Report From Miami: The Borscht Film Festival Beckoned!


And how could I resist?

It was a trip to paradise, after all.

And the fest was described thusly:

“A quasi yearly event held at iconic Miami venues that showcases films created by emerging regional filmmakers telling Miami stories that go beyond the typical portrayal of the city as a beautiful but vapid party town, forging the cinematic identity of the city.”

So I could enjoy the films all day–then plunge into the beautiful but vapid party town at night!


Miami has real soul.

And lots of burgeoning art scenes, which are reflected in the personal, expressive filmmaking that Borscht serves with brio.

The first Borscht festival event I went to was the Bosh festival–it sounds confusing, but hey, it’s avant garde–a gigantic installation at the Miami Art Museum where auteurs of all types projected films on the wall as young hipsters sauntered around and took in the swirling imagery like a drug.

The films dabbled in mime, Harmony Korine, computer skills, and silent movie vamping, all colliding into each other as a live DJ created video artistry on the spot.

The next night at the Ziff Opera House was the main event: A procession of short films following each other seamlessly, from satirical trailers to commentaries on technology and violence to wry comedies about Cuban history–all wonderfully short, which was especially refreshing in the midst of bloated-epic Oscar-bait season!

The films were avant garde, over the top, self-indulgent, experimental, and often inspired. If you didn’t like one, there was another one coming in a minute–and the whole stimulatory assault ended up being a tribute to Miami’s artistic spirit and proof that good weather doesn’t always destroy the brain.

And also on the schedule was a petting zoo! How many film festivals offer that?

I like cold Borscht well enough, but this one is definitely hot.