The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation and University of Miami School of Communication are joining the newly minted Oolite Arts in fostering pipeline of local filmmakers. What’s happening in your neighborhood? The Block, a new short documentary contest presented by Oolite Arts, is offering Miami filmmakers and storytellers up to $14,000 to create a short documentary about it.

The Block is seeking ideas for new films about the many different neighborhoods that make up Miami. Five Miamians will be selected to pitch their concepts in front of a jury and a live studio audience for a chance to win up to $14,000 in funding for their projects. The top three chosen will receive help making their film from the University of Miami’s Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, in addition to free access to the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives.

Whether you’re an experienced filmmaker or just a beginner, Oolite wants to hear the Miami stories you think are ready for the spotlight. “Miami is has an array of neighborhoods whose stories are just waiting to be told, and Oolite Arts wants to bring them to the screen,” said Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, who manages Oolite Arts’ Cinematic Arts program. “We want to hear from every corner of our community. Pitch us your idea!”

Oolite Arts launched a Cinematic Arts program last year, to build on the success of Miami’s growing indie film community and expand the community of local filmmakers. “Miami’s indie film community has grown exponentially, and is getting recognized. At Oolite, we want to help continue to grow our community of filmmakers so that more Miami stories are seen across here and beyond,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts.

Here’s how The Block works: Anyone can share their idea by applying online at through April 10, 2019. So think about your neighborhood and unearth the stories you feel Miami needs to know!

Cover photo by Alex Markow for Miami Herald.