“akin to Sundance on psychotropic mushrooms” – Miami New Times

“the hippest, most eclectic and electric movie festival in South Florida” – Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

The Borscht Film Festival is a quasi-yearly event held at iconic Miami venues that commissions, produces, and showcases films created by emerging regional filmmakers telling Miami stories that go beyond the city’s insipid exterior, forging the cinematic identity of the city. This year we will premiere 16 short films we commissioned at BORSCHT 8, taking place Saturday, December 15th at the Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

There will be other events that weekend, including a fiction film festival in the multiverse starring Miami Heat Power Forward Christopher Bosh, a petting Zoo, a screening of giant asexual invertebrates at an outdoor park, and the first ever regional film summit.

Borscht is a collective of filmmakers based out of Miami, telling local stories for a global audience using nontraditional, micobudget means of production. With the democratization of production means, more and more quality movies are being made in this fashion, most notable is Beasts of the Southern Wild, the first feature created by New Orleans outfit Court 13 which has brought the regional filmmaking conversation into the mainstream spotlight.

Every year there are more groups of filmmakers eschewing the traditional route of creating content in Los Angeles to create idiosyncratic works in equally unique locations, and every year more of these filmmakers are able to share their work with the world via the internet, regardless of geography. Ironically, while physical location of production has become almost irrelevant, the immediate community in these cities has become paramount.

Aside from chance meetings at the major film festivals, most of these collectives or groups are isolated from one another. This regional film summit is an experiment. It is an informal gathering of regional film groups- as organized or unorganized as they are. We have no idea what the outcome will actually be, but the concept of creating a web of interconnected groups is an electric one that has potential to generate collaboration and creation.

For this first year, each region will be given 60-90 minutes to present work indicative of the ethos, interests, and methods of production from these communities. Each region is also asked to create an interactive element that goes beyond the typical “Q and A” sessions. For instance, Amy Seimetz (representing Florida) will screen her feature “Sun Don’t Shine” under a state of hypnosis where she will believe she is seeing it for the first time. She will then present a review.

While Borscht in Miami is the inaugural host, there is hope that there will be future summits in other communities. The regions represented this year are:

New Orleans
East Oregon

Miami (Host)

We encourage everyone to attend these intimate, fun screenings of work that are rarely seen and become part of this experiment/conversation. Let’s see what happens!

Borscht is proud to be supported by a Arts Challenge Grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to continue “forging the cinematic identity of Miami both locally and globally,” in its mission to “redefine Miami in cinema and vice-versa.”