Borscht Film Festival's Jonathan David Kane and Andrew Hevia Talk 2011's Best Films
As 2011 comes to an end, we're getting all nostalgic about the great
moments in Miami culture that took place over the past year. And we know
we're not alone. So we've asked some of Miami's top artists, writers,
film producers and other cultural geniuses about their favorite 2011
Jonathan David Kane and Andrew Hevia are talented filmmakers and producers, both organizers of the Borscht Film Festival, arguably the city's most progressive and hippest event of the year. Seven years into its inception, Borscht has evolved in leaps and bounds. Once barely being able to find a projector to show the flicks, Borscht's films are now deservedly invited to Sundance and Cannes. In April 2011, Borscht filled to capacity the Adrienne Arsht Center, hosting the Academy Awards of local films for Miami hipsters and intelligentsia. Jon Kane and Andrew Hevia are two key players in the success of Borscht. We caught up with the crafty, witty, and funny filmmakers to rehash the past year, with a particular focus on film and Miami.
New Times: Alright, fellas, what do you think of 2011?
Hevia: Overall, I think 2011 was a real growth year for Miami. We had
watched the food truck explosion keep on getting bigger and bigger.
It's nice to see so many great things happening all at once, including
the banner year for local film and tv productions.
Jon Kane: 2011 happened too fast. I blinked and it was April at the Arsht Center for Borscht 7. Then Rock of Ages
rocked downtown and the Miami film & television industry boomed all
summer. Then I had some jackfruit Real Sorbet at Margaret Pace Park
made with organic locally grown tropical fruits. Then I stayed up all
night while people walked on the walls of Gehry's New World Center. Then
we marched through the streets to an occupied government center. Then
we Baseled for the tenth year. Either time is quickening as we approach
some apocalyptic event, or Miami's cultural awakening is stealing hours
out of my day.
Ok, let's talk film. Top films made in 2011? And why?
Kane: I'll give you five: 5). Troll Hunter. Dude hunts trolls. 4). Midnight in Paris. This flick was released in May and is still in theaters. 3). Melancholia. The perfect film for a 2011 audience. 2). Forks Over Knives. Wake up America. 1). Beats, Rhymes, Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest. The ladies sweat the style like the squirrels sweat the nuts.
Hevia: I'm assuming you mean "Hollywood" movies here and not the small independents we've been making. I'll go with: 3). Margin Call. A fascinating look inside a Wall Street firm on the night before the
stock market collapse in 2008. It humanized the bad guys and made it so
much more interesting than simply saying "greed is bad." 2). Tabloid. Errol Morris is good at what he does. This was a bizarro story told in a compelling way. 1) Drive. Pulpy, b-movie violence with a retro soundtrack and an artsy, European sensibility. What's not to love?
Think local. Best thing filmed in Miami 2011?
: Rakontur's working on a few projects that haven't come out yet that I've had the chance to look at --Dawg Fight
being the one that comes to mind. It's awesome.
Kane: I'm really looking forward to Starz's Magic City. I hear great things about the authenticity of production design on that series.
Worst thing filmed in Miami in 2011?
Hevia: Charlie's Angels, mostly because it didn't find its footing in time and was cancelled, never to return again.
Kane: No offense to any of my friends who worked on Charlie's Angels, but I have to agree with Hevia.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema and O Cinema in Wynwood are running a neck-and-neck race. O Cinema wins, though, because they serve alcohol and the
staff is just so damn likeable.
Kane: O Cinema for sure! I
feel like the Miami Beach Cinematheque pioneered the indie cinema experience down
here in Miami and O has really expanded on that concept.
We all love Miami! What's the best location you shot this past year?
Kane: Primary Flight's abandoned RC Cola Plant in Wynwood. It's an
incredibly versatile location that is perfect for shooting a zombie
apocalypse movie like Play Dead. There are large graffiti murals
everywhere, dilapidated structures, and burned out cars. But my absolute
favorite part about shooting here was clocking the response time of the
Miami Police to the 40 ft fire ball we sent into the air while firing
off blanks from an AK-47.
My all-time, hands-down favorite is the house where we shot Chlorophyl,
a beautifully designed private residence built by the owner, architect
Terry Riley of Keenen/Riley Architects. It's the same house were we shot Velvet in 2009.
Random pointless curve ball: If you had a mustache, would you twirl it?
Hevia: As often as possible.
Kane: If I had a mustache I would do a lot of things.
Hardball gut check: Would you move to New York or LA if they called?
Kane: They call about once or twice a week. I ask them how the snow and
unbearable smog is treating them. They reply with, "Well, it beats Miami
Hevia: I won't lie, I have family and friends in LA
who call me all the time and if the right opportunity came up, I would
be there in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't stay away for too long. There's
too much going on right here.
Let's talk Borscht. Your favorite Borscht 7 film?
Hevia: If I'm not allowed to talk about ones I helped make or made myself, then I'd have to say Correctomundo,
the bizarre telenovela-style comedy by Nick Corirossi and Charles
Ingram. Those guys are mad geniuses and the work they do with Funny or
Die is some of the best comedy currently being produced by anyone.
Kane: I'm going to follow Hevia's self-imposed rule and not talk about any of the films I had a hand in. HitchHustlin
by Lindsay Scoggins makes me smile every time I see it. Sometimes, I
put it on in the morning for motivation. Something about Hitchcock
rapping like Rick Ross while holding up an axe really gets me going.
Any regrets about Borscht 7?
Hevia: None whatsoever.
Kane: Regrets are like horseshoes and handbags.
political answer. Let me dig. If you could do it over, would you have
aligned yourselves with Luke Campbell? His mayoral campaign was a
Hevia: Absolutely. Uncle Luke is a Miami treasure and I
never once doubted his commitment to the city. He would have been a
Kane: If either Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Thomas
Regalado, or Carlos Gimenez played the lead of that film, it would not
be nearly as good. Gimenez proposed to close 13 libraries in poor
neighborhoods his first month in office and then told New Times his
favorite book is Fahrenheit 451. Is that any less of a joke? I'll gladly
vote for Luke again.
Any teasers on Borscht 8?
Please? Just a teeny weeny tease...a feather for our taints?
Kane: Nuh-uh. Nope.
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