Compared to New York and Los Angeles — and let’s not forget Atlanta — Miami can be a difficult place for an independent filmmaker to get funding for a feature film. Last year, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved a rebate system for film or television productions that spend at least $1 million to get a $100,000 rebate, which helps local filmmakers working for big-budget productions. But where does that leave the microbudget, indie filmmaker?
ArtCenter/South Florida has stepped in with a whole lotta dough to make independent film production a reality for local filmmakers: $100,000 to fund two feature films shot in Miami. The New Cinematic Arts Residency will be led by Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, a local filmmaker and the director and cofounder of the Third Horizon Film Festival. He says the program fills a void for those, like him, who have found themselves with a successful short film but nowhere to go from there.
“I’ve produced a handful of short films that have been successful,” he notes. “Three of them have gone to Sundance and other major film festivals, but I found myself hitting that wall, say maybe a year ago. I found myself in this place where I was saying, ‘OK, I don’t know what else there is for me to do in Miami.’”