The Miami Film Month, held every year during the month of March, is helping the city become a growing spot for film culture. This year, FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) joined in on the events with the FIU Media Arts Festival (MAF).
Held at the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios on Lincoln Road, the event featured submissions from students, alumni, faculty and the general public.
“This first edition of the MAF exceeded all our expectations!” raved SJMC Dean Raul Reis. “The video entries encompassed a wide range of subjects, platforms and techniques, but all had in common a certain degree of visual storytelling.”
The theme for this year’s event was “Only in Miami…,” which called for submissions to highlight the local, international community of this city.
“I think the festival was a good opportunity to explore different perspectives and points of view, and it really represented the variety of traditions and lifestyles that can be found in Miami,” said Andrea Cruz, an SJMC student who had three submissions on display, one of them showcasing Miamians’ long waits at polling places and other struggles during the 2012 presidential elections.
SJMC students working on audiovisual assignments for various courses were encouraged to submit their projects to the festival, giving their work the ability to live outside of the classroom environment. Most of the students’ pieces were nonfiction, feature stories ranging from art in the Wynwood district to the famous historical site, Coral Castle.
“It’s great that FIU is encouraging creativity and branching out into video arts. I’ve always loved video production so I knew that I should enter something,” said Lisann Ramos, whose submission, Impromedy, was a project done for one of her journalism courses.
The inaugural festival, which was also the closing event for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Miami Film Month, hopes to become a staple of the local film community in years to come by showcasing the digital and visual new media projects.
“Next year, we want to keep the MAF local, and a showcase for FIU visual work, but we want to expand on this and hope to have more submissions from the outside public,” said Reis.
All of this year’s submissions will be available for viewing online later this summer.