The Main Event at Borscht 8 was held this past Saturday night at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami, and it played like a mixtape of dreams that had escaped from the city’s subconscious.
Borscht Corp. commissions, produces, and showcases “films by emerging artists that tell Miami stories,” and this year’s program of 20 shorts, ranging from 1 to 13 minutes, bounced between the psychedelic, homicidal, and supernatural surface of Miami to the biological, domestic, and often isolated foundations. For many first-timers in the audience it probably had an effect similar to finding out that your longtime, quiet (but very tan) neighbor was in fact the choreographer of an avant garde dance company in Kendall who was also an acclaimed llama portraitist that only worked on velvet. And also a murderer.
What this means is, you think you know Miami, but you don’t know Miami and Borscht wants to help you get to know her better through cinema. Experimental or otherwise. The following are five that stuck with us from this year’s program in the order they appeared.
Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva (13 min.)
Acclaimed Miami artists and Borscht Spirit Guides, Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva teamed up to create a disconnected collage of scenes that tackle the merging of the human mind and technology. Part musical, part DIY bedroom bionic brain implants, part Tamagotchi commentary, part QVC-esque singularity sale, and part Miss Mayer flying a water jet pack, nude—you win if you can finish that sentence. The film has already been selected to show at Sundance this year, so you can just see for yourself in Park City.
Waiting for Berta
Laimir Fano (13 min.)
One of the most complete narratives in a field that had very few threads to hold onto, Berta also grabbed at an old Miami favorite: Castro. Playfully shot and relying heavily on visual cues of Miami’s Cuban population, Laimir Fano's short tells the story of two female octogenarian Cuban expat enemies from opposite sides of La Revolución, reunited at the Sabor Tropical Supermarket. In the end, someone dies.
Andres Meza Valdes and Diego Meza Valdes (7 min.)
The brothers who brought Borscht 7 zombie-fighting puppies returned this year for another serving. This time around we meet a vlogger-masochist testing his luck with psilocybin and a night in a haunted house. This horromedy writes itself. Literally. The whole project was conceived and shot in 48 hours.
When We Lived in Miami
Amy Seimetz (13 min.)
South Florida native (is Tampa South Florida? Sure.) Seimetz presented a cracked family portrait floating in a hurricane-fouled pool. Sure, it was a movie, but that’s what it felt like. The writer, director, producer, and actress stars in the film as a young mother trying to hold her family and herself together during a storm, played by this past August’s Hurricane Isaac (the movie was shot during his visit).
Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse
Bleeding Palm (11 min)
It turns out that Chris Bosh isn’t just “an above-average basketball playing millionaire” he’s also a space prince from the Multiverse banished to Earth after the death of his father. Which explains a lot. He is also a cartoon created by Bleeding Palm, aka Ronnie Rivera, and he’s hilarious. That is, unless you’re a lawyer.