By John Hood
The hardest story to start is the story that starts in first place. Think about it. Races aren’t started from first place; and (other than the odd monarch) neither are our lives. Otherwise we’d have no need to strive, and nowhere to go but been there. When first place is just one of many firsts in a story, well, the starting becomes that much harder. The good thing though is that those kinds of hard-to-start stories are so easy with please it doesn’t matter where they begin. Just as long as they begin in the first place.
So goes the story of first-time director Alexandra Vivas, whose first film won first prize in the first film fest it (and she) ever entered. The flick’s called Fusion, and it just so happens to be just that, a fusing of the many splendors that make up Miami — and Miamians. The quickie (which won Best of the Fest) also happens to be the first offering from Fordista Films, which is itself the first in a series of cross-genre curations being fueled by Fordistas and put into play by Product/81.
The fest in question, I’m Not Gonna Move to LA, had a couple firsts of its own, too,.namely its first birthday, and that it marked the occasion in the service of the first everFILMGATE. That all this went down over the first weekend of February is probably just a coincidence; then again, maybe it’s Fate’s way of saying the Miami film scene truly is first rate.
It wouldn’t be the first time Fate cracked a crooked smile for our town’s cinema set, either; it would though be the first time our town’s cinema set gave Fate no other choice. See, Vivas may have gotten hit with enough fur balls at O Cinema to earn first place, but she did so among first order equals Maggie De La Pena (La Duda), Jim Virga (Beyond Assignment), John Rasmussen (Tiny Cigar), Jokes (Vladimir’s Vodka), and Alfredo Hueck (Stay). More to the point, the six and their quick flicks were picked by the folks at Indie Film Club Miami, who make possible both NOLA and FILMGATE, two of the ways, means and reasons our town now boasts its own bonafide celluloid heroes. If setting one’s sights on succeeding with something as bright as the moving image isn’t just a little heroic, then why is Fate smiling the first place?