On December 1st, 2008, the John S. and James L. Foundation recognized the Miami World Cinema Center (MWCC) as one of the 31 recipients of the Knights Arts Challenge Grant with a matching-funds grant of $750,000 over four years. Out of 1,643 entries, Patrick de Bokay – Former Director of the Miami International Film Festival – and University of Miami graduates Josh Miller and Sam Rega, directors of the documentary Miami Noir: The Arthur Teele Story, proposed to create a hub for creative talent in filmmaking and promote local production. Today, after much research and planning, the Miami World Cinema Center inaugurates its new offices in Wynwood, Miami‘s newest up-and-coming arts district.
As the first non-profit film studio in Miami, MWCC’s mission is to provide tools for filmmakers and ensure an increased production of high quality films. In order to achieve these goals, MWCC has assembled a Board of Directors comprised of established professionals in the industry with ties to Miami. Their role is to ensure that MWCC will fulfill its mission with the strongest support and guidance. The members are: South Florida resident David Frankel, director of films such as Marley & Me and The Devil Wears Prada, Ben Odell, Partner and Head of Production for Miami based feature film company Panamax, Sam Grogg, Dean of University of Miami School of Communication, Deborah Liebling, President of Production at Fox Atomic and Steve Krams, President and CEO of Continental Film and Digital Labs.
“Miami is a young emerging metropolis with about 100 years of film history and plenty of creative artistic talent. Since films only exist because of creative artistic talent, our mission is to find it and facilitate the filmmaking process”, said de Bokay, CEO of Miami World Cinema Center. “We are delighted to have such a distinguished group of professionals on our board of directors. We hope that MWCC will be the catalyst for the South Florida industry to become compact and cohesive.”
MWCC has also defined four areas of development as a way to approach their mission: MWCC Education, which aims to provide students with hands-on interactive opportunities within the film industry. This area has been customized for high school, university and professional levels. The second area of development, MWCC Talent, has been created in order to seek and promote creative talent through participation contests, events, screening and press. MWCC Production is the developing / producing arm of MWCC developing feature films, documentaries, music videos and other projects. MWCC Communications offers marketing and public relations solutions for art-related events keeping at a reasonable cost to ensure that artists meet their goals.
“It is our strong focus on developing this creative talent through production that will allow us to achieve for Miami what the Austin Film Society achieved for their community,” explained Josh Miller, Chief Creative Officer of MWCC. “Our four areas of development cover the range of all the industry’s needs in South Florida. When it comes to filmmaking per se, MWCC will operate in all aspects, from development to distribution”
MWCC headquarters are located at 450 NW 28th Street in Wynwood. The 2000 square feet open area accommodates a screening room, editing suites and production desks. “We encourage all filmmakers to come and visit for an exchange of creative ideas and to discuss their projects and see how we can help,” stated Sam Rega, Chief Creative Officer of MWCC. “We are already working on our first project.”
MWCC’s first development project is the first installment of a feature film horror series being developed through the auspices of MWCC with a script by award-winning directors Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes. This film follows a serial killer tormenting a young group of friends as they run an off-the-books parking lot during the internationally acclaimed Miami Art Basel Festival.
The MWCC lot welcomes the Borscht Film Festival, a yearly event held at iconic Miami venues showcasing the work of local filmmakers under the age of 30 who specialize in telling Miami stories that go beyond the typical portrayal of the city. MWCC and Borscht have teamed to transform the underground festival’s fifth year into one of national recognition. This year’s festival unites acclaimed local directors with Miami’s top emerging talent in the creation of Miami-centric films.
The education program kicks off next Thursday, April 9th at 7:00 pm at the Gusman Theater with a screening of “88 Minutes” with live interactive commentary by Randall Emmett. Randall Emmett: A Decade of Hollywood Producing. At 26, Randall Emmett already had Hollywood producer credits to his name. Miami native, L.A. producer and larger than life character, Emmett recounts his story of producing over 50 movies in 10 years. This event consists of a 30 minute Q&A session detailing his path from New World to Hollywood, live interactive commentary of “88 Minutes” screening with Producer Randall Emmett and unreleased dailies from Emmett’s newest film Streets of Blood.
Miami World Cinema Center
450 NW 28th street
Miami, FL 33127