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The Reel Miami Project Invites Viewers to Discover 6 Shorts on "The Magic City"

Dec. 19th, 2013 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment   
The Reel Miami Project
Photos Courtesy of The Reel Miami Project

The ever-mirroring "life-imitates-art-imitates-life" cycle is the engine that powers Miami, a city where lines between fantasy and reality are intentionally blurred. Is she or isn't she Photoshopped? For that matter, is she a she? Is the hoodie-wearing youth next to her an up-and-coming modern artist, or a con artist? These are the questions that make up day-to-day existence in Florida's edgy international hub. And this makes it a great market to launch a multimedia project that aims to impart true "essence of place" through real venues but not-quite-true stories. Hence, The Reel Miami Project.


Creator/executive producer Frank Kelly is a creative entrepreneur with a business background as a product director for Johnson & Johnson. A self-described humanitarian, he's been the force behind film ventures and ambitious sociological experiments such as Project Dream Jobs and Project Vacant Streets. Reel Miami has less philanthropic ambition than some of his prior projects, but shares the high production values and unique perspective that thus far define Kelly's works.


For Reel Miami, Uncle Daddy director and nationally known music video director Fro Rojas directed the Wynwood film, while Lechon (an HBO short film) director Carlos Gutierrez directed the Miami Beach film. Two more Miami films are in pre-production, with an additional two in development. After that, producers will move to a different city for the next series of Reel City shorts.


There's no counting the number of media entrepreneurs who try to evoke the spirit of a destination through video, local tastemakers' accounts, or as-seen-through-the-keyhole inside exclusive local haunts. The differentiating factor between these attempts and Reel Films is that this newly announced film-art-cityguide project takes a partially fictionalized approach. 


There's no counting the number of media entrepreneurs who try to evoke the spirit of a destination through video, local tastemakers' accounts, or as-seen-through-the-keyhole inside exclusive local haunts. The differentiating factor between these attempts and Reel Films is that this newly announced film-art-cityguide project takes a partially fictionalized approach. 


Instead of attempting to explain via travelogues, or sensationalize via stereotypes reality TV-style, Reel Films is doing it through a series of short-film vignettes, shot in some of the city's best-known venues. You're not watching something that's actually happening, but something that could have. The locals cast might be playing themselves with different names, or they might be purely acting.


People have been creating cinematic love notes to destinations for as long as cinema has existed, and with reality TV widely dismissed as the opposite of all that's true, it makes sense that ambitious creatives would look for another format. We look forward to seeing the result.

Here's a preview of Reel Miami Beach. The first two Reel Miami films will debut in January 2014.

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