The Idea Center, Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Building 8
315 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132



03/13/2016 2:00pm

Every filmmaker’s dream is to complete a feature, yet finishing your first full length project is like crossing the finale of a marathon. It takes prep, pacing, dedication and a lot of support from your friends, family and crew.  As in any quest, you need mentors and coaches along the way.  FilmGate Miami has asked a panel of successful local and international filmmakers, to prepare a list of hacks to assist you in your creative journey. From locking your shooting script, to financing and finding help in unexpected places, we will guide you in your transition from a short to a feature film, with the anticipation of seeing it on a big screen at a theater near us.




Diliana Alexander is a Miami based independent filmmaker/producer. She began her career in Canada as a TV producer, where she worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, HGTV, The Learning Channel and Showtime, among others. She came to Miami to complete her MFA film and after graduation, co-founded the not-for-profit organization, FilmGate Miami. As the Executive Director of FilmGate Miami, Diliana set out to strenghten the independent film scene in Florida and has assisted in the production of many short and feature independent projects. Each year, in February, FilmGate Miami presents the Creative Conference, FilmGate Interactive, which explores how new technology shapes the future of storytelling.


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Margaret Cardillo is a Florida native. She earned two MFAs–one in Creative Writing and one in Screenwriting–from the University of Miami on fellowship. Her children’s book, JUST BEING AUDREY, a biography of Audrey Hepburn for children, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal in 2011. Margaret’s next book, a children’s biography of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, will be published in 2017. Margaret’s film, POSTHUMOUS, won an Emmy in the student category, received several Best of Fest awards, and is being screened on Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Her print work has been recognized by Wine Spectator,, Kore Press, Mangrove, and Sun Sentinel. Margaret is a professor of screenwriting at the University of Miami and lives with her family in Miami.



Jim Virga has worked as a photojournalist, cinematographer, director and producer. His short and feature documentaries have appeared on PBS and numerous international film festivals. His filmography includes Beyond Assignment (12), which world premiered at the Festival. Sweet Dillard (15) is his latest film.


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Fabio Arber has worked as a location manager, unit production manager, executive in charge of production, and currently, as a line producer. His experiences range in diverse projects such as features, episodic fiction series, reality, docu-series, documentaries, promos and commercials, appearing on networks such as CBS, ABC Family, TLC, Oxygen and WEtv. Besides supervising such projects as “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Miami Ink,” and “Airport 24/7: Miami, Fabio also consults producers with projects of various types in development. He is currently involved with the development of an indie-feature set to film later in 2016.

Javier Polo


Javier Polo studied film in Valencia, Spain. He has made numerous short works, and his first feature-length project, the documentary Europe in 8 Bits, was an official selection of Miami International Film Festival in 2014.


Moderated by Diliana Alexander of FilmGate Miami

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