A report by Juan Barquin for the Miami New Times.
Last year, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers introduced the Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival to a city longing for more diverse art. After its successful inaugural edition, which screened films such as Ayiti Mon Amour, Generation Revolution, and Crumbs at O Cinema Wynwood, the festival is set to return to Miami September 28 through October 1 with much to share.
Scheduled to show ten features and 12 short films, Third Horizon will kick off at Pérez Art Museum Miami with an opening-night screening, the Florida premiere of Vashti Anderson’s Moko Jumbie. The screening will take place at 6 p.m., include a Q&A with the director, and be followed by a party on the patio of the museum featuring the acclaimed Brooklyn-based DJ duo Electric Punanny.
“In a historical moment where cultural diversity in the arts and our society at large is being threatened from so many angles, we feel even more determined to stage an event that highlights the stories, sounds, and sights from what might be the most culturally diverse region in the world,” Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, cofounder and director of Third Horizon, said in a statement. “As a melting pot of culture, the Caribbean shows us the way forward.”
From there, the festival will move back to O Cinema Wynwood, which will show the rest of Third Horizon’s lineup, including plenty of Florida premieres. One of the highlights will be Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas’ Sambá, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. It follows a young man who returns home to the Dominican Republic after being incarcerated in the United States and takes up street fighting under the tutelage of a disgraced Italian boxer in order to support his alcoholic mother.
“Heading into our second edition, we have remained committed to presenting a carefully curated lineup of the best new and recent films from across the Caribbean and its diaspora — dramatic and documentary, and of varying lengths,” Third Horizon director of programming Jonathan Ali explains in a statement. “This includes not only films that audiences will find conventionally pleasurable, but also work that is challenging and pushes boundaries both in terms of content and form. Our aim is to show that the thing that we extol as ‘Caribbean cinema’ is as multifaceted, dynamic, and surprising as the region itself.”
The festival was founded by Third Horizon, a Miami-based collective of Caribbean creatives whose first short film, Papa Machete, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and debuted in the United States at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 before going on to screen at more than 30 film festivals worldwide. The fest is being staged in partnership with the Caribbean Film Academy, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit organization whose core mission is to support and distribute the work of Caribbean filmmakers.
The festival was founded in 2014, when Third Horizon was one of the winners of the Knight Arts Challenge. This year, the fest’s founders have been announced as finalists for the Knight Arts Challenge. Their goal is to expand opportunities to view Caribbean-American films by commissioning work from emerging Caribbean and Caribbean-American filmmakers.
Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival. Thursday, September 28, through Sunday, October 1, at O Cinema Wynwood, 90 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-571-9970; o-cinema.org. Tickets cost $12 to $60 via thirdhorizonfilmfestival.com.