Thursday, November 6th, Reel City Films’ Creator and Executive Producer Frank Kelly presented the Reel Miami Project. Reel Miami is comprised of six short films, each set in a popular neighborhood but with unique story lines. Unlike a basic tourism commercial, these films tell stories created by filmmakers, all with the theme of ‘a weekend in Miami.’
“Miami is not just Ocean Drive,” said Kelly as he explained his passion project. And anyone who has lived in our city for more than a month knows this. According to Kelly, the films feature the six parts of Miami that represent us to the world. These neighborhoods lie as a scenic backdrop to the short stories.
While the films may be short, the stories are intriguing and well written. Thursday’s premiere included the first public viewing of “Miami Beach,” one of the six films set at the SLS Hotel. The film, featuring local actors Elisabetta Fantone, Eric Aragon and Carlos Mena and written/directed by Carlos Gutierrez, centers around a couple on vacation who decide to impersonate a man of power, which leads to a confrontation with the Russian mob. We won’t give away the ending, but we will tell you it’s the best part.
The SLS Hotel, which is featured in the Miami Beach film, was also a great setting for the premiere. The film was projected onto a screen by the pool – what is more Miami than that? Guests sipped on complementary Bacardi mojitos and munched on delectable treats from Jose Andres’s The Bazaar and Katsuya. You can sense the excitement from the crowd, eager to see their city in a new way.
One of the many characteristics that make this project so cool is that the cast and crew are all locals, including director Fro Rojas for the ‘Wynwood’ film. Kelly chose each director and actor personally, after scouring film festivals and watching hours of films. At Thursday’s premiere, attendees could meet the actors, directors and crewmembers who were present. Kelly also mentioned how local sponsors really helped make this project come to life, including Bacardi Rum, Car 2 Go and the New World Symphony, which are all featured in the film.
As of now, we can expect ‘Miami Beach’ and ‘Wynwood’ to be released December 12th on the Reel Miami Project website. The website is also an excellent source to learn more about the cast and crew involved in each film and the sponsors that made it all possible. This extremely functional and easy-to-use website allows users to plan their trip to Miami to visit the locations seen in the films. The home page features a “Travenality” tab, which will help you figure out the best activities based on your travel personality. The Reel Concierge tab provides you with details on the hotels, brands and restaurants featured in the film. You can even purchase exclusive hotel packages on the site. While the website is not fully live yet, it will soon provide a foolproof guide for tourists and locals alike to experience Miami in a new way.
words and photos_nicole vila