Saturday night's happenings are a major highlight, with the festival's flagship event — a screening of short films commissioned for the festival that are made in, for, and/or about Miami — taking place at the Olympia Theater and hosted by a team of sentient coral from the future. Crossing the street takes you to the Alfred I. duPont Building for the much-hyped Pamplemousse Party, whose venue has been converted into the #NoBroZone: a celebration of female-identifying artists and debut of works created within an ecosystem where no men were involved in the green-lighting process.
The space will be activated with more than 25 installations and screenings, including a Slumpie Garden; a Sex Club Inc. booth; a performance by Marnie Ellen, with new music by Dan Deacon; a living room made of military-grade bulletproof foam; poetry textiles by Sadpapsmear; a vogue ball by Catwalk; and a fitness rave by Hyperbody & Honnda. And best of all, Trina and Poorgrrrl will perform atop a bank vault.
Closing night will be just as lit, or rather #MOONLIT, with a celebration honoring everyone's favorite Miami-made feature, Moonlight. The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center will host a free 5 p.m. screening of Moonlight — a film that originated as a Borscht collaboration, was made in Miami by locals, and has become one of the most lauded films of the year. Afterward, at 7 p.m., a #MOONLIT block party will coincide with the Academy Awards and, organizers hope, celebrate Moonlight's Oscar wins. Why watch the Oscars on your couch when you can root for the Moonlight home team at "the only official Moonlight Oscar party"? Borscht's email says, "Bring pots and pans to celebrate the wins!"
Outside of these big events are a mountain of panels throughout Saturday and a couple of screenings Sunday afternoon. The panels, cleverly titled Borscht T Time, are pay-what-you-want-with-RSVP events that Borscht maintains for maximum affordability and are taking place at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design.
Swimming In Your Skin Again) and Tamir Muhammed (Time Warner 150) as they "examine the transition from independent filmmaking to working with big studios while maintaining your voice." The panel also "explores the opportunities that exist for filmmakers looking to make this transition" and will be moderated by Christine Davila (Warner Bros., Ambulante Film Festival).
Also on the agenda is the Omniboat Unveiling, where the folks at Borscht Corp. will unveil the speedboat they're getting "instead of trying to finance a feature film." That's not a joke: The panel will explain exactly how the they're doing it, what they plan to do with the boat, and why "buying a sweet boat is smarter than making an independent film."
Code Switch Your Way to the Top! offers people of color a practical guide on how to succeed in an industry dominated by wealthy, straight, white men. The panel includes Alexis Garcia (William Morris Endeavor), Janicza Bravo (Lemon, Atlanta), Walter Newman (Adult Swim), and Dilcia Barrera (LACMA, Sundance) and will be moderated by Tamir Muhammed.
sign up here to participate and pitch your idea to Paul Korzan (just got a trust fund), Andrew Gerber (intellectual property attorney), Jillian Mayer (Slumpies Inc.), Cameron Tang (Adult Swim), and Mia Di Pasquale (Super Deluxe).
Just like the Moonlight screening and #MOONLIT party, Sunday's free afternoon events will take place at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. The first is Black Voices on Silent Film, a screening dedicated to shedding light on some surviving "race films" — 1900s silent films from Florida that depict African-Americans in a more nuanced and positive light than other forms of entertainment of the period. Following that is Uncle Luke's Liberty City Optimists: a screening of Viceland's documentary The Boom Squad, about Liberty City's youth football team. It will be accompanied by a Q&A and discussion about Liberty City's newfound cinematic identity; participants include Evan Rosenfeld (director of The Boom Squad) and Luther Campbell (musician, football coach, and New Times columnist), and Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys) will moderate.