The Miami and the Beaches Environmental Film Festival (MBEFF) will, once again, bring the most cutting edge environmental films and documentaries to South Florida with the intention of educating, motivating and inspiring participants about global sustainability challenges. We believe that educating our community through visual arts will inspire them to become advocates for the environment and that they will further spread the message about the importance of environmental preservation and sustainability.
FESTIVAL CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
ECOMB Executive Director, Community Leader, Eco-Warrior
Luiz Rodrigues, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, holds a Bachelors degree in Biological Oceanography from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Masters degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Luiz’ passion for aquatic sciences has taken him to various parts of the world including the Caribbean, Bermuda, Tahiti, Southern Africa, the Florida Keys, and Brazil, where in 1992 he served as a representive to the United Nations Earth Summit and Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro.
Since his relocation to Miami Beach in 2000, Luiz has been actively involved with local environmental issues, chaired the Beach Preservation Committee for the City of Miami Beach for five years and, on September 2001, was hired as the new Executive Director for the Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches (ECOMB).
Besides managing ECOMB, he also runs a for-profit green consulting company, Eco-Logical Solutions, serves on the Board for the “Sustainability Committee” for the City of Miami Beach (co-founder), for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce “Sustainable Business Council”, for the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association “Green Hospitality Council” (co-founder) and, more recently, for the “Green Commission” for the City of Miami.
Environmental Engineer, Sustainability Advocate, Social Entrepreneur
Michael Laas wants to elevate the environmental and social consciousness of South Florida. As an environmental engineer working for Gannett Fleming Inc., Michael puts his practical skills towards the sustainable planning and design of regional public transportation projects. Combining his expertise in the sustainability field with his track record of executing inspired ideations of environmental initiatives, he also founded and acts as principal of Environmental Creative Solutions, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing innovative solutions for corporate and consumer brands committed to environmental sustainability.
His passion for the environment and dedication to making Miami a better place also manifests in the creation, leadership and support of various local non-profits and institutions. He is heavily involved in Surfrider Foundation where he served as past Chairperson and currently serves as Strategy & Development Officer; is a board member and past Board Chairperson of Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches; serves on the Executive Committee of Friends of the New World Symphony; and is a member and supporter of Chapman Partnership, Museum of Contemporary Art and Miami art Museum.
Combining his professional skills, personal pursuits, and creative skills he has launched projects committed to social and environmental causes. In 2004 he co-founded Sails for Sustenance, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing subsistence fishermen in Haiti with recycled sails material donated by the U.S. sailing community. In 2010, Michael co-founded Miami Surf Archive Project, which is dedicated to preserving Miami’s rich surfing history.
In 2011, he co-founded and acts as director of the first Miami & The Beaches Environmental Film Festival, to create awareness of environmental issues and promote informed decisions in everyday life.
FESTIVAL PROGRAM ASSISTANT
Eduardo Marinho is a native from Fortaleza, Brazil. He is a motivated individual who has proudly called Miami Beach his home for the past 15 years. He realizes how important it is to be involved in the community at the grassroots level. Due to his deep respect to the environment and nature, he knows he can make a difference by lending his time to help educate and motivate others. He is a proud volunteer with such respectable organizations like ECOMB and Camillu’s House, where he gives back his time whenever he can. His ability to speak many also languages gives him the edge to help this multi-cultural city.
FESTIVAL PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Mabel Rodriguez is a Miami native and has a Bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Environmental Science. She has a strong interest in improving social issues, particularly, regarding public health and the natural environment. Over the last 4 years, she has been actively involved in various education and community engagement projects. At Florida International University, she has promoted healthy and sustainable dining on campus venues. On a countywide level, she has visited over 2,000 students at Miami-Dade Public Schools, engaging them in science activities that teach about energy conservation and renewable resources.
Mabel’s love for the outdoors has taken her to the Greek isles, the Tuscan mountains, and the depths of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. This strong connection with natural landscapes and ecosystems motivate her work and inform her lifestyle choices. Currently, Mabel organizes film screenings which aim to broaden the audience's perspective on local and global issues as well as inspire advocacy and action amongst the community. She is assisting with the 3rd annual Film Festival which she hopes will further elevate the environmental consciousness in Miami.
FESTIVAL PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Xavier Banegas was born in Miami and attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. He developed a particular love for the art of film, and an understanding of the importance of protecting the environment that sustains us, for its own sake. His position as project coordinator for this Environmental Film Festival enables him to more fully explore that exciting space where the artistic world of film intersects with that of the political as well as the scientific.
FESTIVAL PROGRAM ASSISTANT
Hercilia Carrion holds a Bachelors’ degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the Florida International University of Miami, Florida. Her interest in environmental preservation and sustainability has led her to ECOMB, where she assists in the realization of community engaging and educational events, such as the Miami & the Beaches Environmental Film Festival 2013 (MBEFF).
Her former engagement in community service includes involvement with non-profit organizations, such as Venezuelan Business Club (VBC), where she worked to improve the incorporation of immigrating businesses and entrepreneurs in the city of Miami. She has also served as an English tutor for non-English speaking students to improve their performance in school.
- Luiz Rodrigues
- Michael Laas
- Eduardo Marinho
- Mabel Rodriguez
- Xavier Banegas
- Hercilia Carrion
- Christina Schettini
- Maura Reilly
- Melissa McAndrew
- Miguel Peña
MBEFF wouldn’t be possible without the support and hard work of its organizers, volunteers, and sponsors. Our festival team has brought together a group of talented and passionate leaders dedicated to making the event a success. If you are interested in joining our team by becoming a festival volunteer then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ECOMB offices at (305) 534-3825.
For more information about ECOMB and our upcoming events, please browse through our web site or contact us the following address: