

2022 Summer Film Camp Update

The summer film camp was held in person at the Coral Gables Art Cinema mid June to the end of July. There was an open registration to all teens – and this year we welcomed students from Chicago and NYC. It was an awesome group of students who produced/directed/edited two projects “ACCEPTANCE” and “Faille.” We anticipate these films doing very well on the festival circuits!

The premiere for the SFC films was held @CGAC on September 24, 2022, followed by an in depth Q & A with the student filmmakers. It was really fun to see everyone again and reminisce about their positive and uplifting experiences at film camp. We anticipate that many of the students who are not graduating from high school will join us again next summer for more adventures in filmmaking!

NEW STAFF MEMBERS

Rudy Diaz

Rudy Diaz

Rudy Diaz is a graduate from the University of Miami with a communication degree. Rudy was a Cameraman/Editor/Producer for Univision Ch. 23. He is a 3X Emmy award winner for Camera/Editing and Producing. He then went on to become a Miami Dade County Public School TV Production teacher, where he was selected as the 2018 Miami Dade County Teacher of the Year. In 2021, he was awarded the Key of the City of Miami. Rudy’s hobbies include game coding, computers, electronics and building along with spending time with his family and friends.

Eduardo Garcia-Rubio

Eduardo Garcia-Rubio

Eduardo is a 2-time Emmy award-winning Newscast Director who has worked with Univision, ESPN, and Telemundo. Ed is currently teaching Television Production Technology at Hialeah Gardens High school. He has more than 20 years in the industry and has done many different types of productions including music videos & award shows. His passion is preparing the next generation of creative students into film/tv industry professionals.

Film Fest Updates

Many of the projects from the past year and a half have been entered into film fests locally, statewide and nationwide – and some are in consideration of being screened on a global scale. We are extremely proud of our student casts/crews. Listed below are some of the current film fest highlights but please go directly to the FFI website for updates on our recent and past projects:

FFI CINEMA History

3 CINEMA narrative short films have been accepted and will be screened at the 21st Edition of the MIAMI short FILM FESTIVAL!

INTERNET
HONOR ROLL BOYS
REWIND THIRTY

MIAMIsFF will bring the 21st Edition of its annual festival, November 11-12-13, 2022. This year’s festival will present over 40+ cinematic shorts from local, national, and international filmmakers. It also features a film workshop, filmmaker Q&As, and the Official Awards Ceremony wrapping up the festival weekend.

For more info and complete fest schedule:
www.miamishortfilmfestival.com

This past June, Stephanie attended the Vero Beach Film Festival to represent the FFI student film ASTORIA.

This past June, Stephanie attended the Vero Beach Film Festival to represent the FFI student film ASTORIA.

Here are some of the recent updates we have received about our student’s narrative films – these include the Summer Film Camp projects as well as our Afterschool Program short film projects.

ASTORIA has also been selected by the following film festivals:

Munich Short Film Awards
Roma Shorts via FilmFreeway.com!
Arlington International Film Festival
Palm Springs Movie Awards

INTERNET, another FFI student short film, was selected as an award winner for the
Nashville Film Festival. This film was also selected by the Palm Springs Movie Awards.

These 5 films were Quarter-Finalists @ Rio de Janeiro World Film Festival!

GRANDPA’S GHOST
DAISY
ASTORIA
BREAKING ENTERTAINMENT
INTERNET

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT : Veronica Cedeno

Veronica Cedeno

Veronica Cedeno

IN HER OWN WORDS…

The insecurity and feeling of not knowing where in the world you fit in or who you are, that sort of comes with being a teenager, was a feeling that, at that age, I felt very deeply. But when it came to film, that sense of confusion seemed to vanish as I was the girl on screen telling a story and nothing else mattered. It became a hobby of mine to watch movies and study every single part of what I saw with complete fascination. I knew I loved movies & acting and knew I wanted to do the thing I felt most passionate about. However, at the time I had no idea what to do with this passion as my school had no drama program and I didnt have the financial means to take acting classes. Then one day my interest in the school morning announcements peaked when I heard about a class where I could learn about CINEMA. The Florida Film Institute taught me everything I needed to know about film, and they pushed me to explore areas of filmmaking I never thought about.

I knew I wanted to solely be an actress but suddenly I was learning about writing, being behind the camera and what it means to be a director. Everything I learned gave me an understanding and knowledge of the film world that I carry with me to this day. FFI’s way of giving kids an environment where they can learn but also be in control creatively while collaborating with other students is a priceless experience. This unbelievable program is recommended for teens like me who want to be educated about filmmaking while getting the opportunity to actually do it by producing, directing, editing, acting, etc. FFI made me feel comfortable enough to talk in class and engage in what we were learning, it made me feel like I had an important role in the project. It is so special what the Florida Film Institute does for students, and I was just lucky enough to be one of them.

Since graduating from high school over a year ago my focus and career path has not wandered for one a second. I currently live in Los Angeles where, like every amateur actor, I work towards becoming a working actor, no matter how painstaking the process of becoming one might be. I have a job to be able to pay for acting classes and was recently cast in a project that will be my first official jog- and thanks to FFI, I have a good idea of what that production process and set is going to look like.

Note from FFI: Veronica was the lead character in the film ASTORIA which has done exceptionally well on the film festival circuit. This sweet narrative short has gone on to win an incredible amount of awards and has been screened and recognized on a worldwide platform! We are so proud of her work and those of her fellow classmates – congrats to the cast & crew of ASTORIA! A full list of festival updates can be seen on our history page.

FFI CINEMA History

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 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), Coral Gables Art Cinema and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

FFI - 30 Years Of Inspiring Filmmakers

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