51. Jonathan David Kane

Categories: 100 Creatives

In honor of our MasterMind genius awards, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email cultist@miaminewtimes.com with the whos and whys.

Kane portrait.jpg
Courtesy of Jonathan David Kane
51. Jonathan David Kane

By now, most discussions involving Miami's fledgling film scene are rife with talk about whether or not up and coming filmmakers have to leave Miami in order to "make it." But Jonathan David Kane's body of work seems to make the question moot. He is proving it's possible to travel the world chasing work while still contributing to the Miami film scene.



"I have traveled to six of the seven continents of the earth writing and shooting films, and always end up back here in Miami," says Kane. Though only 26, he has already put in a decade of work in the industry, starting with gigs as a production assistant on a Shakira Pepsi commercials and Dru Hill music video and any other work he could get to be on set. He was prolific even as a teenager. "I was working so much that my dad had to actually call the producers who were hiring me (to say): 'Stop calling my son for work!  He needs to go to school.' "

Ten year's later Kane has an enviable resume, including working as a cinematographer on the film At the Edge of the World. The documentary follows a boat named the Sea Shepherd and its ongoing battle against a Japanese whaling fleet in the seas surrounding Antarctica. The film won 7 film festival awards, including the Haskell Wexler Award for Cinematography at the Woodstock Film Festival. Oh yeah, you might have seen the hit TV series Whale Wars on Animal Planet, inspired by the film.

Even though he's been globetrotting with film camera in tow, Kane balances his foreign exploits with an equally impressive work load at home. Last year, he joined forces with the uber-cool local boys at Borscht Film Festival to produce Day N' Night Out, directed by Lucas Leyva and written by award-winning playwright Tarell McCraney. He also directed his own film, What the Tide Brought In. The work with Borscht also led to more film and music video work, with some of those projects threatening to take both Kane and the local film scene to previously unknown heights. "Miami's film community is a family.  We watch out for each other.  I never felt the need to move away to LA or New York.  Everything and everyone I like making movies with are right here in Miami.  This city is my home base."

 

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Giving direction.

 

1.  List 5 things that inspire you.

-Family
-Listening to the emotion and intonations in languages I don't speak
-Disappearing into the wilderness (1 week minimum)
-Ralph Steadman illustrations
-Fortune cookie fortunes

2. What was your last big project?

I produced a hysterical independent feature length comedy entitled Tony Tango.  The film is about a Latin dance instructor with high cholesterol and an even higher belief in his own sex appeal.  I am proud to say that almost the entire cast and crew is from or works iniami. Tony Tango was an environmentally friendly set that recycled, composted, provided reusable water bottles.  The production was the first in the world to test a hybrid solar energy generator on a film set, provided by Electron Solar Energy.  The film is currently in postproduction, being edited by a - you guessed it - Miami native.  To see a trailer go to www.TonyTangotheMovie.com

3.  What is your next big project?

I have recently been named the Head of Production for the Borscht Film Festival.  I think my official title is Caporégime of Production.  The festival's devotion to telling unique Miami stories, willingness to cultivate emerging talent, and their attempt to lay the roots of creative filmmaking in this city makes me proud to be a Dade County Independent Filmmaker.  I am excited to begin production on this year's commissioned films.  I hope these films will screen in major festivals around the world and that we, as a city, can be proud of them.

4. Why do you do what you do?

Several years ago I was on the set of a commercial and was caught under a canopy tent in a typical Miami torrential downpour with Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.  Not knowing how else to start conversation with man who shot Schindler's List, I asked a similar question.  I asked, "Mr. Kaminski, why did you choose to be a filmmaker?"  He looked at me while smoking his cigar and said, "If you can see yourself doing anything else, then go do it.  If the only thing you see yourself doing is making movies, then you have to make movies."  That pretty much sums it up.

5. Something you don't want Miami to know.

I was not in attendance to see my own films screen at the sold out Gusman Theatre for last year's Borscht Film Festival.  Sorry.  My bad.  Shhhhh. Don't tell nobody.

Something you do want Miami to know.

It's not like I was at home on my couch.  I was in Northern Thailand rescuing an elephant from abuse in captivity and shooting a documentary called How I Became an Elephant.  Think that's a lame excuse?  Don't believe me?  Check out the website then: www.HowIBecameAnElephant.com  Seriously.  I'm sorry Miami.  I'll make it up to you at the next Borscht Film Festival, I promise.

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Shooting elephants. But in a good way.


The Creatives so far:

52. Naomi Fisher
53. Rocky Grimes
54. Teresa Barcelo
55. Paul Tei
56. Lee Materazzi
57. Karla Garcia
58. Anna Mixon
59. Octavio Campos
60. P. Scott Cunningham
61. Elena Garcia
62. Summer Hill
63. Autumn Casey
64. Juan Navarro
65. Serge Toussaint
66. David Rohn
67. Diane Brache
68. Spencer Morin
69. James Anthony
70. Jim Drain
71. Claudia Calle
72. Kevin Arrow

73. Andrew Hevia
74. Ana Mendez
75. Michael McKeever
76. Diana Lozano
77. Ricardo Pau-Llosa
78. Agustina Woodgate
79. Tarell Alvin McCraney
80. Jennifer Kronenberg
81. Farley Aguilar
82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Allen Charles Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar

90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon

100. Ingrid B


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