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By Lucas Leyva, Borscht Film Festival

There is just one week left to submit your project to be considered for a commission in the form of funding or production assistance from the Borscht Film Festival! It’s quick, free and easy to apply on our website the deadline is June 1st.

There are no limits on applicant age or project scope.  The only stipulation is that it is from emerging filmmakers born, raised, inspired by, or living in South Florida. Any form, any genre, any subject matter is welcome, as long as it deals with South Florida in some way. Once again, you don’t need to be in Miami, you just need to have an interest in the concept of it.
If selected, your film will be given funding, guided through the production process, screened at the next Borscht Film Festival (Borscht 8, to be held in winter of 2012) and later submitted to national and international film festivals. All entries qualify for a free consultation session with our trusted and eccentric “script doctor” as well as other perks, and will be reviewed by a panel of local and national experts. Each year has been more competitive than the last, but this year we hope to give out more support than ever, particularly to local filmmakers we have not worked with in the past.
Since receiving a Knight Arts Challenge Grant in 2010, Borscht Corp. has quickly established itself as the top creator of narrative content in Miami.  Previous projects that have been commissioned by Borscht have been in competition at Sundance (two years in a row), and this year we had four shorts in competition at South by Southwest (a record). As of this moment, films from the batch produced last year have gone on to play 40 film festivals in 7 different countries, including 12 prestigious Oscar-qualifying festivals. Other commissioned projects have been turned into short series for AMC and resulted in development deals with MTV.
Not that any of this should be intimidating- we accept projects from people at all stages of their careers. Last year our intern, 18 year-old Kayla de la Cerda, wrote the screenplay for “With Me,” which ended up becoming a film directed by upcoming director Fro Rojas and starring Josie Loren of ABC’s “Make It or Break It.” After premiering at Borscht, the short went on to win awards at festivals in Los Angeles and New York, and is now being developed into a feature-length film.
Even if you don’t want to partner with us on your production, we still work with emerging filmmakers to support their work in a variety of ways- including showcasing finished films during the festival (the deadline for completed films is October 1st). If you have any more questions, please refer to our FAQ

In other news, we are very proud to say that the Bud Light Lime commercial filmed in downtown Miami last month has been airing nationally during the NBA playoffs. We are proud because the spot was directed by Andrew Zuchero of Greencard Pictures, who came down last year as a guest filmmaker to collaborate with local musician Otto von Schirach on the short “Otto and the Electric Eel,” playing at the Brooklyn Film Festival next month. When Andrew booked the commercial they initially wanted to shoot in Los Angeles or Buenos Aires, but because of his familiarity with Miami and support system he found here during the Borscht shoot, he convinced the production to shoot here. The result was over $1,000,000 spent locally (a over 600% return on the Knight Arts Challenge Grant!) and many of the people who lent their talents to creating the Borscht short were rewarded with high-paying positions on the commercial shoot both in front of and behind the camera (if you look carefully, may be able to spot local artists Jillian Mayer, the TM Sisters, and Otto himself in the commercial). Congrats Andrew!

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