Best Film Festival (2010)

Borscht Film Festival

There are two words you don't want to hear at a film festival: technical and difficulties. But when the Borscht Film Festival was delayed, the Gusman audience of more than 1,500 people happily waited two hours while a new projector was fetched from Hialeah. Local artists in the audience entertained with impromptu performances. Afrobeta and Sirens & Sealions played a few ditties, while Jessica Gross and Daniel Reskin brought the laughs. It was the kind of collaborative spirit that makes you want to high-five the person seated next to you. The serendipitous showcase of 305 talent was the perfect kickoff for a film festival started by a couple of New World kids determined to find fertile soil for filmmaking right here in Miami. They've been nurturing local film talent since 2005. But in 2009, the Borsht Film Festival finally emerged from the underground. Operating with its first actual budget, the festival moved from the understated Tower Theater in Little Havana to the grand, faux-starry-skied Gusman Center in downtown Miami. The one-night-only screenings drew crowds that could make an international film festival jealous. Folks even tried to buy the free tickets in order to secure a seat. With the new projector up and running, the crowd enjoyed "Borscht Selects," short films submitted by Miami filmmakers under the age of 30, and "CCCV Stories," films commissioned by BFF and cofinanced by the Miami World Cinema Center. Standouts included "Velvet," a Miami New Wave short set in the Design District, a flaneur's stroll through Liberty City in "Day N Night Out," and a documentary about the Miami Circle. We're such fans, we even gave BFF a New Times Mastermind genius grant. It's our way of shouting, "Do it again!"


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