Congratulations to Miami’s Borscht Film Festival and media studio Rakontur for landing their short film, Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Written by Borscht’s “Minister of the Interior” Lucas Leyva and directed by artist Jillian Mayer, the film premiered back in April at Borscht 7, which drew a sell-out crowd to the Arsht Center.
A modern Miami adaptation of the 1962 French short film, La Jetee, Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke stars former 2 Live Crew frontman and recent Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate Luther Campbell. It recounts his actual rise to fame and experience winning an obscenity case against 2 Live Crew’s 1989 album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, and then transitions to a fictional past in which Campbell becomes Miami’s savior and mayor. (In real life, Campbell lost his mayoral bid and then endorsed the eventual runner-up, Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina.)
In announcing the Sundance selection on Facebook, the Borscht crew alluded to the critique of the film (“terrible acting”) in my Borscht 7 review. The implication was that I got it all wrong, but what they chose to omit was that the short went through a significant reworking after the Arsht screening and also that I praised Mayer’s cut-out-board set design. But what do you expect from storytellers?
As announced today, Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke will screen in the prestigious film festival this coming January as one of 64 selections out of a record 7,675 submissions. It is Borscht’s second consecutive year with one of its commissioned films in Sundance. Daniel Cardenas’ short animation XEMOLAND screened in the 2011 festival after premiering in Borscht’s 2009 program.
The final cut of Life and Freaky Times has yet to hit a YouTube or Vimeo screen near you. Until then, here’s the trailer.