March 2, 2020
The Block – a short documentary contest by Oolite Arts – asks Miamians to share neighborhood stories
The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation and University of Miami School of Communication join Oolite Arts in fostering pipeline of local filmmakers
MIAMI BEACH (March 2, 2020) – When it comes to stories, Miami neighborhoods have them in abundance. This spring, Oolite Arts is asking Miamians to capture them, for a short documentary contest called The Block.
Now in its second year, the contest offers Miami filmmakers and storytellers a total of $32,000 to share their true neighborhood stories in short documentaries. Five Miami-Dade County residents will be selected to pitch their concepts in front of a jury and a live studio audience for a chance to win funding for their projects. The top three finalists will receive free access to footage in the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, and help making their film from the University of Miami School of Communication’s Department of Cinema and Interactive Media.
The Block’s first year winner, Dorian Munroe, went on to win a film pitch contest at New Orleans Film Festival organized by the Tribeca Film Institute. He is currently finishing his piece, “These Kids This City,” about the young Miami bike riders who take to the streets during MLK Day in a form of rebellion and community. The movement garnered national attention in 2019, when some of the bikers were victims of a hate crime.
To help people prepare for The Block, Oolite Arts is hosting a range of trainings and information sessions, from this Saturday’s “How to Make a Trailer” workshop, in partnership with the Miami Film Festival, to an information session on March 16 featuring Munroe on how to craft a good pitch. The information sessions are listed below and the full list of events is available at oolitearts.org/theblock.
“We know great stories are out there. We hear them every day. But we want to help Miamians share them further by bringing them to the screen,” said Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, who manages Oolite Arts’ Cinematic Arts program, which aims to help build the pipeline of filmmakers in South Florida.
The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation is the lead sponsor for this program.
“Miami’s indie film community is doing great work that is continuously recognized at major film festivals. At Oolite Arts, we want to help these filmmakers grow, so that more Miami stories are seen here and beyond,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts.
Here’s how The Block works: Anyone can share their idea by applying online at oolitearts.org/theblock through April 8. A jury of nationally-recognized film professionals will chose five finalist applicants to pitch their projects in front of the jury and live audience on May 20, 2020. That day, five prizes will be awarded: $14,000, $8,000 and $6000 and two $2,000 prizes.
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit oolitearts.org/theblock.
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 oolitearts.org.
Info Session #1
Get tips on submitting a stellar application from year 1 winner Dorian Munroe
6 p.m. March 16
SimplyGood Miami, 212 NW 73rd St, Miami
Information Session + Art Films at O Cinema South Beach
Get your questions answered and stay for the brunch and screening of Beyond the Visible: Hilma Af Klint. Followed by a Q&A with Director Halina Dyrschka and Oolite’s CEO Dennis Scholl
Info session: 10:30 am (free)
Art Films: 11:30 am ($25)
Marika Lynch, [email protected], 305-898-3595