Borscht makes movies in Miami.

Borscht  is a nonprofit with the simple mission to redefine cinema in Miami. Local filmmakers created Borscht in response to the lack of regional infrastructure and support, empowering artists to tell fresh Miami stories.

Since first receiving a grant from the Knight Foundation five years ago, Borscht has...

โ€œlegitimized the once-absurd premise of filmmaking in Miami...โ€

โ€œspur[ring] a filmmaking boom in South Florida...โ€ developing, overseeing, and commissioning the creation of dozens of short films, often by first-time filmmakers from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

During this time, Borscht's unlikely and unprecedented run has consisted of over 300 festival screenings worldwide (including ten films across six consecutive years at Sundance), over forty jury and audience awards, millions of online views, dozens of art exhibitions in galleries and museums like the Guggenheim and MoMA, and appearing on newspaper and magazine covers to announce Miami's independent film community as โ€œa freaky force to reckoned with."

Meanwhile on the home front, Borscht was simultaneously building one of the โ€œ25 coolest film festivals in the world,โ€ โ€œthe weirdest film festival on the planet,โ€ and โ€œMiami's best film festivalโ€ from the ground up. A biannual gonzo celebration of the commissioned work, the Borscht Film Festival is โ€œa crazy experience like nothing elseโ€ and a โ€œreinvention of the concept of the film festivalโ€ that has become โ€œpart of the city's cultural characterโ€ and โ€œone of the biggest forces behind Miami's renaissance.โ€

In 2014 Borscht was awarded South Florida Film Critics Circle's Golden Orange Award for โ€œfresh, vital...tireless championing of independent filmmakingโ€ in Florida. Recent retrospectives include Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), Glasgow Short Film Festival, CERN (Geneva) and IFP (New York), with another scheduled later this year at LACMA.

In a short period of time, Borscht has already taken strides to โ€œredefine cinema in Miamiโ€ and โ€œthe world is taking noticeโ€โ€“ even wondering if โ€œthe next great hope of American film is hiding in Florida.โ€


So, we are throwing a mini film fest this week :0))))

Just a flash fest really, a bunch of neat movies we like or maybe helped make in some small way, premiering in Miami. To be clear, this isn't a traditional fest- just a bunch of film events playing movies we love. There are also some parties, there will b pretty ppl there, treats, surprises, etc.

<3 U r invited if u want, but tickets are limited and will be snapped up quick! Even we have limited access to tix! <3

Included events are the Miami premieres of MA by Celia Rowlson-Hall, Jacqueline (Argentine) by Bernardo Britto, and Moonlight by Barry Jenkins. They are great, and best of all, made or developed in Miami.

Here's the deal below, or just save/download the handy jpg.

Borscht 9.5
mini flash fest
Oct 12-15, 2016
(sry 4 the wait)

Wed Oct 12

7:00 PM Memory Presents Program No.2 @Coral Gables Cinema
Miami premiere of sick shorts by Janicza Bravo, Romain Gavras, Sam Kuhn, etc.
Q&A w/ producers, presented w/ Gables Cinema
(must rsvp here)

9:00 PM Karaoke Afterparty @ 7 Seas

Thurs Oct 13

7:00 PM MA @ Miami Beach Cinematheque
Miami premiere of feature film by Celia Rowlson-Hall. โ€œNever-quite-seen-anything-like-it desert bound biblical odeโ€ - Filmmaker Mag
Q&A w/ director, star
(tix here)

(venice laurel) (ps1 laurel) (afi award laurel) (rotterdam laurel)

9:30 PM Dance Afterparty @ Mango's

Fri Oct 14

8:00 PMJacqueline (Argentine) @ Faena Screening Room
Miami premiere of feature film by local Bernardo Britto, starring Wyatt Cenac and Camille Rutherford. Homecoming for locally made, Sundance-approved film.
Q&A w/ director, producers
(must rsvp here)

(sundance laurel) (rotterdam laurel)

10:00 PM Afterparty @ Cucu's Nest

Sat Oct 15

6:00 PM Moonlight @ Colony Theater
Miami premiere of feature film by Miami native Barry Jenkins, based on play by local Tarell McCraney. Homecoming for Miami-made, Oscar-buzzing film.
Q&A w/ director, writer, presented by A24
(must rsvp here)

(telluride laurel) (toronto laurel) (new york laurel) (bfi london laurel)

8:00 PM Moonlight Afterparty @ PAMM
(must rsvp here)

11:30 PM Fire Walk With Me @ Byron Carlyle
35 mm screening of David Lynch classic.
presented w/ Secret Celluloid Society
(tix here)

"cuz the real gems were made in miami" lol

Hallo Nederlandse mensen!

We are so excited to share that the Incubate Festival is Tilburg, Netherlands is hosting a four-day "Best of Borscht" screening series from September 8-11!

If you are in the area, come check it out!

Here's what they have to say about it (us) [you]:
"It is the very first time that Miami's Borscht Corporation will show their film collection in the Netherlands and it will blow you away! Do not expect mainstream narratives but think idiosyncratic, eclectic and sometimes bizarre scenes and visuals. Come watch the Best of Borscht: a 90 minute selection of short films every day."

wij houden van jou

Hello NSA! Hello Borscht friend! Hello Interwebz! As you may know, we are accepting grant applications for Borscht Diez. As you may (not) know, the deadline is this Friday, July 1st (hehe). With grant-making season drawing to a close, and Lady Liberty's birthday just around the corner, we wanted to share a very special, very feminist new initiative of ours with you.

This year, Borscht will increase its creative and financial support of women filmmakers by establishing a BRO FREE ZONE. What does this mean, you ask? As a female-driven organization, it's important to us that women filmmakers not encounter the barricades of skepticism and sexism they often face when seeking funding.

So, in addition to this doubling down, all funding/support for female-driven Borscht Diez projects will be determined exclusively by women on the Borscht team. This BRO FREE ZONE will ensure women creators have a safe space to get weird on their own terms.

Get to werq on those apps, everybody! Time is running out. When you finish your app, please enjoy these Slumpies videos by our Most Esteemed & Highly Benevolent Mother of Mercy Jillian Mayer at your leisure.


We have officially launched our call for entries for Borscht Diez commissions! Anyone with an idea for a project in, of, or about Miami can apply for $$$ or production support via our free application. The deadline is July 1st, but don't wait as we have already started giving out grants (responsibly).


Artists may apply for grants to help them create a project in, of, or about Miami. Applicants do not necessarily need to be living in or from Miami, but preference will be given to those based locally.

Depending on the artist and nature of the project, you may be eligible for a cash grant, full production support, and/or other considerations.

All applications will be reviewed by a moderately qualified panel. Grants are administered on a rolling basis until July 1st, 2016 or until funding runs out, so the sooner you apply the better your chances.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our previous work on this website and consider if your project is right for us before you apply. Past recipients are encouraged to apply again.

These grants are generously supported by the Knight Foundation and OneFifty Time Warner Inc.

You should also apply to these grants for South Florida Filmmakers: they are also free and have the same deadline as us at Miami Film Development Program.

Yayyyy bogo grant$$$$!!!

Some big news: we can finally announce our partnership with Time Warner! Thanks to this new partnership, we are happy to be able to give out even more grants and support this year with the creation of the OneFifty 1st Generation Grant. Yayyyyyy

Here's an official statement with more info:
We are proud to announce a grant specifically supporting the voices of first generation American filmmakers. While the majority of filmmakers we support are minorities or women, this has never been an explicit part of our mission. We never gave a second thought to our sets and films being as diverse as the city where they were made, but as we begin to gain experience working on projects outside of the magical Borscht bubble, we realize that this diversity is a rare experience. For example, we were shocked to learn that at a major film festival this year, 50% of US fiction shorts by Latinos were Borscht commissions.

Time Warner Inc., home of HBO, Warner Bros and Turner Broadcasting, is one of the Hollywood powers actually doing something about this. They support organizations like ours to correct the absurdity of under representation in film. It is in partnership with Time Warner’s OneFifty, an incubator financing content from artists who take risks and investing directly in storytellers whose voices resonate with diverse global audiences, that we offer this grant. By supporting first generation American filmmakers specifically, this grant will create content reflective of our world and amplify those voices that we at Borscht already nurture.

Not only will the funding go towards the creation of new cinematic projects, but this partnership will also create a direct talent pipeline from our small regional films to much larger platforms. There are several Borscht filmmakers who have already entered this pipeline: Hialeahโ€™s own Marco Ramirez (A Toast from Borscht 7) is currently writing the new Akira adaptation for Warner Brothers, Mayer\Leyva (#PostModem from Borscht 8) have just finished shooting a pilot for Warner OneFifty, and the Meza Brothers (Boniato from Borscht 9) are developing episodic digital content for Warner Next.

Now, with the same free application we’ve always had, filmmakers can apply for a OneFifty 1st Generation Filmmakers Grant available here.

Tamir Muhammad, Director of Content & Artist Development at OneFifty says:“OneFifty is proud to partner with Borscht Corp., an artists’ collective whose proven commitments to taking risks and owning their narrative reflects our own.This funding recognizes the further support needed to amplify their existing strategy: to elevate the vibrant, varied of voices of Miami and now the stories from 1st generation storytellers, globally. Jillian, Lucas and their team have built a brand that is unapologetically artistic, and we are thrilled to help provide grants to further 1st generation immigrant voices under their tutelage.”

Nothing we do will change. With this grant, we can just do it bigger. We retain complete autonomy while working with the OneFifty team, who have the utmost respect for the creative process and are valuable sources of knowledge to our community. We are excited to share this opportunity with our community as we continue to grow together, amplifying our Miami voices across the globe.

You can find out more about Time Warnerโ€™s 150 but visiting their website below:

Good day, friends.

Today we would like to share a special little film about a special little peanut* named Allie.

Allie The Peanut starred in a film called El Sol Como Un Gran Animal Oscuro (The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal) we commissioned with the O,Miami Poetry Festival a few years ago, inspired by the poems of Alejandra Pizarnik.

While the brilliant Christina Felisgrau and Ronnie Rivera of Bleeding Palm were the principal creative forces, it was truly a local collective effort to bring it to life, with poets, artists, filmmakers, and musicians like P. Scott Cunningham, The Meza Brothers, Bernardo Britto, Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer, Augustina Woodgate, Otto von Schirach, and Nayib Estefan all chipping in, with producer Dennis Scholl pushing the film all along to create the little peanut that could. :,)

The film premiered at Sundance in 2015, and had a festival run that was highlighted by winning a Jury Prize at the New Orleans Film Festival- a prize that we can assure you has nothing to do with a late night meeting that occurred between an executive producer and a juror outside the men's room of the Love Lost Lounge in Merigny, sometime between the hours of 2 and 3 AM.

While we are proud to say that today the film premieres to the world as a Vimeo Staff Pick, this news is bittersweet.

Alas, while Allie The Peanut is beloved across the globe, she is not feeling the love locally, in the very soil from which she sprung.

Despite our passionate pleas, Allie is being denied a star on The Official Miami Walk of Fame at Bayside Marketplace, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Film/Video Entertainment Industry.

We feel this needs to change NOW.

We refuse to speculate that this could be the result of sexism, even though there is only one other female on this prestigious walk, nor do we want to point that that only 20% of the Film/Video Stars are Latino in this minority-majority city.

No, we just want The Official Miami Walk of Fame at Bayside Marketplace Inc. to recognize Allie for her breathtaking range as a performer and acknowledge that she deserves to be immortalized on a gorgeous Romero Britto-designed star on this walk alongside other Miami luminaries like Adam Rodriguez (CBS drama "Reckless"), Kevin James ("Grown Ups 2"), Channing Tatum ("G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"), and "Rio 2 Animated Film."

So, we are asking you, dear friends, to sign our petition.

In this season of political acrimony and partisanship, I think we can all agree on the love of a peanut. Please share with all your friends, and help us right this grave injustice. Here's the movie:

Enjoy your week.



PS. Good luck on the elimination tournament Miami Heat Professional Basketball Team!

*We aren't really sure if she is a peanut but she looks like one.

Hello friends!

We are writing you from the hour you lost the other night, from which we would like to share the long-awaited release of one of the short films commissioned for Borscht 9 titled BISCAYNE WORLD.

It was an honor to develop the first film by legendary street artist Ahol Sniffs Glue, and team him up with filmmakers Michael Arcos and Marnie Ellen to bring his vision to life.

The film had a successful festival run that saw the very-Miami film screened everywhere from Glasgow to Arkansas to Los Angeles to back home on the cover of the Miami New Times. The experimental animated documentary has already been featured on Vice and named a Vimeo Staff Pick, and now you can watch it below:

If you happen to be at SXSW TODAY, you can catch Ahol speaking on a panel titled "Fuck You, Sue Me: Artist Rights, Corporate Theft" with fellow Miami filmmakers Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva and their intellectual property attorney Andrew Gerber. The panel will teach you how to protect yourself from IP infringement, defend your 1st amendment right to fair use, and will recount their various successful legal kerfuffles with American Eagle Outfitters, Warner Music, the NBA, Chris Bosh, Korean Department Stores, and Miami International Film Festival

Other SXSW happenings today for those in Austin: Glove, the Borscht short by Bernardo Britto and Alexa Haas fresh off its Sundance premiere, is playing in the Animated Shorts Competition, and Yung Jake (performed at last two Borscht festivals) will be live at the Fader Fort.

Meanwhile in Miami... Stripper Wars, the first film by Giancarlo Loffredo, continues its festival run from Cinequest to Aspen to Miami International Film Festival, which we are so happy is finally supporting local filmmakers after years of us proving there was the talent and audience for homegrown work.

big news coming soon! ttyl



Hello friends!

This year 8,712 short films were submitted to the Sundance Film Festival, the most prestigious festival in the country. Of those, only 41 US fiction shorts were selected.

Four of them were Borscht shorts.

This will be the sixth year in a row Borscht shorts represent Miami at Sundance, and will bring the total of our films played there to 10.

From the initial inspiration and help making the films, to showing up by the thousands when the rough cuts are screened at the Borscht Film Festival...itโ€™s truly a collaborative effort, and none of this happens without the love from Miami, our volunteers, the support from the local industry, the Knight Foundation, and all the people who read these silly emails.

When we started this quixotic project with a dumb name years ago, we never dreamt that we would send shorts to Sundance for six years in a row to represent Miami, much less that this tiny community would represent 10% of American short-form filmmaking at this festival. We are humbled and grateful that the Sundance programmers deem the projects worthy of this platform.

So, thank you all and congrats!

The shorts are:

Dolfun by Sebastian Silva
A love story becomes an existential crisis when Silva fulfills his lifelong dream of swimming with a dolphin.

Glove by Alexa Haas and Bernardo Britto
After accidentally being unclipped from a spacecraft, an astronautโ€™s glove travels to the edge of the universe.
[Bernardo is also premiering his feature Jacqueline (Argentine) at the festival, which was partially shot in Miami!]

Boniato by Diego Meza-Valdes, Andres Meza-Valdes, and Eric Mainade
A migrant worker who is illegally in the U.S. decides itโ€™s time to move on from picking crops and find a better job. Little does she know insidious supernatural forces have a different plan for her.
(watch trailer here)

Swimming in Your Skin Again by Terence Nance which you can watch in its entirety today on Nowness!
A film about motherhood, banality, Miami, the water, the divine feminine and how to sing in church in a way that calls forth your own adulthood.

Most of these films played in rough form at the last Borscht Film Festival, which was just named one of the 25 Coolest Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine

All this to say:

Thank you!!!


Dearest Friends,

Sometimes we are so busy making things in our manic quest to battle our personal demons tell Miami stories, we forget to tell you when we are done with them.

Well, somehow we forgot to tell you about our little MTV show called No Seasons, named after the Jacuzzi Boys song.

You can watch the first 8 episodes on or on Vimeo below:

Created by Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer, No Seasons is a surreality show that follows the adventures of Julian Yuri Rodriguez as he tries to become a niรฑo bueno (good kid) while navigating Miami's strange, dark underworld. 

It's about love and maturity and violence and Catholicism and race and being human and how this world can be hard and confusing but everyone is just doing their best to exist and find moments of weirdness and beauty in their lives. There is also a monkey in it!

You may remember the origins of this series from Borscht 7's opener Piratas in 2011. It's basically that. But as a show. For tweens.

Oh, here are some pictures of actual human beings with our logo tattooed on them:

All Life is Real,


New Yorkers! You may live in a place writer Nick Pinkerton described as"A PROHIBITIVELY-EXPENSIVE RANCID HELLHOLE RAPIDLE BEING DENUDED OF ALL HUMAN CHARACTER WANTS SOME ARTISANAL SHIT?" but, at least for this weekend, you can have some Borscht.

Starting tomorrow (Thursday, the 30th) and going until Monday (August 2nd), IFP is hosting the first Borscht Retrospective in your aggressively marketed 'greatest city in the world' (-Taylor Swift).

It's free but you have to RSVP here.

Because it's in NY, the heartland of America's content farm, Art in America (gently) suggested you check it out! 

Miamians, Miamites, we are still yours.

Enjoy the summertime sadness (-via 2k13 LDR).



Hello friends, hello May.

We are still Doing Things! Sundance came to town and hosted a Shortslab just for Miamians, who would have thought? Then the other night we premiered a new short we commissioned by Jacolby Satterwhite at the Perez Art Museum, and somehow got Trina to perform at this Very Fancy Art Museum.

If you didn't catch these events, you can see our work in person as our films make their glorious trudge through the festival circuit on our External Validation Tour 2015, sponsored by our deepest insecurities and Floridian inferiority complex. Here's where you can catch us this month:

Maryland Film Festival - Playing 6 Borscht Shorts!
Stanley Film Festival- Playing 2 Borscht Shorts!
Little Rock Film Festival- Playing 3 Borscht Shorts!
Los Angeles Film Festival- Playing 3 Borscht Shorts!
East Oregon Film Festival- Playing 3 Borscht Shorts!
Rooftop Films Summer Screening Series- Playing 3 Borscht Shorts!
Seattle Film Festival
Haiti Film Festival
BAM CinemaFest


As a bonus, here is some Content on the Internet to briefly fill that void in our lives we can't quite name. Be Sure To Share With Friends on Relevant Social Medias!

First, we just released a new short that was made for Borscht 9 in December, premiered at SXSW, and now was just chosen as a Vimeo Staff pick and is on the front page of Reddit! Here is All Your Favorite Shows by Danny Madden and our friends at Ornana Films, created by cutting together over 160 films to make this 1 animation:

Our alums are keeping busy as well, here are some music videos released in the last month...

Starting with Adan Jodorowsky directing a video for his own song (click the pic, NSFW):

Julian Yuri Rodriguez recently released a video he codirected for Miami rapper Denzel Curry feat Mike Dece (you saw Mike's mom in Julian's last short at BFF9, Lake Mahar!)  Click the pic, probably NSFW:

Finally A/D/D took a break from making Miami horror things to direct this R&B thing by Janine and The Mixtape:

Enjoy the void and c u next month!



Hello friends!

If we had such a thing as seasons in Miami, we would wish you a happy spring, but alas!

Just because we are letting your inbox chill doesn't mean we haven't been busy. This is actually a thoroughly insane weekend for us, with all-Borscht programs premiering at THREE different film festivals that you should check out if you are near one:

Cineglobe Film Festival at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. [Yes, we will be playing Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse! as the Large Hadron Collider opens up tiny black holes just below our feet. Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva will also be lecturing there (seriously).]

Treefort Film Festival in Boise, Idaho. Boise!

Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Florida. [Michael Arcos and Marnie Ellen (Biscayne World) will be there for a Q and A as well as a secret program in a Tampa hotel room.]

The films were all sent on these disks:

Not to mention the Papa Machete screening on Sunday at New Voices in Black Cinema at BAM, which the NY Times calls "hypnotic."

For those of you keeping track of our terribly insecure external validation scorecard, this caps an impressive month for Borscht shorts that also saw All Your Favorite Shows! premiere to positive reviews at SXSW, Swimming in Your Skin Again get a rave review from Filmmaker Magazine, Ahol Sniffs Glue's Biscayne World tear it up at Glasgow Film Festival, and El Sol Como Un Gran Animal Oscuro continue its run at Cinequest!

See you in April at a 'Theatrrr Near U!'


PS. Let's play a game of "spot the filmmaker from Miami" in this press photo from the Glasgow Short Film Festival:

Hello friends!

Been a long(ish) time! In case you didn't notice, we threw a big festival exactly a month ago that IndieWire called "the weirdest film festival on the planet." But this email isn't about our "spirited and distinctly local reinvention of the concept of the film festival" (Filmmaker Magazine Winter 2015 Issue), it's about celebrating the movies we help create!

This week, FOUR of the films you first saw at Borscht will be representing Miami having their official premieres at other prestigious festivals.

Papa Machete by Jonathan David Kane and The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal by Christina Felisgrau and Ronnie Rivera (Bleeding Palm) will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

Swimming in Your Skin Again by Terence Nance will premiere at Rotterdam Film Festival. And Sea Devil, by Calavera (Borscht 8) will premiere at Slamdance Film Festival.

Soon we will put all these films online to share with you, but in the meantime we want to give you the full link to Yearbook by Bernardo Britto, which premiered almost exactly a year ago at Sundance where it took home a Jury Prize and went to to screen at over fifty other festivals, winning over a dozen awards and becoming one of the most celebrated shorts ever, whose Oscar snub was called a "travesty."

Anyway, take five minutes out of your day to enjoy this little gem about a man who is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before the planet blows up:



PS If you happen to be at Park City, say hi! We are giving away Haitian Rum and zines of Argentine poetry. We are the brown people.