The 2019 ’Canes Film Showcase will highlight student work

A still from Miguel Angel Tamayo's short film, “Raising Ants,” one of six short films that will be screened during the 2019 'Canes Film Showcase. 

By Barbara Gutierrez

A still from Miguel Angel Tamayo's short film, “Raising Ants,” one of six short films that will be screened during the 2019 'Canes Film Showcase. 

The 2019 ’Canes Film Showcase will highlight student work

By Barbara Gutierrez
Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this week.

Miguel Angel Tamayo, a University of Miami rising senior, has always been in love with film. For many years, he watched a film a day. When he saw Carlos Saura’s "Cria Cuervos," the 1976 Spanish drama of loss and loneliness, he was smitten.

It inspired him to create his own short film called “Raising Ants,” a 19-minute drama of a young girl who loses her mother to cancer and is sent, along with her sister, to live with an estranged aunt. 

“You don’t have to be a little girl to relate to this film,” he said. “Anyone who has felt lonely can connect with this story.” 

Tamayo’s haunting film of “loss, guilt, and abandonment” is one of six to be featured in the University of Miami 2019 ’Canes Film Showcase on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. 

The annual showcase, co-hosted by the School of Communication and the UM Alumni Association, is a popular networking event for film and television alumni on the West Coast, giving them the chance to know what student filmmakers are creating on campus.  

University of Miami film students
School of Communication film students

For the students, it is a chance to show off their talent, network, and tour studios—an “industry boot camp,” said Christina Lane, chair and associate professor in the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media.

This year the showcase will screen six short films and one feature script from undergraduate and graduate film students. These were chosen from 90 films that were entered for the competition, said Trae DeLellis, manager of programs at the School of Communication. 

"In this year's films, we see how our students are both captivated by cinematic tradition and deeply engaged with the world around them,” Lane said. “It's exciting to see them confronting urgent social and global issues in such informed, and sophisticated ways."

The judges, who work in the entertainment industry, included alumnus David Nutter, director and producer for “Game of Thrones,” alumnus Kyle Patrick Alvarez, director of “13 Reasons Why,” and Academy Award winner Phil Lord. 

Ali Habashi, a filmmaker and lecturer at the School of Communication, said of the student filmmakers: “Looking back, it has been fascinating and humbling to witness how every new generation of our student filmmakers, in undergraduate level, is getting more skilled and capable of telling highly nuanced stories.”

Habashi worked closely with Tamayo and said the student has a unique sensibility that translates into his cinematography. 

“In my view, he is a magician with the camera as simply, his unique choices of framing, angles, and movement come from a deep instinct, responding while empathizing in real-time to the energy and the performance of the actors on the set. One cannot teach that,” Habashi said. 

The films going to the showcase include narrative, documentary, and animation genres.  

The films and the student filmmakers include: 


Miguel Angel Tamayo, writer-director, producer

Fernanda Lamuno, producer

Alejandro Adler, producer, production designer

APT 17

Diego Vicentini, writer-director, producer, editor

Valeria Viera, producer

Gregorio Acuña, director of photography

Freddy Sheinfeld, score

Matias Beyer, sound design 


Alec Castillo, co-creator, animator

Kevin Fernandez, co-creator

Patrick McCarthy, score

Benjamin Edelman, sound design 


Aaron Gordon, writer-director, producer

Sunny Bhatia, co-director

April Dobbins, producer

Yaxu Hu, editor

Jose Veliz, score

Kawame Davis, sound design

Issac Mead-Long, director of photography 


Kerli Kirch Schneider, writer-director


Jesus Grisanti, director, producer, director of photography, editor 


Sarah Hartman Naar and Scott Naar - co-writers