| Art |

Four Borscht Films to Screen at South By Southwest

If you still doubt that Miami has promise as a budding hotbed for independent film, you're clearly just not paying attention. Four short films from the Borscht 2011 Film Festival have been selected to be showcased at the 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, March 9 to 17. To put into perspective how big an honor this is, only 135 films are selected for SXSW, from 3,300 submissions. 
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Even more stunning, these four films were all created by the same artistic duo: visual artist Jillian Mayer and filmmaker Lucas Leyva. Mayer/Leyva's video works have screened at Guggenheim Museums all over the world, as well as Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and Clermont-Ferrand Film Festivals.

Probably their best-known collaboration is the 60-second short, I Am Your Grandma,

a visually and emotionally impactful short that quickly became a viral

sensation. Not surprisingly, it's among the four films picked up by

SXSW, in the Midnight Shorts category. Here's a look at it, and the three other picks.

The next selection is The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, a modern adaptation of the French short film La Jetee that screened at Sundance this year. It tracks Luther Campbell's rise to fame as he changes the hip-hop game, fights for First Amendment rights, and establishes peace in the city. That is, until a nuclear meltdown turns Miami into a wasteland overrun by mutants. It was selected for entry in the Narrative Shorts category at SXSW. Here's the trailer:

Also chosen for the narrative shorts category is Reinaldo Arenas, told from the point of view of a dying shark. The film metaphorically depicts the aging Cuban-American exile community, many of whom have still not come to terms with the Communist Revolution that changed their lives forever.
The final Borscht/Mayer/Leyva film selected for the SXSW festival is called Jacuzzi Boys: Glazin, selected for the Midnight Shorts category. It depicts several women's vaginas, having been made up, adorned with wigs, bulbous eyeballs, vampire teeth, and painted as Homer Simpson, among other pop culture icons, and strung up with fishing lines which are pulled to make the private parts "lip synch" to "Glazin," a track by Miami-based band Jacuzzi Boys. After receiving over half a million hits in 48 hours upon its Web premier, it was banned by YouTube. But the good news is, you can watch it here, thanks to Norway's loose communications laws. Just make sure your kids or parents aren't in the room, unless you have a very, uh, free-spirited family.

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