About FilmGate Miami
Our mission is to cultivate talent and promote innovation from within Miami’s evolving film and media industry.
Board of Directors
Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Billy Corben made his feature documentary directorial debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, making him one of the youngest directors in Sundance history. Following that success, he and his producing partners founded rakontur, a Miami Beach-based content creation company. Their filmography includes the feature documentaries Cocaine Cowboys, Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja, and Dawg Fight and the ESPN's 30 for 30s The U, The U Part 2, and Broke. Their 2018-19 slate includes the 6-hour documentary miniseries Cocaine Cowboys: Los Muchachos, an all new ESPN 30 for 30 and a sequel to 2015's hit Netflix documentary Dawg Fight. A Florida native and lifelong Miamian, Corben was awarded "Miami's Best Twitter Feed 2017," and recently given the keys to the cities of both Miami and Miami Beach.
Mauricio Ferrazza has been working with animation production for film and TV for over 25 years. With a B.A. in Advertising and Marketing, and a M.F.A. in Computer Animation, Ferrazza specialized in dynamics and particle simulation, creating motion and recreating natural phenomena through the application of the principles of physics. Storytelling has also been a focus for Ferrazza, researching the different ways storytelling engage audiences, character-driven stories for film production, and how it’s now infused in branding and sales.
For fourteen years, Ferrazza worked for Univision Communications, the leading Spanish network in the country, designing the concept and executing graphics and animation for the network’s programming and special events department. In 2009 he founded MIA ANIMATION and launched the MIA Animation Conference & Festival, designed to be a forum for active networking and practical information exchange with strong commitment and emphasis in education while developing and nourishing new talent.
In 2015, Ferrazza inaugurated the Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) at Miami Dade College. MAGIC is the first facility of its kind at a public higher education in Florida. Both academic programs “Animation & Game Art” and “Game Development & Design,” are industry focused, with a skilled training curriculum designed to fill jobs currently in demand by the industry. A college credit certificate is also offered on “Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies,” where immersive simulations can be designed not only for entertainment, but a range of other industries going from healthcare to logistics.
In 2018, The Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation awarded the MAGIC program at Miami Dade College with the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, in recognition of the outstanding preparation and education the program provides students seeking careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Vice President, Brand & Platform Design, Magic Leap
Pedro is a legal, business, and strategic advisor with 20 years’ experience representing clients, big and small, from all over the world. He represents both domestic and international clients in a number of industries, primarily private equity, software and technology, media and entertainment, and healthcare.
Pedro regularly negotiates agreements on behalf of actors, TV personalities, writers, artists, production companies, distributors, and not-for-profit organizations in matters involving film, television, music, sports, and live entertainment.
In addition to his work with FilmGate Miami, Pedro serves on the Board of The Rhythm Foundation (www.rhythmfoundation.com), a not-for-profit cultural organization that is one of the foremost presenters of international music in the United States. The Rhythm Foundation was founded with the goal of increasing international awareness through the presentation of live musical events.
Director • Creative • Collaborator • Protogeek • Lizard Whisperer • XR Evangelist • Chile Lover • Medicine Maker • Flow Hacker • Wanderluster • Banned Book Reader • Venturer
Lori S. Wyman, C.S.A., one of the most prominent Casting Directors in the Southeast, has been casting films, television shows, and commercials in South Florida since 1979.
Lori attended the University of Miami and she graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Communications and her minor in Education. She received her Master's Degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) with a concentration in Drama Therapy. She pursued this degree in order to help actors with Audition Anxiety. Upon graduating with her undergraduate degree, she aggressively pursued a casting career and immediately started working for ACT I Talent Agency. At the time, ACT I was the biggest talent agency in the State of Florida.
Quickly building a reputation as one of the most outstanding talent agents in the business, she was asked by the company that was handling the Miami Vice casting if she would be one of their staff casting directors. While there, she worked on the Principal casting for “Miami Vice” during the 2nd and 3rd seasons. At the end of the 3rd season, she was approached by one of the producers of “Miami Vice” and asked to come work for them directly and head up their entire casting division. She did that for the duration of the series. When “Miami Vice” wrapped, she was immediately asked to head up the casting offices of the Burt Reynolds series, “BL Stryker” and to cast the Florida episodes of Stephen J. Cannell’s “21 Jumpstreet” and “Wiseguy.” After these 3 series, Lori decided to make the lucrative move to commercials and feature film casting.
In 1989 Lori was invited to become a member of the Casting Society of America, the professional organization of casting directors in the U.S. She opened her own offices in North Miami Beach in the spring of 1990. With her own studio space, offices and equipment, she was able to expand her business opportunities and provide a wider variety of services. Lori has also served on the Miami-Dade County Film, Print and Broadcast Advisory Board, helping to make decisions regarding the Film industry in Miami-Dade County. Lori is also a past vice-president of WOMPI, Women of the Motion Picture Industry, to whom she has contributed her casting services for many of their not-for-profit films that the organization produces for the good of the community.
Some of Lori's more recent casting credits are The Right Stuff for Nat Geo, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story for FX, HBO's Ballers, Bloodline for Netflix, USA's Burn Notice, The Glades and Graceland, and Starz's Magic City. Lori has also contributed her casting expertise to films such as Critical Thinking, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale 2, Iron Man 3, War Dogs, FF2, and Fast 8. Lori Wyman is a 2-time Artios Award winner for the popular television thriller Bloodline and the critically acclaimed HBO movie, Recount. She is also an Emmy Nominee for Recount.
ELAINE DEL VALLE
She first garnered critical acclaim with her autobiographical, Off-Broadway stage play, "Brownsville Bred” for which she won the 2011 HOLA award for excellence in playwriting, and was named "Trendsetter" at the Multi-Cultural Media Forum. The play chronicles Elaine's true Nuyorican (New York-Puerto Rican) coming-of-age amidst the deteriorating backdrop of 1980's Brownsville Brooklyn. “Brownsville Bred” was subsequently published as a YA novel and a quarter-finalist in Publisher's Weekly BookLife Prize (2020). The novel is now a part of Creative Writing and American Latino Cultural studies in public schools. Her books are also a part of the Latinx House (2020) library featured at major film festivals around the world.
As the owner and operator of Del Valle Casting, Elaine has become the go-to person for up-and-coming diverse talent and rising stars for many high profile brands, studios and agencies. Elaine was featured in the PBS documentary "Beating The Odds", alongside luminaries such as Michelle Obama. Ebby Magazine called her a "Tour De Force."
Director / Producer / Writer / Casting Director
Giovanni Fabietti is an internationally-recognized cinematographer whose credits include producing commercial video content for brands such as Western Union, Phillip Morris, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, and Kodak. He has also photographed numerous documentary shorts and features in Italy and Central America as well as the 2008 feature film "Looking for Palladin". In addition, Giovanni has worked with McCann-Erickson, ABC News, and Cineworks Laboratory. He is also a former owner of audiovisual production house Cinepro, serving AD agencies in South Florida and Latin America for over thirty years. Giovanni has taught cinematography at the New York Film Academy South Beach and Escuela de Comunicación Mónica Herrera in Central America.
Jatala is a filmmaker and educator with twenty-five years of experience in the field. In addition to working as a faculty member at various colleges in South Florida over the last eighteen years, Pezhman has produced, directed, edited or directed the photography of numerous short films, documentaries and feature films, including Ti Laurent (2014) and Scooter (2018). Pezhman Jatala earned his MFA from the Florida State University Film School, worked on various feature films while working in Los Angeles, and worked as a producer and editor in network television. Pezhman launched the Film Production Technology Program at Broward College in August of 2015, and is excited have built the program around the application of the most current techniques and technology of filmmaking.
Program Manager of the Film Production Technology Program
at Broward College
Freddy Rodriguez is an EMMY®, TELLY® and Promax/BDA award winning filmmaker with numerous short films, music videos, commercials, promos, corporate films, documentary shorts, and branded videos among his credits. He’s been writing, shooting, directing and editing creative video content for over twenty years.
Freddy began his career producing movie trailers and promos for Lifetime, Bravo, MTV Latino and the Hallmark Channel at Broadcast Video Incorporated (BVI), then did a stint at NBC/Universal as a Senior Promotions Producer, where he collected fifteen EMMY® nominations, seven EMMY® wins, and six PROMAX/BDA Awards. In 2011 he launched 66 Films, where he’s produced video content for Norwegian Cruise Lines, Maaco, The Miami Dolphins, Visit Florida, Disney and Lexus to name a few.
In 2017, the music video You'll Never Know, which he directed and edited, garnered several Merit of Excellence Awards and won “Best Music Video” at the Orlando Film Festival and won the Oregon Film Award at the Oregon Film Festival.
His short film Malabar, which was co-produced by Filmgate-Miami, is an “Official Selection” of the 2019 Miami Film Festival, where Freddy was named “One of five Miami filmmakers to watch” by the Miami News Times. (https://www.miaminewtimes.com/arts/things-to-do-miami-film-festival-2019-screens-south-florida-filmmakers-movies-11097318)
Malabar is also an “Official Selection” of the 2019 Orlando Film Festival, won the 2019 Jury and Audience Award at Filmgate-Miami's “Best of NOLA” film competition, and won "La Bota Vaquera" best short film prize at the 2019 Chihuahua International Film Festival. In 2019 Malabar was acquired by HBO and is currently streaming on HBOGo and HBONow until 2021.
In the Fall on 2019, Freddy was awarded with Oolite Arts Ellie's Creator Award for developing his feature film Project Ballroom, which recounts Miami's gay ballroom scene of the 1990's. (https://oolitearts.org/ellies/#winners)
Thank you to our sponsors:
With the support of the Miami-dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the National Endowment of the Arts, Heiga Audiovisual Studios, Mana Contemporary, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Cultural Affairs Division of the State of Florida, the City of Miami Beach, the Cultural Services French Embassy in the United States, and Focal Brewery.