In 2017 Mirella Martinelli received the Sarasota Arts & Culture Alliance Ringling Towers Fund grant to produce Frenemies. The Individual Artist Award recognizes practicing professional artists residing in Sarasota County, supporting artists of exceptional talent and demonstrated ability to continue to produce work.
In 2018 Elizabeth Coffman joined the project with her nonprofit film production company, Long Distance Productions.
In 2019 Frenemies received a grant from The Puffin Foundation , an organization that works to amplify the voices of minorities and believes that every single person can make change happen. They wrote: "Our Board was truly impressed with the nature of your proposal".
Director & Editor: Mirella Martinelli is an award-winning Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and editor, who lives in Florida now as a US citizen. Her numerous awards include Best Film, Best Director (RioCine Film Festival and Brasilia Film Festival), and Best Editing (American Cinema Editors 1997). Mirella participated at the first Sundance Screenwriters Lab that was held in Brazil, with her original screenplay “Goodbye Mom” (co-author: Eduardo Caron). Most of her 34-year film career has been dedicated to documentaries, including Land of the Sea, a feature-length funded by the Rockefeller, McArthur and Lampadia Foundations. Land of the Sea uses only interviews as narration similarly to the current project. In the United States Mirella Martinelli worked as a film professor at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Tampa. Mirella is currently producing her first film in the US: Frenemies.
Elizabeth Coffman is documentary filmmaker and scholar who received a 2016 NEH Production grant and support from PBS’s American Masters for Flannery, a feature documentary on U.S. writer Flannery O’Connor. Elizabeth’s nonprofit company, Long Distance Productions, has produced documentaries on nation-building in Bosnia, environmental degradation in Louisiana and 17th century Jewish, Italian poets. She and her partner Ted Hardin are currently finishing “Venice is Thinking,” about the challenges of sea level rise for this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Teresita A. Terga, a native of Cuba, made her debut as the Writer, Producer, and Director of a feature length sci-fi film in 2014 (Spyderwoman) now in post-production as the TV pilot Hybrid for the series Utopia, based on her first novel. Teresita writes screenplays, YA and children’s books, and poetry which she self-publishes and markets. She holds degrees in MFA, Creative Writing, and MS, Media Management and is a veteran educator of Language Arts, ESOL, and Media Communications both in K-12 and post-secondary settings throughout South Florida.
Miguel Coyula is a Cuban filmmaker, cinematographer and writer. His first feature, Red Cockroaches won over twenty awards in film festivals around the world. In 2009, Coyula was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to develop his second feature, Memories of Overdevelopment. After its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film received several awards and was described as one of the best films Cuba has produced. In 2016 he produced the documentary feature Nadie (Nobody), which won the Best Documentary award at the Global Film Festival in Santo Domingo and screened at MoMA. Currently Coyula working on his fourth feature, Corazon Azul (Blue Heart).
Jake Smucker filmed, together with Mirella Martinelli, most of the interviews in Frenemies. He is a filmmaker, multimedia producer, and graphic designer living in Sarasota, FL. His credits in the short documentary "Eugene Alexander: The Fashion of Eugene Stutzman", include cinematography, directing, and editing.
Consultant: Johannes Werner is an award-winning journalist who lived and worked in Germany, the United States and Mexico. He is frequent visitor of Cuba and the editor and managing partner of Cuba Standard/CubaNews. He determines the agenda and edits content of a real-time news Website that sets the standard for business coverage of Cuba. From 2006 to 2016 he hosted the weekly radio talk show about current affairs in Latin America and the Caribbean, Florida Caribe.
Graphic Designer: As a third-generation family artist, Max Kelly carries on the creative tradition inspired by his grandfather, a well-known illustrator in the early 20th century; and his father, a commercial photographer during the booming post-war period. Max practically grew up in his father’s dark room and spent much of his youth creating drawing and ad layouts inspired by the design and photo annuals that littered his family home. Now, Max works as a photographer and graphic designer.