FRI 8/5Filmmakers produce a vast number of short films and videos each year, but opportunities to see them are rare. That's why the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) is presenting the seventh installment of "Optic Nerve," its annual festival of short videos and films by South Florida artists. Selected from an open call, the screening's twelve films are an eclectic mix of live action and animated works, both story-driven and experimental. Admission to tonight's 7:00 and 9:00 screenings is five dollars for adults, three dollars for seniors and students, and free for MOCA members. Call 305-893-6211 for reservations, or visit www.mocanomi.org. -- Emily Witt
SAT 8/6winged grimoire, diabolically seductive hair weaves, snarled twine frocks, undulating entrails, and possessed puppets on strings are among the symbol-rich elements brewing in the cauldron's mix at ArtCenter/South Florida's chilling summer show.
"Witch Hunt," featuring a coven of female artists including Rakel Bernie, Annysa Ng, Molly Smith, and Sandra Powers, seeks to cast some light upon the myth and folklore surrounding witchcraft and the grim hysteria of the "Burning Times." Curated by Melissa Diaz, the exhibit explores an ominous spell in Western culture marked by the killing of thousands of women as well as scores of men and children.
"I wanted the show to run the gamut of representations of evil and feminine power and to work with artists from diverse approaches to the subject matter," Diaz says. The magic is unveiled during tonight's 7:00 reception at 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-538-7887, or visit www.artcentersf.org. Carlos Suarez de Jesus
FRI 8/5Things are looking bright for local filmmaker Justin Routt. His short film Alternate Paths was well received at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. His company, Birch Creek Films, is now affiliated with DreamWorks, and he's planning exciting events with the Hollywood studio. Tonight Routt is presenting Film Festival in the Garden, an evening of independent movies screened in a lush indoor oasis where cineastes can enjoy five shorts. Expect edgy flicks such as Space Available, a bleak glimpse into an overpopulated future; and The Tao of Pong, a comedy about a former Ping-Pong prodigy that Routt describes as "a riot." The evening will end with a raffle, prizes for lucky audience members, and a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers. The fun begins at 8:00 at Opium Garden, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-531-5535, or visit www.bcfs.us. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik