Press Release

March 13, 2019

The Block – a new short documentary contest by Oolite Arts – invites 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

open to all

MIAMI BEACH (March 13, 2019) – What’s happening in your neighborhood? The Block, a new short documentary contest presented by Oolite Arts, is offering Miami filmmakers and storytellers up to $14,000 to share their neighborhood stories on film.

The Block is seeking ideas for new short films about the many different neighborhoods that make up Miami. 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 up to $14,000 in funding for their projects. All the finalists will receive free access to footage in the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives. The top three chosen will receive help making their film from the University of Miami School of Communication’s Department of Cinema and Interactive Media.

Whether you’re an experienced filmmaker or just a beginner, Oolite Arts wants to hear the Miami stories you think are ready for the spotlight.

“Miami is has an array of neighborhoods whose stories are just waiting to be told, and Oolite Arts wants to bring them to the screen,” said Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, who manages Oolite Arts’ Cinematic Arts Program. “We want to hear from every corner of our community. Pitch us your idea!”

The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation is the lead sponsor for this program.

Oolite Arts launched a Cinematic Arts Residency Program last year, to build on the success of Miami’s growing indie film community and expand the community of local filmmakers.

“Miami’s indie film community has grown exponentially, and is getting recognized. At Oolite Arts, we want to help continue to grow our community of filmmakers 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 through April 10, 2019. Oolite Arts will also host two information sessions where potential applicants can learn more and ask questions about the application process; the sessions will be held Tuesday, March 19 at Simply Good, 212 NW 73 St., Miami, and Monday, April 1, at O Cinema, 500 71st St., Miami Beach.

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 18, 2019. 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

Established in 1984, Oolite Arts advances the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture to an audience of approximately 80,000 people per year. Oolite Arts creates opportunities for experimentation and encourages the critical exchange of ideas through residencies, exhibitions, public programs, education and outreach. The residency programs include a Studio Residency Program, an International Exchange Program, a PRINTshop Residency Program, a Fellowship Program, a Cinematic Arts Residency and Art in Public Life Residency. Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information, visit


Marika Lynch, [email protected], 305-898-3595
Images and video available upon request