Posts tagged MIFF

Earlier this year, I was invited to attend and document the Miami International Film Festival. A few weeks after making the post on my blog, the director of MIFF, Jaie Laplante, asked me to visit the MIFF headquarters to sign prints of my photos that were hung up. I was ecstatic. After hanging out with Jaie and brand manager, Rachel Bleemer, they took interest in my work. Jaie commissioned me to be MIFF’s 2014 poster artist.


Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) has selected Manchester-born, Miami-based environmental portraiture artist & photojournalist Shayna Batya (aka Jenny Abrams) as the official poster artist for its 31st edition (March 7-16, 2014).  For the 4th time in MIFF history, a photograph will represent the Festival.

Shayna’s image is an homage to that great element of cinema syntax – the Close-Up.  The Close-Up tells us many stories – in this particular Close-Up, we can see a face that has been written on by time and many stories, the glory of experience. The photograph is a documentary shot from a fictional film set, using only natural light – which combines the 2 major forms that MIFF celebrates (features and documentaries).  And finally, it embodies MIFF’s theme of “Every Character Under The Sun” – there’s no doubt, that this man’s character is as deeply ingrained as his “scars”.

Artist statement: “One can tell so much or so little from a portrait photograph. Photography allows a viewer to guess if an image is “real” or not…Like film, a portrait photograph mirrors reality in a way that can be so convincing, it feels ‘real’. Everybody has a story, everyone is a character.”  – Shayna Batya

Shortly after the unveiling of the poster, NBC 6 asked to interview me about my work with the festival and my future endeavors. This was my first time on live TV! Check out the interview, here.

Thanks MIFF!

Can’t wait for this year’s festival, March 7-16.

I had the great opportunity to attend a bunch of movies during the Miami International Film Festival this year (Thanks Rachel!) This 10 day festival features 138 international films, showing at 10 theaters around Miami, parties, galas, and a whole bunch of awesome people.

Over the last few years, my interest in film has grown drastically, I’ll pretty much watch everything and anything. After working on sets, making my own short videos and studying the role of director of photography, attending MIFF was completely inspiring. This was the first film festival that I actually experienced as a full on festival go-er. I saw movies every day, talked to viewers, listened to Q & As and had a blast doing it all. I saw a handful of great movies, and also a few that were just not for me. I’m not here to give movie reviews, but I am here to give you a little peek into what MIFF is all about….

Some highlights from my MIFF week –

My favorite venue to attend was (of course), the Olympia Theater at the Gusman center. Built in the 1920’s as a silent movie theater and now used to showcase performing arts in South Florida, this place makes you feel like you’re in a movie.

I had a chance to see the only screening of Dark Blood, which was River Phoenix’s last film before he died (while they were still shooting.) It was wild to listen to the director, George Sluizer, talk about  some strange occurrences on set prior to his death, along with the difficulties completing the film, which took almost 20 years to finish.

The attendees! Fashionable, funky, swanky, old, young, international, local. So many interesting people who come from all over to check out the limited screenings of these films. I wanted to chat with everyone, but found it pretty difficult to bombard people as they were rushing to get a good seat.

I would definitely recommend checking out MIFF next year, March 7-16th, 2014. Considering that there were 138 movies shown, it was so hard to pick and choose what to see. Next year I will start planning a bit earlier….I suggest you do the same!

Peep my Tumblr for more shots, as always.