Iris Lynch, collector of exquisite and exotic ear apparel and server at Jimmy's East-Side Diner, is now a filmmaker as well. Matt Gabriel, South Beach Ironworks Gym employee, just completed his first movie. Miami River bridge tender Allen Romeo's vision, sure to be as deep and winding as the body of water he keeps watch over, unspools on film.
Lynch, Gabriel, and Romeo are three of seven people whose three-minute films will be screened at the Dixie Dingo Super-8 Invitational Film Festival.
Their filmic efforts will be accompanied by those of dog lover Loni Kersten, student Eliana Rosenblatt, record store saleswoman Lilia Fernandez, and line cook Lafontaine Gervais.
"I was always thinking about how making a movie at Jimmy's would be perfect," says Lynch. "It was something I was thinking about and then all of a sudden it came true." She approached the project as a way to document a day in her colorful life. "I got shots of the beauty parlor, the laundromat, and the immigration building," she says. "I got people eating and not eating at the diner. Just everyday life."
The project is the collaboration of Miami artists and producers Julie Kahn, Mark Koven, Susan Caraballo, and Brook Dorsch. The foursome spent a day convincing people they came across in the city to make movies. Participants were asked to just shoot some footage and return the camera in a week.
The serendipitous process, Kahn explains, is meant to emphasize a range of perspectives. "It breaks making movies out of the box," Kahn explains. "It frees the work from the rigidities of film school and opens it up to chance."
The seven films, heretofore unviewed, will premiere at the festival, which marks the one-year anniversary of Kahn's acquisition of a stray dog she named Logan. The mystery of what each movie holds, Kahn says, is part of the fun.
So what's a stray dingo-looking mutt got to do with a Super-8 film festival?
It has something to do with bringing a group of strangers together to create something beautiful and original, Kahn says. Just as Logan sniffed out his new life, so too did this group of artists and curators find fresh creative resources.
"For me it's specifically about how a chance encounter can change lives," Kahn says. "To that extent the interaction with the filmmakers will change our perspective, just as the experience may bring new insights for them as well."
"We have no idea what people filmed," says Caraballo. "We just told them to shoot anything they want. 'Anything?' some of them asked us, and we said, yes, ANYTHING."
Gifts for Logan may be purchased at Pet Supermarket (2720 S. Dixie Hwy.), where he is registered.
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