Today we speak to another long-running film festival, the Miami Short Film Festival. Submissions are closed this year, but we thought we’d catch up with Festival Founder William Vela as they gear up for their 13th edition this December.


Tell us a bit about your job, and what you do…

In 2002 I wanted to showcase my film work with friends and family. The word spread and I was blown away by seeing the 300 people that arrived that night! Since then, I knew I needed to give film makers around the world the opportunity to share their love and passion with Miami’s thirst for the arts. I created the Miami short Film Festival to promote short films from local and international filmmakers.


Miami Short Film Festival has been running 13 years strong, what do you think keeps the festival alive?

The festival was brought to life by the people and I definitely think it’s what keeps us around today. Every year it becomes more and more challenging to decide the films that will get to be showcased at the festivals because of all the amazing art work we’re presented with.


Your philosophy is ‘Short films, past and present, are true works of art, and deserve a venue dedicated to their exhibition’, which we agree with definitely! Why do you think short films are still popular, both to an audience and filmmakers?

Short Films cater to the parallelism we see in this city with a very fast paced environment. They’re films that can make you think, laugh, cry and expose you to cultural experiences in 20 minutes.


What do you look for in a short film?

Having had the experience of working both on and off stage really helps identify how much of an art form this process really is. MsFF shows a variety of different films from differing in length and genre. When selecting the films our goal is find films that transform and educate the public on the art of storytelling.


Can you give us any sneak insights into what to expect from this year’s festival?

I don’t want to give away too much, but it will definitely be a fun and exciting week at the Paragon 13 theatre from December 5th- December 12th! Our film selections keep getting stronger so now with our 13th festival on its way, The Miami short Film Festival is thrilled to be showcasing 7 straight nights of local and international films.


What’s your advice to someone who gets a rejection from a festival?

Keep trying! You should never give up on something that you truly believe in. Stick with it and you will see that your hard work will eventually pay off.


Tell us the best and worst part of your job.

I love getting to meet and work with great film directors from all over the world but one week of festival time just flies by so fast!


Share with us one of your favorite films and tell us why you like it…

After 13 years of the Miami short Film Festival it’s nearly impossible to pick just one film! At the festival, we get over 800 submissions and we only get the opportunity to screen about 10% of that. But if I have to pick a couple films that stick out, it would have to be El Ultimo Hielero or Going Nowhere. These films left a long lasting impact and are unquestionably worth watching!

Thanks so much to William for speaking to us, good luck with this year’s festival and filmmakers, keep an eye out to submit next time round!


William’s bio:

Actor/ Producer/ Director and Founder of the Miami short Film Festival. For the past thirteen years Mr. Vela has been the Executive Director of the MsFF organization, overseeing every single aspect of these exiting international film festival. With more than 20 years of experience working as a professional actor, producer and director, he has work in over 250 TV commercial for the locals, nationals and international market. A creative and dynamic leader in the entertainment field industry, with continued success in event planning and media productions.  Mr. Vela has been focus on expanding local, national and international independent short film productions while integrating influential and diverse partnership and sponsors to this campaign.

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