In 2017 the Sarasota Arts & Culture Alliance awarded the Ringling Towers Fund grant to produce Frenemies.
In 2018 Elizabeth Coffman joined the project with her nonprofit film production company, Long Distance Productions.
In 2019 The Puffin Foundation , awarded a grant to Frenemies. 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”. 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. In the United States Mirella Martinelli worked as a film professor at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Tampa. Frenemies is Mirella's first U.S. film.
Producers: Mirella Martinelli & Elizabeth Coffman
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. Flannery won the first-ever Library of Congress / Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. 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.
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 is working on his fourth feature, Corazon Azul (Blue Heart).
Jake Smucker filmed, together with Mirella Martinelli, most of the interviews in Frenemies, as well as precious contemporary images of Cuba. Jake is a filmmaker, multimedia producer, and graphic designer living in Sarasota, FL.
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.