The Taste of Brickell Food and Wine Festival serves culinary samples from nine popular Brickell restaurants, endless fine wine and spirits, and international rhythms. Chefs from such area eateries as Porcao Farm to Grill, El Vato, Tapas Xperience, and Batch Gastro Pub distribute freshly prepared portions of signature menu items, including morsels from 2014 Executive Chef Virgile Brandel (Atrio at the Conrad). Wine experts entice visitors to try new vintages by hosting tasting demos and dispensing samples. A portion of all event proceeds help fund the local charities.
Of the more than 700 films submitted to the Miami Short Film Festival from across the world, only 74 make it to the big screen, chosen for their excellence in abbreviated movie-making. Selections on display at each of the fest’s five days of screening include narrative films, animation, music videos, and three-act family-vacation slideshows. This year’s choices include Juan Manuel Ortiz’s Domingo, whose stark filming style catches the eye as it explores environmental concerns, and Mark Nickelsburg’s Harry Grows Up, the tale of an 18-month-old child living on his own in New York City.
Every March for ten days, Miami plays host to filmmakers, celebrities and the best of cinema with its Miami International Film Festival. As the only major festival housed within a college or university, the festival offers a heavy emphasis on education through special screenings and seminars with writers, directors and other Hollywood notables. The festival includes over 90 feature films, some 30 international short films, plus documentaries and dramatic works from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and beyond. Owing to its Miami location, the festival definitely keeps a Latin bent, though the varied content attracts over 60,000 people from all walks of life, and strives to strengthen the community’s love and appreciation for the art of filmmaking.
Movies under the stars are an American tradition that Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In continues, but it's changed up the experience a bit. Instead of a huge open field, the drive-in is right in the city and accommodates up to 18 cars per showing, creating cozy outdoor movie watching. Those spots are in high demand, so tickets, including those for the Groupon car-slot upgrade must be purchased in advance. Once those spots are filled, there's still room for people to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets, and plunk down for a viewing, though space is limited. When everyone settles in, reels roll, and classic movies splash across the screen such as Say Anything, Wild at Heart, and Scarface.
O Cinema is one of Miami’s most celebrated independent movie houses. Its goal is to provide an offering of films that otherwise might not be seen in Miami – foreign features, independent movies, artsy shorts and stunning documentaries. The Wynwood location of this small Miami chain is more diminutive than your usual cinema multiplex, but the art house feel makes you feel closer to the film itself. There are actually three different screening areas throughout the facility, and on those ever-present warm nights the O Cinema team might even put together a free outdoor screening. And, since the theater is located in Wynwood, there’s an adjoining space for art installations right on site.
It used to be that while the northern regions of the country enjoyed hayrides through patches of plump, orange gourds, south Floridians had to be content with only their gorgeous, tropical weather, but that all changed in 2012. At the 2nd annual Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival, 5,000 pumpkins will assemble just off the coast of Biscayne Bay for Peacock Park’s first pumpkin patch. But the pumpkins are just the centerpiece of a weekend-long celebration filled with classic autumn traditions. “We deserve to have that magical fall feeling too,” says organizer Vanessa Goodis, working to bring autumnal splendor to the Miami waterfront.
Along with pumpkins harvested for their slow-flickering internal flames, the fest also entertains guests with a diverse set of attractions. Kids navigate straw-strewn tunnels in the giant hay maze and tread eerie, eary paths in the corn stalk labyrinth. The dress-your-own scarecrow village stocks the latest field-hand fashion wear, and the orange orbs that star in the festival can be decorated with paint, glitter, glue, and googly eyes for an additional fee. The Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival lets Florida children enjoy everything fall has to offer.