Mastermind 2012 Honorable Mention: Jonathan David Kane

Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 150 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling our honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced March 8 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Jonathan David Kane

Jonathan David Kane's medium of choice? Film. And with over 10 years in the filmmaking industry, the man has a huge leg up on the rest of us. Animal Planet created the show Whale Wars after being inspired by Kane's film. What have you done lately?

In addition to inspiring a TV series, At the Edge of the World won 12 international festival awards including the Haskell Wexler for Best Cinematography at the Woodstock Film Festival and the Angel Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Monaco International Film Festival. It debuted in 2007 and exposed the ongoing battle in the southern oceans of Antarctica between Japanese Whalers and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Kane has been working with the Borscht Film Festival since 2009 when he was chosen as one of six filmmakers to make the film What the Tide Brought In. It's a film that "metaphorically juxtaposes the harsh realities of Haitian immigration to the U.S. with the 'out of sight, out of mind' American mentality towards the issue," he says.

He's produced Day N' Night Out, which went to screen at the Cannes Short Film Corner, Play Dead, the cutest killer zombie film you'll ever see, La Pageant Diva, Reinaldo Arena, Otto & the Electric Eel, and Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, which screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

We're also enamored with How I Became an Elephant. It's a story about a 14 year-old girl whose mission is to save the elephant species from illegal and abusive trade in Southeast Asia. Watch the trailer and if it doesn't appeal to you, you have no soul.

Kane's most recent work is focused on his directorial debut for the feature film, Papers, which addresses the complexities of citizenship through marriage and illegal immigration with humor, romance, and inevitable tragedy. He told us in an email, "My goal as a filmmaker is to always present something fresh, thought provoking, and positive while, above all, entertaining an audience."

Honorable Mentions:

Eddy "Earthtone" Vegas

Bannavis Andrew Sribyata
Sarah Kontoff Baker
Jason Snyder
Valeria Yamamoto
Jayme Gershen

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Alex Rodriguez