Film & TV

Inside the Downtown Media Center, Miami's New Indie Film Production Hub

Diliana Alexander
Just last month, the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival had a ball at the University of Miami, where the fest hosted a series of film screenings, workshops, and virtual-reality and mixed-reality experiences. Now that the latest edition of the festival is in the rear-view mirror, what have the FilmGate Miami folks been up to? Turns out they’re opening a new space.

In partnership with Heiga Recording Studios, FilmGate Miami announces the launch of the Downtown Media Center, Miami’s first collaborative space for digital-content creators, filmmakers, and talent. The center will officially open April 13 with a reception from 8 to 11 p.m. The reception also doubles as an anniversary celebration for both FilmGate and Heiga Recording Studio, which are turning 5 and 14, respectively.

“The Downtown Media Center is off and running; it’s now open, centrally located, and easily accessible. Since FilmGate’s inception in 2012, it was always our goal. Every world-class film production city has a home for filmmakers and talent. Now Miami has one too,” says Diliana Alexander, executive director of FilmGate Miami.
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Diliana Alexander
The Downtown Media Center is located in the historic Huntington Building (168 SE First St., Miami) and has more than 7,000 square feet of creative space. It will house a stage for talks and private viewings, a creative green-screen studio, co-working areas, production offices, a casting stage, and a gallery/workshop space for artists. It also has six main offices, set up for professional media-related businesses only.

"FilmGate Miami is an amazing organization, sharing the same mission of building a stronger audiovisual community in Miami by creating a collaborative space to support and connect digital-content creators. Filmmakers made this a perfect partnership," Heiga Studios CEO Malury Imbernon says.

In addition to operating the Downtown Media Center, FilmGate continues all of the programming and workshops it offers local creatives on a regular basis. This includes the Mighty, a series for emerging screenwriters that has a twist to coax out creative juices; Neighborhood Expression of Care (NEC), which assists storytellers in creating straight-to-web content and episodic shows; Filmmaker Bootcamp, offering the 1-2-3’s of filmmaking; Get It Done, a producer series that takes a project from development through distribution; Cinephilia, a nightly mixer with visuals and filmmaker talks; the Percolator, a pitch session for film, TV and web; Rough Cut/Fine Cut, which offers a platform to show works in progress to a select audience; and VR Portal, a series for virtual-reality, augmented-reality, and interactive-media pop-ups, hackathons, and workshops.

Downtown Media Center
168 SE First St., Miami. Opening reception requires RSVP via
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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.

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