The Borscht Corp. has been rolling out the announcements of late, including its commissioned short film line-up at this year's Borscht 9. The annual film festival dedicated to all things Miami is boasting a bunch of new events amid the usual screening fun.
In addition to the works by regional and local artists, including video director and Miami Heat filmmaker Gil Green; street artist AholSniffsGlue; puppeteer and comedian Pepe Billete, Miami rapper Trina and Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem, Borscht 2014 will feature workshops, a Downtown Miami film bike crawl, special screening events called Borscht Nites, theme parks, and the crowd sourced remake of Scarface.
Cultist caught up with Borscht's Lucas Leyva, who not only gave us some insight into the all the weird Miami shit we can expect, but the online premiere of Soul O, featured last year at Borscht.
Borscht 2014 will again feature the flagship screening event, held Saturday, December 20 at the Arscht Center. This year, however, the audience will get some special pre-movie stimulation.
"Finally after years of trying, we're having a bodybuilding contest beforehand," Leyva says of the big screening event. "That's very exciting. Last year it was kind of a disaster. ...We just kind of reached out blindly to fitness places and they made fun of us a lot. But this year, we found some really great all-natural, no steroids bodybuilders. They're gonna be flexing for the audience before."
On top of that unique offering, plus all the smaller screenings held throughout the festival, Thursday features a presentation at the Miami Museum of Science Planetarium that celebrates the literary, cinematic, and musical aspects of Miami culture, culminating in the launch of the El Viajero satellite, the first extra-planetary mission from Borscht's Miami Aeronautics and Space Administration (MASA) division. This satellite will carry 305GB of Miami culture out of the solar system on a special hard drive and is expected to last about 2 billion years.
On Friday, Borscht goers can bring their bicycles or hop on complimentary Citibikes to follow grand marshall Uncle Luke (formerly of 2Live Crew) as they bike through various locations for drink specials and secret screenings. The film ride makes its way from Gramps to Borscht events at Museum Park, Intercontinental Hotel, and the YoungArts Campus, with free beer provided by Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The stop at Intercontinental unveils new installations of video and interactive art by Jillian Mayer, Coral Morphologic, Bleeding Palm, Paul Korzan, AholSniffsGlue, Vince Mckelvie, and more, concluding with the premiere of a 12-story tall, 8-bit animation that will determine the future of this organization. If the gator eats the snake, there will be a Borscht Festival next year. If the snake eats the gator, this may be the last iteration. "It's like the sad end of the dancing lady," Leyva says.
The fun continues to Museum Park, where Borscht is holding a pets-welcome screening of filmed-in-Miami classic Ace Ventura, followed by the last stop at YoungArts. The campus will be the grounds for The Multiverse, Borscht's DIY sketch of a theme park for weirdos with food, games, and rides within the five different areas of the park: a psychedelic town square inspired by Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse!, a virtual reality world, and a weird carnival, each designed by local filmmakers, as well as an emotional arcade, and an outdoor cinema playing three programs of films.
What the hell is an emotional arcade, you ask? It's arcade games controlled by EEG scanners.
"Whoever's the saddest will fill up their balloons the most, and they win a lollypop, things like that," Leyva says.
After the big screening of 20 films made specifically for the festival on Saturday, Borscht presents the long-awaited premiere of Scarface Redux, a crowd sourced remake of the Brian de Palma classic at Mansion Nightclub on Sunday.
"Mansion used to be a movie house, then it got bought and turned into a club," Leyva says. "So for one night we're turning it back into a movie house to play this weird hybrid of the original Scarface plus a bunch of other clips people have remade of it."
Scarface enthusiasts have been submitting their 15-second clips for a while. Cuban kingpin wannabes can select a short scene from the exhaustive list (the ones in black & white have already been remade) at scarfaceredux.com, film their own version of it, then submit it to Borscht; the collective will then choose its favorite version of each scene and splice them all together. The new, crowdsourced update to the original will be screened at the Borscht Film Festival (and other screenings next year). Deadline for these submissions is December 8.
Some submissions remain true to the original film, while others veer wildly. Pepe Billete's clip takes place mostly through text message, for instance. "I don't know if it's cause we attract a stranger crowd, but a lot of them have been very different from the source material -- kind of abstract but still capturing the feeling of the scene they're remaking, that's been kind of cool," Leyva says.
You can catch the clips on Scarface Redux's Instagram, where you can vote for your favorites via "likes." The winning clip makers, if from Miami, get a Scarface package to go a screening in an '80s limo; winners from out of state get a trip to come to Miami for a screening. Winners will be announced after voting ends next week.
Until the Borscht bonanza gets going, Leyva and crew leave us at New Times (and you lucky readers!) with Soul O, a short featured at last year's festival that hasn't been released anywhere else online. Described as "the strangest trip you will ever take in a hot pink stretch hummer limo," the film is a creation by South African filmmaker Sean Metelerkamp, who teamed with Jacuzzi Boys as part of Borscht's filmmaker + musician collaboration series.
"Most of our projects are made by locals and people who grew up here, but it's always neat to have [someone] who makes unconventional work and has a unique viewpoint, seeing how they interpret the city," Leyva says. "I guess Sean saw it as a hellish Hummer limousine."
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In 2010, Metelerkamp was one of the winners for his short film Die Antwoord - Zef Side for the Youtube Play Biennial of Creative Video (Top 25 Videos of 2010) at the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, Venice, and Berlin. His most recent project involved voluntarily committing himself into a notorious rehabilitation center in South Africa: Noupoort. There, he interviewed and photographed over 30 people addicted to various substances. No other photographer or documenter has had that level of access into the rehab center.
Borscht Film Festival takes place Wednesday, December 17 through Sunday, December 21. Check out the full schedule of events at borscht9.com.