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Programs Thu 3.28.2024

Miami Film Festival Brings Film Independent Fellows to the Sunshine State

For the perpetually impecunious (see: poor) indie filmmaker, a well-executed short or feature project can often be your best passport to the larger world. Left to our own scant devices, our calendars are unlikely to fill up with myriad jaunts to such exotic locales as Cannes, Venice, Locarno or, erm, Arkansas (jk, we love you, Bentonville!). But with a piping hot DCP in hand, you not have not just an excuse to visit such places but an invitation. And few American cities are quite as dreamily summoned in the mind as day-glow Miami. After all: if it’s good enough for LeBron James, it’s good enough for us.

For 41 years, the Miami Film Festival has been showcasing innovative, inclusive work from new and emerging independent creators worldwide. Unsurprisingly, many of said creators are our own beloved Film Independent Fellows. In fact, a whopping 38 Fi Fellows will be in the Magic City next week to show new work, when the 2024 edition of MFF kicks off on Friday, April 5.

And of course, by “Fellows” here, we mean filmmakers who have been directly supportede by Film Independent’s Lab programs, Project Involve, Fast Track and Global Media Makers, as well as Emerging Filmmaker Award winners, grant recipients and Film Independent Spirit Award nominees. So below, meet the 37 Film Independent Fellows with projects—across both short and feature programs—currently packing for Florida. For more information about any of Film Independent’s Labs, grants and artist resources, see our website.



‘Goodbye Julia’
  • Jennifer Westfeldt, Writer/Producer, The Idea of You
    • Fast Track, 2003
  • Jordana Mollick, Producer, The Idea of You
    • Grant/Award winner, 2017
  • Jim Frohna, Cinematographer, The Idea of You
    • Directing Lab, 2001
  • Josh Penn, Producer, 32 Sounds
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2014
    • Producing Lab, 2017
  • Kimi Lee, Writer, Apples Never Fall
    • Episodic Lab, 2019
  • José Alba, Producer, Close Your Eyes
    • Producing Involve, 2001
  • Mohamed Kordofami, Director, Goodbye Julia
    • Global Media Makers, 2021
  • Amjad Abu Alala, Producer, Goodbye Julia
    • Global Media Makers, 2021
  • Ali El Arabi, Producer, Goodbye Julia
    • Global Media Makers, 2020
  • Stéphane Lafleur, Editor, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2011
  • Daniel Tantalean, Producer, In The Summer*
    • Producing Lab, 2023
  • Felipe Holguin, Director/Writer, La Suprema
    • Producing Involve, 2012
  • Robert Colom, Writer/Producer, Mountains*
    • Producing Lab, 2022
  • Monica Sorelle, Writer/Director, Mountains*
  • Kareem Tabsch, Co-Director/Producer, Naked Ambition: Bunny Yeager
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2015
  • Monique Walton, Producer, Sing Sing
  • Shane Boris, Story Consultant, Story & Pictures By
    • Directing Lab, 2018
  • Tasha Van Zandt, Cinematographer, Tell Them You Love Me
    • Directing Lab, 2019
  • Sebastian Zeck, Cinematographer, Tell Them You Love Me
    • Directing Lab, 2019
  • Zoe Worth, Producer, Thelma
    • Fast Track, 2022
  • Daina Oniunas-Pusic, Director, Tuesday
    • Narrative Short Award, 2017 LA Film Festival
  • Minhal Baig, Director, We Grown Now
    • 2024 Film Independent Spirit Award nominee

*Denotes Lab-supported project



‘My Nights Glow Yellow’
  • J.D. Shields, Director/Writer, Blue Hour
    • Project Involve, 2018
  • Jing Ai Ng, Director/Writer, Delta
    • Screenwriting Lab, 2021
    • Fast Track, 2023
  • Andrew Carlberg, Producer, Jack and Sam
    • Fast Track, 2014
  • Nicole Crespo, Producer, Machisma
    • Project Involve, 2023
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2023
  • Hannah Bang, Writer/Director, My Nights Glow Yellow
    • Project Involve, 2022
    • Grant/Award winner, 2022
  • Trent Nakamura, Producer, My Nights Glow Yellow
    • Project Involve, 2022
  • Jera Wang, Producer, My Nights Glow Yellow
    • Project Involve, 2022
‘Sorry Grandpa Hsiao’
  • B. Quinn Curry, Producer, Save The Bay
    • Producing Lab, 2020
    • Fast Track, 2020
  • Selena Leoni, Producer, Sorry Grandpa Hsiao
    • Project Involve, 2021
  • Mireia Vilanova, Producer, Sorry Grandpa Hsiao
    • Project Involve, 2021
  • Allen Ho, Cinematographer, Sorry Grandpa Hsiao
    • Project Involve, 2020
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2020
  • Valerie Steinberg, Producer, The Breakthrough
    • Fast Track, 2019
    • Producing Lab, 2019
  • Olivia Marie Valdez, Director, The Test
    • Project Involve, 2023
    • Grant/Award recipient, 2023
  • Kim Bailey, Producer, Young Kim
    • Fast Track, 202
  • Isabel Marden, Producer, Young Kim
    • Fast Track, 2023


The 2024 Miami Film Festival runs April 5-14. For official program, transportation info, venue map and more, please visit the Miami Film Festival online. 

For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

Film Independent Members watch nominees and vote for the winners of the Spirit Awards. To become a Member of Film Independent and make your vote count for next year’s 40th Annual Spirit Awards, just click here. To support our mission with a donation, click here.

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