Press Release

June 25, 2020

New film festival features Made-in-Miami cinema produced during quarantine

On July 15, Oolite Arts presents Close Quarters Commissions online

MIAMI – (June 25, 2020) Twelve Miami filmmakers were given a brief assignment: Create a film up to three minutes long – in two weeks – that uses the limited resources available in quarantine.

The result, Close Quarters Commissions, is an online, micro-film festival that demonstrates the creativity of Miami’s filmmakers in trying times and tight spaces. On July 15, Oolite Arts, which commissioned the works, will debut them online, followed by a Q and A session.

“Films don’t need big budgets and bells and whistles to have an impact. There are so many stories that can be told in one or two locations. We wanted to demonstrate that,” said Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Cinematic Arts Senior Manager for Oolite Arts.

These 12 filmmakers worked with little to paint the vast, emotional landscape of this moment in time. Their works – both documentary and narrative – are wide-ranging in topic. They feature a first-person view of giving birth during a pandemic, to COVID conspiracy theories and the challenges of both unemployment and working at home with young children. Some stories reflect the time in quarantine, while others are ideas filmmakers had long wanted to tell.

“We don’t know how long COVID and social distancing will be with us. But we do know that as a community, we need the arts to help us process all that is going on – as these 12 micro-films do,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts.

Close Quarters is part of Oolite Arts’ film program, which works to further build the pipeline of filmmakers telling South Florida stories.

The participating filmmakers and their works are:
Ronald Baez, “Buscando” (Searching)
Rachel Benjamin, “Day in Life”
Valerie Brooks, “Never Eat Soggy Waffles”
Alexa Caravia, “Nagasaki”
Juan Castaneda, “Echo Chamber”
Avram Dodson, “Mommy, Will You Play with Me?”
Anton Forbes, “Mad Chef Disease”
Pamela Longsword, “Kairi During COVID”
Christopher Lopez, “LOL_onlymiami”
Frantzy Moreau, “New Normal”
Carmen Pelaez, “Caridad y Gallo” (Caridad and the Rooster)
Gabriela Serra, “Lil Haiti 115 NE 76 Calle”

The free event begins at 7 p.m. July 15th. RSVP at

About Oolite Arts

Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more, visit


Marika Lynch, [email protected], 305-898-3595
Images and video: