Downstream People, a Short Film.
A call came up among a group of directors in Miami, Florida, called Reflections. The goal was to create a 5-minute short that reflected our perspective from Miami.
We had complete creative freedom and each one of the directors chose a different theme to represent how they saw Miami or to tell their experiences in the city.
This project was part of the call that aimed to make “cinema with a purpose”, that is, a quality cinema that transmits worthy and elaborate content.
Each director had to create a different concept and our perspective began with the different names the indigenous communities gave to Miami. The name Miami derives from Myaamia (plural Myaamiaki) and varies in meaning between southern and northern tribes. In some cases meaning “Big Water”, “Sweet Water” or “Downstream People”. This last name ended up being the name of the production because we felt that it connected with the creative direction that we wanted to give to the film.
The theme has a lot to do with appearances. How someone that seems to have everything can sometimes be an empty person with very few values and how someone that seems to have very little can be a person full of values and empathy.
“What drowns someone is not falling into the river, but staying submerged in it.” Paulo Coelho.
Miami is full of perceptions that many times end up being wrong, many people are not what they appear to be, sometimes, people pay a big amount of money for fancy cars before covering the main necessities, there is a lot of people trying to be someone they’re not just to fit in the high society, just to get a place with big influences.
We wanted to tell the story of a young pregnant woman that came to Miami to connect with the father of her child. On one side, the story unfolds on her journey to find the guy and on the other side, we tell the story of the extravagant life of that young man. They are basically the two sides of the coin of what is commonly seen in Miami with the subject of appearances, money, and social classes. This film tells the story of two different people that somehow connect to each other.
Although this was a guerilla production, we had the opportunity to work with very talented people like Aneudy Lara, Lance Dos Ramos, Angela Mayorga, and Liz Pasillas, who aside from acting also produced this film. Cinema is a matter of collaboration and of having the right relationships to continue building altogether.
One of the hardest challenges we faced in this production was location scouting, there were very unique requirements for some of the scenes and it was crucial to find the spots of Miami that represented this.
We did the whole production work, from script development and casting to film and edition for this project that was very elaborate and professional but as always, tons of fun. This project is full of pleasant experiences which are also accompanied by having fulfilled our vision and goal for what we wanted to express in the video.
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