100 Creatives: Monica Peña Creates Intense, Engrossing Films

In honor of our annual MasterMind Awards, which reward Miami's creative talent with citywide recognition and sweet, sweet cash, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature the 305's cultural superheroes. Want to be a MasterMind? Learn how to enter here, and get your tickets to Artopia on March 2, where we'll announce the winners.

#80: Monica Peña

In his Variety review of Monica Peña’s feature debut, Ectotherms, Guy Lodge referred to the zero-budget film as one of “the most striking world premieres at the Miami Film Festival.” To meet Peña and chat with her is such a casual, though always engaging, experience that one would never expect her to be a filmmaker who presents such intensity in her work. But she does, particularly in her earnest and engrossing sophomore feature, Hearts of Palm. With just these features and shorts under her belt, Peña has solidified herself as one of the primary filmmaking voices in Miami to look out for.

List five things that inspire you:
Books, nature, romance, outer (and inner) space, order.

What was your last big project?
Hearts of Palm, an experimental narrative feature about love, decay, creative pairs, the space between languages, and mystical forces.

What's your next big project?
Love in the Time of Zika, a short film about Christmas and doom (skull emoji).

What do you want Miami to know about you?
The answer to that question is in my films <3.

What don't you want Miami to know about you?
The answer to that question is in my films too <3.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
There are seasons here. They're subtle.

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