MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The American Black Film Festival kicked-off in Miami Beach Wednesday. Filmmakers from around the country enter to be featured in the festival, but one South Floridian is creating buzz with his film about his tough childhood in Miami.

The Magic City is a dark film, delving into a world most of us are unfamiliar with, but it’s a world the film’s director and writer knows too well.

“Every filmmaker’s first film needs to be their own story. The characters in the film are based on people I know,” Malcolm Jones said.

Malcolm grew up in Fort Lauderdale, in a rough neighborhood. His childhood and his stories are now making their debut on the big screen at this year’s American Black Film Festival.

But Malcolm and his film, The Magic City, have some stiff competition; over 1,000 entered for this weekend and 15 will compete in the main competition.

Magic City was shot entirely in Miami; it’s iconic scenery a tribute to South Florida.

“I knew if I’m going to do my first film, it’s my film I have to do I had to bring it back home and this is home,” Malcolm said.

But The Magic City almost didn’t happen.

“I didn’t have the money to finish the product, I knew I didn’t have the money to finish the product, but I said if I don’t start it, it’s never going to materialize,” Malcolm said.

Three years later, Malcolm’s love for film and love for his city will materialize this weekend.

When asked about the message behind his movie, Malcolm responded with, “It’s really about love and no matter what you are going through the love will see you through.”

For more information on The Magic City, go to the website at

To find out more information about the American Black Film Festival, continuing through June 23rd, visit the festival’s website at


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