Miami Filmmakers Denied Entry to Miami Tourism-Sponsored Sundance Event UPDATED

Categories: News

Photo via Joey Daoud's Facebook
Miami filmmakers are having a very good year. With movies screening at both Sundance and its indie counterpart, Slamdance, everyone seems to recognize that Miami has become a major hub for up-and-coming filmmakers. Everyone but the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, it seems.

Monday afternoon, Joey Daoud, coproducer of Papa Machete and co-creator of Dolphin Lover, shared a post on Facebook expressing his disappointment and disbelief that the Miami Lounge -- a space sponsored by the GMCVB -- wouldn't allow Miami filmmakers into the space. Daoud was accompanied by his cocreator of Dolphin Lover, Kareem Tabsch,Papa Machete co-executive producers and writers Jason Jeffers and Keisha Rae Witherspoon, and the film's director, Jon David Kane. Daoud's post went viral, and many local filmmakers commented on and tweeted the image, all expressing the same feeling: Miami doesn't care about locally made and produced films.

Rolando Aedo, GMCVB executive vice president/chief marketing officer, said there was no intention to offend anyone or do anything wrong. The organization, which has sponsored many local events for the industry, attended specifically on behalf of Miami filmmakers. "The whole purpose of our being there was to promote the film industry," Aedo says.

See also: City of Miami Breaks Ground on Film Studio

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Miami Beach Makes New York Times List of Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015

Categories: News

Photo by James Willamor | Flickr CC
The New York Times hasn't been particularly kind to Miami in recent months. Back in August, the storied publication skewered our fair city with an ill-advised editorial by Miami native Pamela Druckerman. Druckerman lambasted the city's lack of culture with an appalling absence of insight.

But that's in the past, and all is forgiven. We're snubbed, no longer! The newspaper recently saw fit to include Miami Beach in its list of 52 places to visit in 2015.

Okay, so Orlando came out ahead of us, but we still earned a spot -- and we can take a compliment.

See also: New York Times' Latest Drive-by of Miami Is Classist Trash

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FIU Angers Faculty, Spends More than Half a Million Dollars on Miss Universe Pageant

Categories: News

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Florida International University

Florida International University has raised more than a few eyebrows and the ire of its faculty over its agreement with the Miss Universe pageant. The university announced in October that it would serve as the site for the Donald Trump-owned beauty pageant, a decision made ostensibly to raise the school's international profile. It's a move that has proven both expensive and controversial.

According to documents obtained by the Miami Herald, the school has spent an estimated $544,073 on the deal. That amount is well over FIU's initial cost projections. Most of the overages resulted from remodeling the school's outdated arena - the site of the event - an amount that the university initially estimated at $70,000. But the necessary roof upgrades have cost FIU $400,000. Those costs were, in large part, the result of strengthening the arena's roof to hold the weight of TV lights and cameras.

See also: The University of Miami's Delta Gamma Recruitment Video Is Gross

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Miami City Ballet's Heatscape Chosen for Guggenheim Series

Categories: Dance, News

via Miami City Ballet's Facebook
Dancers rehearse for Heatscape.
On Monday, organizers of the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series announced that they had chosen Justin Peck's Heatscape for inclusion in the prestigious series. The Guggenheim's series offers audiences' insight into both the creators and performers of forthcoming works. It's also is meant to preview what insiders believe to be the best dance choreography of the upcoming year. Heatscape will begin the Guggenheim's spring season on January 18 and 19 -- two months before the new work is scheduled to debut at the Miami City Ballet. Heatscape will premier at MCB on March 27 and run until April 19.

For those too impatient to wait for the MCB's premier, the Guggenheim will live stream the January 18 performance at

See also: Womanizer, Bus Driver, Doper, Zen Teacher -- Teo Castellanos' Life Is in His Plays

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Cultist's Most Popular Posts of 2014

Categories: News

Photo by Sergey Melkonov/Flickr CC
The new year is just hours away and in celebration we thought we'd pop open a blog's equivalent of a bottle of champagne: A list of our most read posts of the year. This year graffiti artist AholSniffsGlue's lawsuit against retail giant American Eagle topped the blog, but you all also couldn't stop clicking on stories about crying babies, strip clubs, divorce, and nearly any story we wrote about sex.

Happy reading.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014: Winners and Losers

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The Interview Will Be Released Christmas Day

Categories: Film and TV, News

Photo by Ed Araquel

Update: Miami Herald film critic, Rene Rodriguez, reports on Twitter that the Swap Shop in Broward County will show The Interview.

Despite threats, cyber hacking, and an initial cancellation, Sony has reversed course and decided to release The Interview on Christmas Day. The movie will be shown at fewer than 100 indie theaters. Smaller, independent theaters had been pressuring Sony to release the movie, last week many said they would show the film despite the studio's cancellation. It's likely that pressure led to Sony's decision today. According to Deadline, the film is unlikely to screen in theaters owned by major distributors.

See also: Seth Rogen on The Interview: " I Don't Have a Lot to Offer in the Political Arena"

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Today Is Santeria's Holiest Day; Is That Why the Historic Cuba Deal Was Reached?

Categories: News

Photo by Jorge Royan via Wikipedia Commons
Is it possible that the historic deal on Cuba struck today between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro -- with the pope's help -- came about because it is one of Santería's holiest days of the year?

December 17 is the birthday of Babalu Aye, who is the Santería god of healing. Today, Wednesday, is also his day of the week.

For untold worshipers in Cuba, and the exile community here in Miami, Babalu Aye is one of the most venerated deities in the Santería pantheon. His African name translates to "Father, Lord of the Earth," and he is associated with infectious disease and healing.

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Rumors of Another Miami Vice Reboot

Categories: News

Photo via NBC/Universal

Remember in 2006 when Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx stared in a movie version of the iconic 80s television series Miami Vice? Of course you don't, because virtually nobody went to see it. The movie was such a bomb that Farrell himself can barely remember making it. And in typical Miami fashion, the movie was plagued with production problems named Katrina, Wilma, and Rita.

See also: City of Miami Breaks Ground on Film Studio

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City of Miami Breaks Ground on Film Studio

Categories: News

Photo via Burn Notice
The city of Miami broke ground on a new film studio today. The Florida Film & Television Center will offer 70,000 square feet of studio space including two sound stages, an onsite editing suite and accessory storage room. The studio will be operated by EUE Screen Gems, a national production company that operates similar sites in New York, Georgia and North Carolina. The massive complex is meant to lure national and international production companies to the city's sunny shores.

Miami's Omni Community Redevelopment Agency gave final approval on the plan in March. The Agency has promised up to $11.5 million for construction of the studio which City of Miami Commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, hopes "will go a long way in securing Miami's status as a top destination for film and television production." The city also hopes the studio will bring more jobs to the area, something the Mayor and City Commissioners reiterated in today's groundbreaking.

See also: The Top Ten Movies Shot in Miami

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Aholsniffsglue, American Eagle Outfitters Reach Settlement in Copyright Lawsuit

Categories: Art, News

Giulo Sciorio
It looks like American Eagle Outfitters just bought the Magic City's favorite street artist, Aholsniffsglue, a diamond-studded platinum grill.

This past summer, Ahol -- whose real name is David Anasagasti -- sued the corporate Goliath for copyright infringement after AEO hijacked his trademark sleepy-eyeball motif for a worldwide marketing blitz promoting its spring fashion line without compensating the artist.

But in the legal stare-down between both parties that has drawn international attention, it was AEO that blinked first. The retail giant, which last year reported revenues exceeding $3 billion, has chosen to settle out of court in the case that has been watched closely by artists across the globe.

See also: Miami Artist AholSniffsGlue Sues American Eagle Outfitters for Intellectual Property Infringement

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