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Happy Pride Month, Miami!

Happy Pride Month, Miami!

Festivals

Published 6/3/21

In July of that same year, hundreds of members of the LGBTQ+ community were among the thousands of protesters at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, where advocates demanded the repeal of laws banning gay marriage. In the early 1970s, gay rights advocacy led to a county ordinance banning discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. This, however, was later overturned after a subsequent referendum championed by Anita Bryant, an anti-gay rights activist. In December of 1998, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners once again adopted an amendment banning discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. The Dade County Christian Coalition then announced it was initiating a referendum drive to repeal the amendment under the name "Take Back Miami-Dade." This attempt failed as they did not garner enough signatures. In 2014, the Human Rights Campaign ranked …

38th annual Miami Film Festival goes hybrid, with in-person and virtual screenings

38th annual Miami Film Festival goes hybrid, with in-person and virtual screenings

Festivals

Published 3/3/21

In March 2020, the pandemic forced the Miami Film Festival to close with just four days left in its run. Now, a year later, the festival is going forward with a hybrid format: in-person screenings at one cinema (instead of its typical multiple venues) and virtual screenings to enjoy from home.“Most of the films that will be live will also be virtual,” says Lauren Cohen, the festival’s associate director of programming. “We got over 1,000 submissions this year, and we have over 100 films from 40 countries.”The festival opens on March 5 with an in-theater, world-premiere screening of Miami-based filmmaker Edson Jean’s “Ludi,” based on his Haitian mother’s job as a home health aide for Miami seniors and her experience trying to make her way in America. A personal story with a screenplay by Jean and co-writer Joshua Jean-Baptiste, “Ludi” will also be available to watch virtually.The film will compete for both the $40,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award supported …

Miami Film Festival Announces Complete 2021 Line-Up

Miami Film Festival Announces Complete 2021 Line-Up

Festivals

Published 2/12/21

The Festival will open and close with two World premieres by Miami artists - Edson Jean’s Ludi and Jayme Gershen’s Birthright. Awards will be presented to maestro Pedro Almodóvar; icon Rita Moreno; actors Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Javier Cámara (El olvido que seremos), Aldis Hodge (One Night in Miami) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday); cinematographer Joshua James Richards (Nomadland), and celebrate more than 100 feature narratives, documentaries and short films of all genres, from 40 different countries.“In this year like no other, we all long for stability and a sense of continuity,” said Festival Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “By redefining Miami Film Festival for the new era of film, we seek to continue our mission of shining a light on the most outstanding creative talents and new works of the season.” The Festival will open on Friday, March 5th with the in-theater World Premiere screening of Ludi at host venue Silverspot Cinemas in …

THE 12TH EDITION OF THE OUTSHINE LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL FORT LAUDERDALE GOES VIRTUAL

THE 12TH EDITION OF THE OUTSHINE LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL FORT LAUDERDALE GOES VIRTUAL

Festivals

Published 11/20/20

Building upon the success of its Miami-based virtual film festival held online earlier this year, the Fort Lauderdale edition, presented by Gilead Sciences and Broward County, will showcase 21 world-class contemplative, comedic and creative films from 11 countries, (several making their US debuts during the streaming festival). All of the films will be made available virtually to viewers throughout the state of Florida from December 3 – 6, 2020. The festival will also host livestreamed special events with cocktail happy hours, talent and Q & A sessions as a way to virtually tie the community together."This year’s Fort Lauderdale edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival will follow in the footsteps of our successful Miami virtual edition which simultaneously opened-up the dialogue for equality in film throughout the state of Florida, for the first time,” said Victor Gimenez, executive director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival. “Despite the current health pandemic …

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Festivals

Published 11/17/20

After an auspicious beginning in 1936, the Botanical Garden fell victim to City and federal government administrative needs. In response to WWII, in 1945, 5.5 acres were deeded to the federal government for a war-time hospital, which in 1951 became the Monroe County General Hospital.  Additional acres were ceded to the Aqueduct Commission for water storage tanks, the Mosquito Control Board offices, and golf course expansion. Post-war neglect took its toll and by 1960 there were only 11 out of the original 55 acres left, knee-deep in weeds. Led by the Monroe County Audubon Society, a restoration plan was presented to the City Commission in August 1960. The Advisory Council for the restoration was composed of ten organizations. Work began in December of that year, with the clean-up of the trails and buildings, and identification and tagging of plants. The formal “reopening” of the Garden was celebrated on January 29, 1961. In January, 1962 …

PICKS OF THE WEEK: Films, Culture and more...

PICKS OF THE WEEK: Films, Culture and more...

Festivals

Published 11/12/20

OUTSHINE FILM FESTIVAL: MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY | COCKTAILS & CINEMA VIRTUAL HAPPY HOURNovember 12th at 7:30 pmOUTshine presents gay holiday classic 'Make The Yuletide Gay' starring Adamo Ruggiero and Keith Jordan. The film has won multiple festival awards and a self proclaimed "gay cult classic." Don't miss experiencing this holiday favorite with your festival friends! More event details here.HISTORYMIAMI MUSEUM: CULTUREFEST 305November 14th through the 15thEnjoy online performances, workshops, and demonstrations with some of the city's finest traditional artists, dancers, and musicians. The festival webpage includes craft activities, videos, and more to keep you exploring all that makes Miami the diverse, vibrant, and extraordinary city we love. More event details here.SMALL PRESS FAIR FORT LAUDERDALE '20November 14th at 12:00 pmExperience a day for local and regional artists, printers, booksellers, publishers, authors, poets, bookmakers, designers, zinesters and cultural workers …

HistoryMiami Museum's CultureFest 305

HistoryMiami Museum's CultureFest 305

Festivals

Published 11/10/20

Join HistoryMiami Museum for two days of online performances, workshops, and demonstrations with some of the city's finest traditional artists, dancers, and musicians. The festival will be going DIGITAL this year, and the webpage features craft activities, videos, and much more. From Cuban fusion dance with Marisol Blanco to Haitian Kompa music with Gabel and tropical fruit farming with LNB Groves and Edible South Florida, this festival celebrates all that makes Miami the extraordinary, diverse, and vibrant city we love.  ScheduleSaturday:    10:30 – 11:00 - Storytelling: Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story featuring a demonstration by Melanie Turtle of Seminole Bird Clan Catering1:00 – 2:00 - Workshop: Cuban fusion dance with Marisol Blanco3:00 – 3:30 - Demonstration: Tropical fruit farming with LNB Grovestand and Edible South Florida 6:00 – 8:00 - Move Watch Party with O Cinema: Deep City: The Birth of the Miami …

The Conch Republic Celebrates

The Conch Republic Celebrates

Festivals

Published 11/3/20

From the raising of the Conch Republic flag at Mallory Square to the burning of the Hurricane flag to end hurricane season, the Conch Republic Independence Celebration will elect Royalty, race miniature beds, clean up Higgs Beach, engage in a Rum Battle, present an Art-to-Wear Fashion Show, and more!The Secretary of State of the Conch Republic, the Exalted Capt. James R. Gilleran, has proclaimed, "You have wittingly chosen to participate in activities (some of which you will recall, and some of which you will not) here the micro-nation of the Conch Republic. We welcome all comers who understand the value of humor, community, and a passion to encourage others to behave in a proud and foolish manner. The only requirement for entry is an understanding that to be in an alternate reality you have to participate in an alternate reality.”To see a complete list of events, visit ConchRepublic.com - where you can also purchase Conch Republic merchandise and tickets.

TWO FILMS TIE FOR AUDIENCE AWARD AT 2020 MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL GEMS

TWO FILMS TIE FOR AUDIENCE AWARD AT 2020 MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL GEMS

Festivals

Published 10/13/20

Directed by Frank Marshall, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart is an emotional documentary through the memories of the brother band’s only surviving member, Barry Gibb, as he recalls how the best-selling music act evolved their unique sound after relocating to Miami in the mid-1970s. Sound of Metal, directed by Darius Marder, is already generating Oscar buzz for a Best Actor nomination for Ahmed’s blistering performance as a heavy-metal drummer whose life begins unravelling when he discovers he is losing his hearing. Last year’s MIAMI GEMS Audience Award winner, The Two Popes, went on to receive three Academy Award nominations while first runner-up Parasite, received the Academy Award for Best Picture. Spain’s double-Goya Award-winning Out in the Open, directed by Benito Zambrano, was chosen by audiences as first runner-up, and another HBO documentary, 537 Votes, directed by Billy Corben of the Miami-based production company Rakontur, was selected as second …

 Inffinito Brazilian Film Festival

Inffinito Brazilian Film Festival

Festivals

Published 9/18/20

The program includes fiction and documentary feature films produced and released in 2019/2020, as well as short films, indigenous filmmakers productions, past festival winners and black films, all with English subtitles.A pioneer in promoting Brazilian cinema all over the world, the Inffinito Brazilian Film Festival has been held for 24 consecutive years in cities such as Miami, New York, London, Vancouver, Rome, Milan, Frascati, Madrid, Barcelona, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Bogotá. With a total of 84 festival editions, the circuit has shown more than 1000 films, connecting Brazilian audiovisual productions to an unbounded audience outside of Brazil.This year, Inffinito is innovating by holding the Inffinito Brazilian Film Festival 2020 on the streaming platform www.inff.online, created exclusively by the company. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the outdoor screenings, a trademark of Inffinito festivals, will take place in Miami on September 26 in drive-in format, and in a park …

Fantasy Theatre Factory’s 3rd Annual Sandrell Rivers Day

Fantasy Theatre Factory’s 3rd Annual Sandrell Rivers Day

Festivals

Published 8/9/20

Among the festivities will be the bestowing of this year’s Sandrell Rivers Humanitarian Award to Dr. Larry R. Handfield, Esq., of The Handfield Firm. Serving as Emcee will be renown singer and entertainer Brenda Alford. Among the close to two dozen talented South Florida performing artists and entertainers scheduled to appear are jazz saxophonist Melton Mustafa, Jr., dancer Randolph Ward, magician Billy Byron, aerialist Luckner “Lucky” Bruno, and much more.“This is one of our most popular events at Sandrell Rivers Theater, drawing more than 300 attendees from all over South Florida but particularly from around Liberty City, where Chief Rivers focused her efforts in promoting the arts,” said FTF CEO/Executive Artistic Director Larry Fields. “With South Florida currently experiencing record numbers of COVID-19 cases, however, we have not been able to open our doors to the public. So we’ve decided to make this year’s event virtual.”“While a virtual event will be a …

OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Goes Virtual!

OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Goes Virtual!

Festivals

Published 8/3/20

The Virtual Edition starts with a Drive-In Opening Night experience beginning Thursday, August 20th. The remaining film events will screen daily, throughout the 10 days with live Q&A’s and actor appearances to maintain the “festival” experience. Participants will be able to view the film for up to 48 hours after the start date.Centerpiece and Closing Night Films will also have a virtual party experience involving entertainment, silent auctions, and chances for the virtual festival-goer to interact with each other.Films in the program will be first-run narrative feature length films, documentaries, and short film films. OUTshine’s program will not only be available in South Florida, but ALL of Florida. Executive Director Victor Gimenez says, “The Board & Staff have viewed the challenge of COVID-19 as one to make the Festival not only survive but grow. Since quarantine the Festival has had numerous virtual screenings, which have increased our audience …

Art in the Garden Opens At Key West Tropical Forest

Art in the Garden Opens At Key West Tropical Forest

Festivals

Published 6/17/20

Meander over Garden Boardwalks and down pathways through dappled shade, colorful blossoms and winged creatures of nature and spot….sculpture! The exhibit features local art & sculpture with artistic expressions emphasizing harmony with nature. These works are earth-friendly in the selection of materials (including recycled and natural material) and themes.The festival runs through August 31st and is open every day 10am – 4pm. The Garden is located 5210 College Road on Stock Island. Call 305-296-1504 or visit www.keywest.garden for directions and details. 

Quarantine Theatre Fest

Quarantine Theatre Fest

Festivals

Published 6/17/20

Summer Theatre Fest will become Quarantine Theatre Fest, where the South Florida Theatre League will heavily promote member organizations’ online offerings throughout the month of July and host multiple professional development opportunities for both artists and arts administrators.“Our members shifted quickly to engaging their audiences online since the middle of March. Since one of the few programming choices available to theatres at this time are online readings; it made more sense for us to lift up what they are already doing to engage audiences they might not be reaching currently and supplement with opportunities for continuing professional development,” said executive director, Andie Arthur.In addition to pushing audiences to try the theatre’s online programing, the League will be hosting multiple workshops throughout July including Corona Creatives and Chill - an online mini-conference for the community to discuss issues around COVID-19. They will also host a workshop …

4th Annual Mango Fest Key West goes Virtual

4th Annual Mango Fest Key West goes Virtual

Festivals

Published 4/30/20

Step into Mango Fest Key West’s "MANGO MANIA VIRTUAL VENDOR VILLAGE" where visitors enter a world of Mangoes. Experience the mango festival through shopping, education and demonstrations including local market fare, chef & bartender videos, mango art contest, local's favorite recipes, family "mango walk" and more!This year's festival will benefit Key West Police Athletic League youth programs.The Key West Police Athletic League’s youth programs provide a safe place that encourages teamwork and strong self-esteem. Members of the Key West Police Department donate their time and effort to support youth educational and sporting programs.The festival begins June 22nd through June 28th! For more information, visit: mangofestkeywest.com.

Miami Film Festival Presents World Premiere of THEY CALL ME DR MIAMI

Miami Film Festival Presents World Premiere of THEY CALL ME DR MIAMI

Festivals

Published 4/20/20

The new premiere dates are April 25 and 26, as the Festival will now premiere the film on its own VimeoVOD channel for a 48-hour period, available worldwide. A Live Q & A session will take place on the Festival’s Instagram channel @miamifilm on Sunday, April 26, from 6 – 6:30 p.m. hosted by Festival programmer Lauren Cohen with Dr. Michael Salzhauer – a.k.a. Dr. Miami.“Life during Safer-At-Home orders presents us with a challenge to find creative new ways to achieve our mission of connecting art with audiences,” said Miami Film Festival director Jaie Laplante. “Our excitement to premiere Jean-Simon Chartier’s portrait of one of Miami’s most colorful and unique personalities has remained undiminished, and we are thrilled to be able to present the film and a live, interaction discussion with Dr. Miami via online platforms.”They Call Me Dr. Miami is a profile of the phenomenon that is Dr. Miami - the most famous surgeon in America. Millions of loyal followers from …

THE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 28 YEARS

THE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 28 YEARS

Festivals

Published 1/8/20

For the fifth year in a row, the timeless Florida Renaissance Festival will offer seven jam-packed themed weekends to ring in its 28th season. This year, the celebration kicks off with a return to the English Monarchy and Henry VIII is back! Prepare for a greeting by jesters, jugglers, and jousting knights upon entering the gates, and sweet melodies can be heard from every corner of the kingdom. It’s a full day of entertainment where the entire family can marvel at fan favorite acts and performances that include immersive and interactive, real audience-participation scenarios. Join in on the fun with human powered rides, artisan craft shops and enough food & drink for a royal family feast!One of the nation’s most beloved events, with over 100,000 annual attendees and more than two million people having participated over the festival’s tenure, the Florida Renaissance Festival has devoted 28 years to capturing the essence of the Renaissance through entertainment and living …

MIAMI JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH ‘SAUL & RUBY’ WORLD PREMIERE ABOUT HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ BAND

MIAMI JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH ‘SAUL & RUBY’ WORLD PREMIERE ABOUT HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ BAND

Festivals

Published 1/8/20

“I follow people for years, however long it takes for the story to present itself,” Lending said.At the heart of his latest – “Saul & Ruby, To Life!” – are two Holocaust survivors, Saul Dreier, 94, of Coconut Creek and Reuwen “Ruby” Sosnowicz, 90, of Delray Beach, and their Holocaust Survivor Band.The documentary will open the Miami Jewish Film Festival on Jan. 9 at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. The festival will run through Jan. 23 at 14 venues throughout Miami-Dade County, and feature more than 100 films from 25 countries.“Even though I’m Jewish, I’ve never done a Jewish-themed story,” said Lending, 60, a native of Chicago. “I always wondered if I would ever make a film that had a connection to my own background and history.”He never could’ve imagined where their story would take him.At first, the film delved into their pasts in Poland and how Dreier found out about Sosnowicz when he wanted to form a Holocaust survivor klezmer band in …

Key West Food & Wine Festival

Key West Food & Wine Festival

Festivals

Published 12/30/19

By Laura RichardsonThe events on tap for the weekend range from the lavish (a kick-off party on the USCGC Ingham) to the unconventional (the Turtles and Sharks and Mermaids “Oh My” Grand Tasting at the Key West Aquarium). With a theme highlighting culinary decadence and environmental preservation, the festival aims to relish in the ocean’s culinary delights while collaborating with organizations (like Mote Marine, Surf Rider of the Florida Keys, and Reef Relief) dedicated to protecting our planet. This collaboration allows the Key West Food & Wine Festival to celebrate Key West’s rich culinary culture while raising awareness of the importance of marine wildlife preservation.A longtime believer in Key West’s potential as a top destination for food and wine lovers, Certonio is adamant that a town once synonymous with frozen daiquiris and fried conch fritters is fast undergoing a culinary metamorphosis. “I believe we are turning the corner to be a premier food …

Latin & Caribbean Food and Music Festival, Tastes Of Miami, Returns to Miami Seaquarium

Latin & Caribbean Food and Music Festival, Tastes Of Miami, Returns to Miami Seaquarium

Festivals

Published 11/15/19

“We are excited to bring back this one-of-a-kind event that will bring a taste of local culture inspired by our diverse city,” said Eric Eimstad, General Manager for Miami Seaquarium. “Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy food, music and fun this holiday season!”Each day of Tastes of Miami, local food trucks will be featuring their hallmark savory dishes for purchase. In addition, the Park’s food locations will offer special menu items such as tropical drinks, churros, arepas (round yellow corn cakes), and Tex-Mex-Corn roasted corn dipped in melted butter seasoned with a mix of parmesan cheese, chili powder, and parsley flakes. Miami Seaquarium will be swaying to Latin and Caribbean beats with live musical performances by local bands. On select days, guests can practice their dance moves – including Salsa and Zumba - with some of the best dance instructors. Kids can enjoy a play area with games and prizes, bounce houses, arts and crafts, and much more! There …

ABFF GOES BEYOND BEING A FILM FESTIVAL

ABFF GOES BEYOND BEING A FILM FESTIVAL

Festivals

Published 6/28/19

By Daisy Cabrera“Twenty-three years ago, there were only fifteen of us working behind the scenes and about 100 attendees. Today, we’ve become the premiere event for Black Hollywood and host more than 8,000 attendees every festival,” said ABFF Ventures’ Founder and CEO, Jeff Friday. “Initially, I had the thought that we needed a space to collaborate with each other and have time to celebrate each other and our upcoming projects. That vision has not only led to some amazing collaborations but also birthed a legacy of identifying emerging talent and solidified a strong presence within the Miami Beach, Miami, and Dade County communities with our community outreach efforts.”With celebrity ambassador La La Anthony in tow, ABFF brought together a jam-packed audience of up-and-coming, next generation producers, writers, actors, showrunners, editors, composers, creatives, photographers and directors. Anthony said, “We have proven that we support each other. We watch our films and …

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