Volume 47, Number 9 - December 14, 2009

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Cassie Mestre
Cassie Mestre

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Picture of Borscht film festival

Borscht Film Festival

By Cassie Mestre

At 6:45 p.m. the crowds were clustered together like a flock of sheep, anxiously waiting to be seated. The Borscht Film Festival turnout was larger than anticipated, surprising even Godfrey Hibbert, one of the animators of What the Tide Brought In.

“I haven’t seen the [entire] film yet,” Hibbert said. “So tonight’s the night where I finally get to see it all.”  

Godfrey Hibbert was one of the 1,000 plus people attending the Borscht Film Festival at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts on November 28. Since 2004, the festival has been a yearly showcase for films produced by local Miami artists.

Hibbert, a New World School of the Arts multi-media arts major, has previously worked on other projects such as Drinking and Drawing: Miami but nothing like What the Tide Brought In

The short film is about four children who each create a story for a mysterious man who washed ashore on the beach. Each segment has a distinct animation style to reflect the children’s different imaginations. Hibbert, along with two other animators, worked on the rotoscope scene for the short film, hand painting each individual live-action frame.

“We were told we had a deadline of ten days,” Hibbert said, “so there were a lot of sleepless nights.”

Inside the center, the band Sirens & Sealions started their set with the song “Tumbleweed,” while the projector decided not to work.  Animal Tropical played next saying to the crowd “tough” if you didn’t understand the title of their first song (which no one probably did). The crowd was surprised by the performance of Afrobeta with Tony Smurphio on guitar and Cuci Amador on vocals. The best technical difficulty distraction thus far, their electro-funk dance songs were a great remedy to the long wait.  

After the projector got there “all the way from Hialeah” according to the announcer, the real action started. Twelve short films, centered on the Miami area, each portraying a different district from Kendall to Brickell, were screened. Each short film had a Latin flavor to it; whether it was the language spoken or the actor’s last names, it was there, mingling with the message.

The films depicted the elements that make Miami’s culture so distinctive and showed that the city is filled with talented artists.

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