100 Creatives: Kareem Tabsch, Director Driving Miami's Indie Cinema Scene

In honor of our annual MasterMind Awards, which reward Miami's creative talent with citywide recognition and sweet, sweet cash, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature the 305's cultural superheroes. Want to be a MasterMind? Learn how to enter here, and get your tickets to Artopia March 2, where we'll announce the winners.

#77. Kareem Tabsch

Kareem Tabsch, alongside Vivian Marthell, launched O Cinema in 2011 and changed the film scene in Miami. Since then, O Cinema has expanded to three locations: Wynwood, Miami Shores, and Miami Beach. But Tabsch is also a filmmaker, one who's killing it with his award-winning short documentaries such as Cherry Pop: The Story of the World's Fanciest Cat and Dolphin Lover, both of which are proof that he's just as interesting and unique a director as he is a curator and person. 

List five things that inspire you.
Immigrants: To leave all you know behind in search of a better life for yourselves and your family leaves me in awe.

Artists: It takes a lot of courage to create something and then share it with a sometimes harsh world.

Nighttime: There's something completely magical about the night and the stillness it brings. I find myself most inspired and at my best well after the sun has set.

My friends and co-workers: I've been fortunate to surround myself with people I love and admire. Their honesty, compassion, humor, and intelligence is always an inspiration.

Cinema: Though all the arts truly inspire me in their own way, a great film sends a rush of emotions through me like little else can.

What was your last big project?
My short film on local artist Farley Aguilar for WPBT [PBS South Florida]. It was the first time I edited an entire film on my own, and while it may be rough around the edges, I'm proud of how it turned out. Also, I bought a house last year, and making it just right is an endless project but one I enjoy. On the O Cinema front, we recently upgraded our projection capabilities at our Miami Beach theater to support reel-to-reel projection. Because of this, we can now access a wide array of films in their original format!

What's your next big project?
There's a lot on the horizon but not much I can talk about just yet. I'm hoping to work on two new short documentary films, both with South Florida connections, in early 2017.

What do you want Miami to know about you?
I want people to know how much I believe in the power of the arts to change lives and change communities. 

What don't you want Miami to know about you?
I'd rather people not know just how much cheese I actually consume. It's staggering.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
I want people to know that there's so much more to Miami than South Beach and that anything is possible in this city if you're talented, hard-working, and ambitious.
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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.

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