The Cinematic Arts Program
Oolite Arts’ Cinematic Arts Program seeks to strengthen Miami’s growing indie film community by becoming the city’s hub for filmmakers, producers, and editors to connect, learn and exchange ideas. The Cinematic Arts program offers masterclasses, workshops, film screenings, and additional opportunities to help local filmmakers advance and perfect their craft.
“Ludi” by resident filmmaker Edson Jean is the first film to come out of the program, premiering on the opening night of the 2021 Miami Film Festival and at SXSW.
Apply by 6 p.m. ET Oct. 1, 2021.
Apply by 6 p.m. ET Oct. 1, 2021.
The Cinematic Arts Residency
Now in its fourth year, this initiative will give one Miami filmmaker up to $50,000 to create a narrative micro-budget feature, along with a producer to oversee the project and a shared studio space for production. Akin to the farm to table movement, this unique program will enable local filmmakers to create, shoot and screen their films, without ever leaving Miami.
“Moonlight” co-producer Andrew Hevia and O Cinema’s Kareem Tabsch helped conceptualize the program, which is currently led by Cinematic Arts Manager Danielle Bender.
The Cinematic Arts Residency is supported in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
- Up to $50,000 for the creation of a narrative micro-budget feature
- A producer assigned to the production of the film
- Shared studio space for Cinematic Arts Residents at Oolite Arts on Miami Beach, with 24-hour access and Wi-Fi
- Free parking (based on availability)
- Use of Oolite’s facilities, including a flex lounge, workshop and the PRINTshop
- The opportunity to engage with Oolite’s network of curators, film programmers, artists, filmmakers, visiting faculty members and Oolite Arts Fellows, as well as to participate in studio visits, exhibitions, public programs and community outreach initiatives
- Access to Oolite’s international network of institutional film partners, as well as select film festivals and local art cinemas, as a way to help distribute the film
- Support for the film’s Miami premiere
- A one-week theatrical run at O Cinema
- Be a full-time Miami-Dade County resident
- Create a narrative project set and filmed in Miami
- Be at least 18 years of age, and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- Have completed a short film in a key creative role (director/producer/writer/editor)
- Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute the project as a micro-budget (under $50,000) feature film. Residents will have help, but will serve as the creative lead for the project.
January 2022 – January 2023, with the possibility of extending into a second full year term.
Apply by 6 p.m. ET Oct. 1, 2021.
What is the Cinematic Arts Residency program?
Oolite’s Cinematic Arts Residency aims to elevate Miami’s acclaimed community of short film creators into the realm of feature films. This initiative will give one Miami filmmaker $50,000 to create a narrative micro-budget feature film, along with a producer to oversee the project and shared studio space for production. The program provides residents with the support they need to bring a project from conception to local theater screens, offering a significant opportunity to the city’s filmmaking community.
When will applications for the Cinematic Arts Residency program be accepted?
Applications, which can be found online here, will be accepted from Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 through 6 p.m. Friday, Oct 1, 2021.
Who is eligible to apply for the Cinematic Arts Residency?
The initiative is open to any filmmaker who is a full-time Miami-Dade County resident. The narrative project must also be set and filmed in Miami. Applicants must have completed a short film in a key creative role − director, producer, writer or editor, must be at least 18 years of age, and must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
What are you looking for in Cinematic Arts Residency program applicants?
We are looking for filmmakers with a demonstrated ability to bring their visions to the screen, as shown through their work on previous projects. It is also important that each film be suited to the scope of the program, as each budget cannot exceed $50,000. Essentially, we’re looking for filmmakers who can write and direct to budget without sacrificing the creativity or quality of their film. We want to help filmmakers with captivating ideas that are born of their experience in our city.
What will the Cinematic Arts Residents receive, in addition to the $50,000?
As this program aims to help one filmmaker bring a project from conception to theater screens, the residency offers a variety of benefits in addition to the monetary award. They include:
Can the budget of my film exceed $50,000, or be matched by another grant?
No. The Cinematic Arts Residency program is looking for micro-budget films that can be completed within the awarded grant amount of $50,000.
Am I the right fit for this program?
The Cinematic Arts Residency is crafted with self-starters in mind. We’re looking for filmmakers who are action-oriented in bringing their projects to life with the resources they have at hand, and in a timely manner. Cinematic Arts Residents should carve out time for development of the project, but the majority of your residency period should center around production, post-production and festival strategy. You won’t be in this alone; Oolite’s staff, advisors and Cinematic Arts alumni will be part of your support system. You’ll just be in the driver’s seat.
How can I learn more about micro-budget feature filmmaking?
Oolite Arts is offering several ancillary programs and info sessions in conjunction with the Cinematic Arts Residency application. Learn more about micro-budget filmmaking and get to know our residents in the process!
Sept. 1 Cinematic Arts Residency Info Session 1: Learn more about the Cinematic Arts Residency with 2020 Resident Faren Humes and Oolite Arts Cinematic Arts Manager Danielle Bender.
Sept. 8 Micro-budget Film Screening: Strawberry Mansion with a Q&A with directors Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney.
Sept. 29 Cinematic Arts Residency Info Session 2: Learn more about the Cinematic Arts Residency with 2021 Resident Hansel Garcia Porras and Cinematic Arts Manager Danielle Bender.
How will the Cinematic Arts Resident be chosen?
The Cinematic Arts Resident will be determined by a jury of local and national film professionals. The jury will meet in October 2021.
I have an idea for a feature documentary. Can I submit that?
No. The Cinematic Arts Residency is for filmmakers shooting a micro-budget feature narrative.
When will the Cinematic Arts Resident be announced?
How many applications can I submit?
As many as you like, though we’d suggest no more than three. Give us your strongest and most focused material.
I am working on a film in collaboration with a colleague. Can we submit a joint application?
While we know that all films are collaborative, there must be one individual applicant for the opportunity.
Will Oolite Arts supply me with equipment during my residency?
While we offer some equipment and resources, most equipment costs and rental should be included in the budget of your film.
The Cinematic Arts Resident was chosen by a national jury of film experts because of his extensive experience making short films, his authorship of projects that center on Miami stories, and because his proposed project embraces the ethos of micro-budget filmmaking: the idea that creative stories can be brought to the screen with a lean and inventive approach to production.
Hansel Porras Garcia
Porras Garcia will tell the story of a widowed Cuban exiled in Miami, who is about to become a grandmother for the first time on her 64th birthday, when she unexpectedly receives a visit of her childhood best friend, after 40 years without seeing each other. Learn more.
Four filmmakers received Special Jury Mentions, and will receive $1,000 toward their film projects. They are Jayme Gershen, Franco Gonzalez, Javier Labrador and Brenna Haragan.
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers
Keisha Rae Witherspoon
2020 Resident Projects
Humes will use the residency to expand her much-celebrated short film “LIBERTY,” focused on Miami’s Liberty Square housing complex, into a feature narrative film. Learn more.
Jean will tell a story, inspired by his mother’s first years in Miami, that centers on an underpaid nursing assistant’s effort to send money home to her family in Haiti while navigating Miami’s problematic, private care-taking world. Learn more.
2020 Cinematic Arts Residents
Special Jury Mentions
Four filmmakers received Special Jury Mentions, and will receive $1,000 toward their film projects. They are Carla Forte, Hansel Porras Garcia, Mark Pulaski and Danny Rosenberg.
2019 Resident Projects
Medina’s project will tell the story of a seven-year-old boy living in a Miami trailer park, a boy who is determined to somehow get to the beach and see the ocean for the first time. Learn more.
Sorelle will create a film about a Haitian construction worker facing the harsh realities of gentrification as he is tasked with demolishing his own neighborhood. Learn more.