This Saturday, January 27 from noon to 10 pm will see the Miami debut of Naked Mountain International Independent Short Film Fest. The screening will take place at Universal Casting at 6454 NE 4th Ave Miami, FL 33138 and will feature short films by filmmakers from over 20 countries. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here and includes admission and a free drink at the after party at Zey Zey.
Before Saturday’s festivities Naked Mountain founder Stefan Rollins hopped on to the Jitney to answer a few of our questions about the festival.
How did Naked Mountain International Independent Short Film Fest first get started?
Stefan Rollins: I started the film festival initially as a way to showcase a film I had made. I wanted to screen for people where I lived, then thought I would invite other friends/filmmakers to screen with me, make it a party. And then I just said to myself, why don’t I start a festival? It arose from wanting to share and be inspired from other filmmakers and storytellers. The festival’s tag line is, “uncover what it means to be human” so what I really want to experience and share is our personal and connected humanity and life experience across perceived boundaries and differences.
Why did you choose to have this year’s festival in Miami after last year in New York?
I currently live in Miami with my wife and really wanted to highlight and give place to some great filmmakers here. Plus, I am excited to share really great, creative, and poignant films from around the world here in Miami
What was the process in creating the program for this year’s Fest?
We do a call for films though a website called FilmFreeway. This is primarily how we got great submissions from over 20 countries around the world. And also word of mouth. I tried to get submissions from as many local filmmakers as I could.
What are some can’t miss flicks and events?
We have some really fascinating and well done films in this program. A wonderful film from a local filmmaker, Emma Cuba who is also an Oolite Arts filmmaker in residence this year called “Mango City” about a young girl in Miami. Plus there are a couple very interesting pieces from Poland, Turkey, Iran, and China. I feel so lucky to watch some of these films because I feel like we really get to see into the lives and culture of people there, beyond politics and propaganda. When I watch these films, I am struck by our shared humanity, even in different languages, cultures, and economic status.
We also have a wonderful film by another local filmmaker named Gena Simms, who is an advocate for those affected by autism, and she has made a film called, “The Voice Inside, the Graduation Dilemma” with several of the actors on the autistic spectrum. It’s quite good.
What’s the future beyond this weekend for Naked Mountain International Independent Short Film Fest?
Keep going! It’s hard work to put the festival on. We are trying to get more sponsorship to support its growth. But every time we do it, I feel so inspired by the storytellers and the creativity and hard work and humanity that goes into all of the projects. Then I experience how special it is for people to share their work, and its very rewarding. So, we will keep going and grow with it. The plan is to have a couple different cities that we rotate through and stay connected to.