FilmGate Miami founder: No tax breaks means we have to collaborate to survive

We’re going to be spending this month making the city’s movers and shakers nail down some resolutions and predictions for their work in 2017. This week we’re talking arts.

Diliana Alexander is the co-founder and executive director of FilmGate Miami. She is also an independent director, producer and educator, who wants to see more Florida stories not only on the big screen, but on all screens. We’ve lightly edited this interview for clarity and length.

Making art with people, not just for them

As wacky and messy and often absurd 2016 has been for the country, I consider it a year of growth for Florida’s film industry. Even with the lack of state incentives, we, the local media-makers and actors continued to create more traditional and interactive projects. We’re using tech to engage audiences in more artistic experiences as opposed to exhibits, and by that I mean it’s making art with people, not just about them or for them.

And of course Moonlight happened and that was very exciting and still is. It’s a beautiful film with mostly local creators behind it and we can have more Moonlights next year.

Without incentives, collaboration is the only way we can thrive

Art house theaters and film festivals continue to do well. We return with the fourth edition of FilmGate Interactive at University of Miami and we are thrilled that international producers can’t wait to collaborate with local creators on future projects. In the past we’ve had “silo-ed” organizations, but this is the first year we started talking seriously about how to collaborate with each other, because due to the lack of incentives, it’s the only way we can survive and thrive.

There will be an explosion of creative studios. FilmGate is moving downtown, and we’re opening the Downtown Media Center in March and that’s going to be a co-shared ecosystem for film, media, and tech to support traditional and mixed reality storytelling.

Art will be a lot more political. It has to be. And tech and media will be used as a process for social change.

Now we can watch things on our own time on the web. You don’t require big investments to make a web series, so it’s a good way for local creatives to enter the market. It’s exciting to see the democratization of technology, and the telling of more Florida stories.

FYI: From February 3 to 5, FilmGate Miami will be hosting their annual interactive storytelling conference, FilmGate Interactive, at University of Miami’s School of Communications. More info and tickets here.