Films that Navigate Hope and Heartbreak

Juan Botta Makes One-Minute Movies in Puerto Rico

In 2018, Puerto Rico based actor, composer and filmmaker Juan Botta left job security behind to center on his creative life. That’s when he launched Freelance, an inventive Instagram film series that empathizes with the challenges of living and working in Puerto Rico today. Botta’s determination to make films where he lives—despite economic, political and environmental conditions—suggests creativity as a way forward. Freelance expresses a sense of hope, demonstrating that it’s possible to find poetry, humor and beauty in the most unlikely situations.

Filmmaking in Pahokee Holds Hope for the Future

The 2019 documentary Pahokee is a landmark project for filmmakers Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan and a community endeavor for the rural South Florida town whose high school seniors tell their story. Perched on the Southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades, forty miles west and a world apart from affluent West Palm Beach, Pahokee is named after the Seminole word meaning “grassy waters.” In the film, we follow four students as they navigate the hope and heartbreak of their senior year at Pahokee High School. All eyes are on the rituals of football, prom and graduation in the town these teenagers call home.

Filmmaker Alexa Lim Haas Animates Daydreams

Artist Alexa Lim Haas talks about Agua Viva, her newest animated short film. Agua Viva was among the twenty-four projects selected for a special one-night screening at the 10th Borscht Film Festival in Miami, Florida, and made it to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Japanese animation inspired the Filipino-American artist to make comic books at an early age. She produced her first film when she was 11 years old. Five years after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Lim Haas premiered her animated short titled Glove at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.