Borscht Film Festival 8 Expands Its Scope -- And Its Notoriety
I don't think he's seen it," says Nick Ducassi, sitting in the living-room-turned-office of filmmaking collective Borscht Corp's headquarters. He sounds unconvinced as he utters it. But Lucas Leyva, on a break from editing film in the adjacent Florida room, agrees: "He probably hasn't seen it. [The letter] came from his people."
They're talking about Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh and the trailer for an animated short titled Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse, the centerpiece of an event Ducassi and Leyva are planning as part of this week's eighth Borscht Film Festival.
To the filmmakers, the name of the event -- the Bosh Film Festival -- is both a funny play on words and an apt description. But to Chris Bosh's lawyers, who sent the Borscht Film Festival a cease-and-desist letter November 29, it's "an infringement of [Bosh's] publicity rights, privacy rights, and common law trademark rights."
"If he saw it, I think he'd like it," Leyva says. "He's a superhero."
Since its first edition in 2003, the Borscht Film Festival has quietly evolved from a project of New World School of the Arts high school juniors into one of Miami's leading creative organizations. Videos created or commissioned for Borscht go on to screen at household-name film festivals such as Sundance and South by Southwest; others rack up millions of hits on YouTube. Earlier this month, the Knight Foundation awarded Borscht a $500,000 challenge grant, to be used to expand the festival. And this year's lineup is its most ambitious to date, with 21 films, including an entry by Adan Jodorowsky, son of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky, and another from Court 13, the New Orleans-based collective whose feature film Beasts of the Southern Wild won awards at Cannes and Sundance this year.
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