Untitled Cuban Monster Movie
Mayer\Leyva’s collaborations include short films, art installations, music videos, experimental theater, and web projects.More
Lucas Leyva is a Miami-based filmmaker, founder of Borscht Corp, and the collective Mayer\Leyva.Artist Bio
Jillian Mayer is an artist and filmmaker based in Miami, Florida.Artist Bio
Untitled Cuban Monster Movie is a kaiju (giant monster) film set between a rapidly changing Cuba and Miami. It is the story of two artists battling against giant fictional monsters and those inside themselves to save their love, and another Cuban-American battling against them to save himself.
Mayer\Leyva consists of performance artist Jillian Mayer and retired playwright Lucas Leyva. Their collaborations include short films, art installations, music videos, experimental theater and web projects. Their last two short films—Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke; #PostModem—premiered at Sundance and went on to play AFI, Rotterdam, Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Winterthur, New Zealand and other festivals around the world. In 2012 four separate MayerLeyva projects were screened at SXSW, and in 2013 they returned with another. Named to Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” list, their projects have also screened at museums worldwide including MoMA, Guggenheim Museums, New Orleans Contemporary and the permanent collection of the Miami Art Museum. In 2013, they were selected for the New Frontier Story Lab Fellowship for the Future of Storytelling at the Sundance Institute. Their music videos have been featured by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Vice, Stereogum and NME, and have been named to various year-end Top 10 video lists, including IFC.
Mayer\Leyva have made three viral videos, including I Am Your Grandma, which became an unlikely sensation that has been spoofed on various TV shows and was featured on the cover of Art Papers Magazine, and the controversial Jacuzzi Boys: Glazin’ which became infamous after getting over 600,000 views in 48 hours before being banned from YouTube permanently and becoming the subject of a SXSW Panel. They have been awarded grants from the Cintas Foundation Fellowship for Cuban-American Artists, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Elsewhere Museum/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Harpo Foundation, the Zentrum Paul Klee Museum Fellowship (Switzerland), and the South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual and Media Artists Fellowship. Together they help run the Borscht Corp. in Miami, where they work and live with Shivers, their wise and benevolent miniature Chihuahua.
As the founder and director of Miami’s Borscht Corp, in the last five years Lucas Leyva “legitimized the once-absurd premise of filmmaking in Miami,” “spurring a filmmaking boom in South Florida” by developing and overseeing the creation of dozens of short films that had an unprecedented run of success—screening at over 200 festivals worldwide (including five years in a row at Sundance), museums like the Guggenheim and MoMA, millions of online views, and dozens of jury and audience awards while simultaneously building “the weirdest film festival on the planet” and “Miami’s best film festival” from the ground up, “reinventing of the concept of the film festival” becoming a “hometown hero” and one of the “25 new faces of independent film” in the process. In short, he “redefined cinema in Miami” and “the world is taking notice,” with IndieWire even wondering if “the next great hope of American film is in Florida.” In 2014 he accepted the South Florida Film Critic’s Circle’s Golden Orange Award for outstanding contribution to film in Florida via “fresh, vital…tireless championing of independent filmmaking.” In 2015, LACMA, CERN and IFP will all host Borscht Retrospectives. As a writer/director, his work has been seen in dozens of festivals, museum exhibitions, and called ”idea-rich, imaginatively executed and drawing international acclaim,” “visionary and bold” and “a freaky force to be reckoned with.” Selected honors include “20 Influencers Under 40,” “Top 100 Creatives in Miami,” Mastermind “Genius” Grant, Cultural Consortium’s Visual and Media Artists Fellowship, Creative Capital Grant, and the New Frontier Story Lab Fellowship at the Sundance Institute. He is currently developing episodic content with MTV and Time Warner.
Jillian Mayer is an artist and filmmaker based in Miami, Florida. Through videos, sculptures, online experiences, photography, performances, and installations, Mayer explores how technology affects our lives, bodies, and identities. She investigates the points of tension between our online and physicals worlds and makes work that attempts to inhabit the increasingly porous borders between the two. In her collaborations with filmmaker Lucas Leyva, the artists create short films that cross disciplinary confines, between viral internet sensation to art world showings to film festivals, in subjects that highlight the unique landscapes of Miami, Florida.