June 21, 2022
Miami stories – and the search for justice – are the focus of new short documentaries screening July 22nd
The “Pass the Mic” film screening is presented by Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts
MIAMI (June 20, 2022) The fight for a tenants’ bill of rights, wage theft of undocumented workers, surviving as a small business in a gentrifying neighborhood – all are pressing issues in Miami-Dade that have made headlines over the past year. Now, these urgent topics are the subject of three new short documentaries that show how people on the frontlines face these issues and seek solutions.
On July 22, Community Justice Project, in collaboration with Oolite Arts, will host the second annual “Pass the Mic: We Will Tell Our Stories,” a screening of these new films developed with a model of participatory storytelling. In these pieces, Miami’s community experts, who are directly impacted by these issues, are driving the narrative and telling the story of their lived experiences in partnership with the local filmmakers, bringing attention to challenges and the communities tackling them.
The films include:
“Apart < A Part”: This film tells the story of Allapattah’s Aquino the Tailor. His shop, which has been in the neighborhood for decades, is under pressure from rising rents as the neighborhood changes around him. The film follows him as he creates a guayabera by hand and reflects on keeping his business alive. The film is by Ronald Baez in collaboration with Fidel Aquino (aka Aquino the Tailor) and the Allapattah Collaborative CDC.
“Monarcas”: This documentary follows two Guatemalan day laborers in Homestead whose fight against wage theft by a local roofer takes them on a journey of activism for vulnerable undocumented workers, while experiencing their own personal tranformations. The men and their colleagues sued their roofing employer for back wages, but their fight doesn’t stop there. Filmmaker Diana Larrea created the film in collaboration with community experts Alejandro and Pedro and WeCount!
“Rooted like a Tree”: This new film follows the Miami Workers Center and its members, made up largely of working-class women of color, as they successfully fought to enact the first Tenant Bill of Rights in Miami-Dade County in May. The bill of rights affords more legal protection to renters, many of whom were already fighting rising rents and threats of evictions. “I want the community to see the work that people put into this – workers from our community, Black and Brown women, domestic workers – and how they were able to come together to do something that’s never been done in Miami,” said filmmaker Terence Price II, who created the film in collaboration with the Miami Workers Center.
The screening at 7 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center is free, though an RSVP is required online at https://oolitearts.org/event/pass-the-mic-2/
“Storytelling is powerful and it is necessary that we democratize who gets to tell the stories of Miami-Dade,” said Nadege Green, Director of Community Research and Storytelling at Community Justice Project. “When we consider the important issues our communities face, we have to amplify the voices of the people directly experiencing these challenges and fighting for justice in Miami-Dade.”
Community Justice Project will continue working with community-led movements and organizations, using the films to engage more people in solutions and building collective power locally, Green said.
Oolite Arts, the Miami-Beach organization that works to advance the careers of Miami-based artists, believes that filmmakers have an important role to play in communities.
“The arts can play a powerful role in the search for social justice,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “Real stories, like the ones told through ‘Pass the Mic’ can cause you to see the world in a different way and move people to action.”
“Pass the Mic: We Will Tell Our Stories”
Three documentaries about issues facing Miamians
Presented by Community Justice Project and Oolite Arts
7 p.m. July 22nd at the Little Haiti Cultural Center
212 NE 59th Terrace
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea Salazar, [email protected]pinzurpr.com