Miami, we each have a complex relationship with you and all of your cultural/social dimensions. However on film, TV, and music (oh god music), our city usually exists solely as a (drug induced) pastel party. Miami native and filmmaker, Yesenia Lima, is hoping to change that by broadening the portrayal of the city through her upcoming film – MIAmi.
“I was looking at how cities were represented in film and how they were many times underrepresented or misrepresented, and I wanted to tell stories of what I experience every day to show a different side of Miami,” said Yesenia.
MIAmi will zone in on the city’s differing Hispanic cultural spectrum, while at the same time create an intersection between Yesenia’s own portrayal of the city and the archetype we have come to recognize in films.
“I am trying to create a more dimensional representation of the city, not to say sex and drugs aren’t involved, but we want to play with the dimensions that apply and show more than a flat depiction.”
MIAmi will start shooting this July. The film follows the intersecting stories of four millennial Miami locals from the neighborhoods of Hialeah, Coral Gables, Little Havana, and Brickell. These particular neighborhoods were chosen for their unique histories and evolutions. MIami will also depict the complexities that millennials face today.
“So many films show millennials in a way that make them seem like they don’t have their heads together and the truth is we have inherited a very heavy burden within our generation.”
The intersecting stories and characters of the film include Tony, a high school senior trying to figure out his next step while navigating a difficult relationship with his mother; Laura, a recent college grad who moved back home in the face of scarce job opportunities; Jorge, a telenovela actor teetering between the comfort of local fame and aspirations for a greater career; and Marvin, a ‘Miami boy’ trying to become a rapper. These four individuals are all learning exactly what home means to them.
The characters and their stories speak to Yesenia’s reality and context in Miami.
“I drew from what I know; all the characters are at a crossroad. I relate most to Laura, who moves back home to Coral Gables and is reacquainted with the people and the places of her past. She also witnesses how her friends’ personalities who stayed in Miami differ from her own.”
The character of Marvin also hits home for Yesenia because he is based on one of her friends and the character’s story is set in Hialeah, where Yesenia grew up.
“Marvin has a lot of misogynistic humor that is seen through the quirky situations he finds himself in. This type of humor captures how many young locals project their cultural upbringing.”
It will be interesting to see how Yesenia shows the topic of misogyny, a topic which is not a laughing matter, but when addressed in an informed and authentic way can make all of the difference. Yesenia and her team seem to be undertaking quite a necessary and ambitious task with MIAmi which attempts to examine the unexamined.
Help Make MIAmi Movie Magic!!
Funding for MIAmi will go to:
- Housing and travel expenses for cast/crew
- Keeping our cast/crew fueled during production
- Lens kit to compliment our cameras and bring a unique look to the depiction of the city.
- Wardrobe, hair and make-up
- Props and set decoration
- A cargo van rental for transporting equipment
- Hard drives for managing digital data
- Marketing fees such as official promotional material, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Distribution costs such as submitting to film festivals, local screenings, working with distribution platforms such as distribber.com, making official MIAmi DVDs, etc.
Donate to MIAmi MOVIE Indiegogo Campaign
Although production does not start until July, you can check out an event that will feature the film’s team at the RAW Artist Showcase in Miami on May 22nd at LMNT.