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Sundial: Miami Film Festival highlights beloved flea market, explores making love scenes hot but safe

Courtesy of Jose Navas
"Awake Before Dawn" follows a fictional immigrant family — a mom and two boys. They spend their day under a tent at the Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market selling nik-naks to make ends meet.

The 40th annual Miami Film Festival begins this week on Friday, March 3. It will feature more than 140 films from over 30 countries in its lineup.

On the March 1 episode of Sundial, we hear from one of the local filmmakers whose movie features an iconic flea market and honors the immigrant workers who kept it alive.

Plus, we hear from a certified intimacy director, who works with actors and directors to make sure those steamy love scenes on screen are also safe and comfortable for the crew on set.

Awake Before Dawn

Where in Miami could you find fresh fruit, a pet parrot and designer bags…some real, some fake?

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At the Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market, of course. In September 2022 it was shut down, after operating for nearly four decades. The largest flea market in the county was sold to a New York-based Trust for development.

It was the end of an era.

A new local film premiering at the Miami Film Festival takes us back to that time.

Awake Before Dawn follows a fictional immigrant family — a mom and two boys. They spend their day under a tent at the flea market selling nick-nacks to make ends meet.

The movie was filmed just as the Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market was closing. It premieres at the Silverspot Cinemas in Downtown Miami on Friday, March 10th.

Navas joins us to talk about why he believes the timing of the film was providential. Also, how his own experience working in flea markets influences the movie.

Coordinating love scenes to feel safe

Her first kiss ever was going to be on stage — in front of a live audience.

Courtesy of Nicole Perry
Nicole Perry is an intimacy director and choreographer in South Florida.

The student actor came to Nicole Perry for help. She confessed she’d never kissed anyone before. Now she was being asked to do it publicly as part of a production.

Perry was a choreographer. She found herself thinking how so much care and instruction could go into teaching actors dance steps, but not the movements for an intimate scene.

She decided that had to change. Perry now works as a certified intimacy director for films, TV and theater productions.

She’ll be hosting a masterclass at the Miami Film Festival on Thursday, March 9 to talk about what goes into her role.

She joins us to talk about how she makes scenes safe for actors but steamy for the audience.

On Sundial's previous episode, writer Andrew Otazo told us about his new book, "The Miami Creation Myth." In it, he fashions gods of gossip and pachangas to make fun of Miami's absurdity. Otazo is also a local environmentalist who has cleaned up more than 10 tons of trash from Miami mangroves.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Stay in touch with us via text by joining our Sundial text club. Send us your thoughts, ideas or questions by texting the word “join” to 786-677-0767. You can also email us at sundial@wlrnnews.org.

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Carlos Frías is the host of WLRN's Sundial. He is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the lead producer behind WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is an associate producer for Sundial.