"Thursday is very exciting because it's all on the water, in preparing for this flooded Miami feature," Borscht cofounder Lucas Levya jokes.
On Thursday, February 23, festival attendees will head out early in the afternoon from Bayside Marina for an educational and entertaining boat ride dubbed the Time Travel Booze Cruise. It's on this boat (which will have its time-travel fuel provided by Patrón Tequila) that guests will "travel through Miami's sordid past onboard a magical pontoon while Miami's foremost historian, Dr. Paul George of HistoryMiami, serves as our veteran Virgil through the secret history of our swamp-cum-city-cum-sea."
Leyva says George has prepared something special for this trip, showing the way "Miami is sort of one hustle after the other historically" and giving context about the city to local and visiting filmmakers and guests alike. The event is limited to VIPERS, or Borscht's version of VIPs, a new program Borscht Corp. announced last night via email.
All of the opening-night Borscht events are free, but the collective unveiled its Ultra Premium Exclusive Illuminati Platinum VIP Multipass, which grants VIPER superpowers. This essentially means the passholder will get first access to all events; entry to the Borscht bus, van, and boats for transportation; and a Borscht tote filled with goodies, a limited-edition T-shirt, and other gifts.
VIPERS also get to hang out at private events with filmmakers, sponsors, and artists — essentially the same experience as the filmmakers who participate in Borscht. Tickets to become a VIPER cost $500, but use the code "iamtheviper" until tonight and get $50 off.
If you can't afford the Illuminati experience, Borscht has also lined up plenty of free events. Leyva is well aware that living in Miami isn't always easy for people who want to check out cool art. "Something we constantly struggle with is me remembering being a kid in West Kendall and having to make the choice between buying a dime bag of weed or going to the movies," he laughs. "We keep that in mind when it comes to pricing and accessibility."
Borscht's free events on Day 2 begin at 5 p.m., when a procession of boats, Jet Skis, and maybe even a hovercraft will ride from Biscayne Bay to a location to be announced. Borscht hasn't revealed its destination yet but plans to screen the Kevin Costner film Waterworld onsite. Think of it as a way for audiences to "experience Miami's absurd present and diluvian future," Leyva says. A live performance by Jacuzzi Boys will follow the presentation of the film's original cut.
A previous version of this story incorrectly listed a public Stiltsville cruise among Borscht Diez's events. The cruise is a private event.
February 22 through 26 at venues across Miami. Visit borsc.ht/fest.