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Meet Me in Miami poster. Copyright 2005, Palm Tree

Lisa Abbottmaking films that uplift the human spirit

A slice of picturesque New Zealand was on show in the US at a prestigious International Film Festival at the end of October when Kiwi producer Lisa Abbotts “Meet Me in Miami” premiered in Los Angeles.

But producing a movie which has two of the world’s “hunkiest” Latino male actors cast in it, is not what every typical Kiwi Christian mother sets out to do in their life times.

It is also not something that Lisa Abbott ever set out to do either, but somehow just fell into when she found herself producing the romantic comedy movie “Meet Me in Miami” which was mostly shot in New Zealand.

Although Lisa was surrounded by many un-mum looking types with some rather un-mum names too like J-Lo, Angelica and Eva, she was by no means phased by the international spotlight and media attention. For Lisa Abbott is certainly no desperate housewife. Although Lisa can empathize with women who are busy working-mothers, Lisa exudes an inner peace and radiates with joy and infectious laughter. Her joy is in her faith in God and her family.

Originally from California, Lisa moved to New Zealand in 1989 when she met her now husband, David. In 1996 Lisa found herself disillusioned with the lack of family films she could experience with their four children. Recognizing a niche in the market and a viable audience, Lisa decided to start her own distribution company, Family Films. This opened the door to other local industry opportunities.

It was late 2002 when Abbott took the plunge into developing her first feature film, “Meet Me in Miami.” Produced by her company Palm Tree Productions, Abbott is aware that her company exists to provide an oasis for quality family viewing in the movie market.

A firm believer in the power of prayer making a difference in the world, Lisa also maintains that the family that plays together stays together.

I think its important that families can go to the movies and laugh at something good and wholesome on the big screen that the whole family can enjoy and be entertained by.

“Meet Me in Miami” is just that for Abbott. It is a lighthearted romantic comedy that has many laughs in store for a fun loving audience. In addition,
like some of Hollywoods better blockbusters, “Meet Me in Miamis” theme of love has many Christ-like themes embedded in it.

Abbott says that “Meet Me in Miami” is a reminder to all to never give up on love, to never stop having faith in love and that love will come looking
for you and will find you even when you think you may have lost your way.

Scene from Meet Me in Miami. Copyright 2005, Palm Tree.

For young people, like the onscreen journey of Luis and Julia (the films two central characters), “Meet Me in Miami” is about waiting for the right one, being true to each other and keeping a love-promise.

Lisa Abbots promise to herself is to continue making films that uplift the human spirit and that make the world a better place. For Abbott, the world is a better place when people walk in love. In many ways her movie reflects this core belief. “Meet Me in Miami” is a romantic
comedy about true love and its ability to last, even through years of separation.


It stars Carlos Ponce (pron: Ponse Eh), who is a celebrity in the world of Latin entertainment, well known as a singer, songwriter, actor, television host (Entertainment Tonight) and producer. Carlos has recently finished a film with Hollywood actress Lyndsay Lohan. Teaming up with Carlos is Eduardo Verstegui (pron: Ver Arse T Gee. Eduardo has danced in the Jennifer Lopez music video Aint it Funny and has had guest-acting spots on “CSI: Miami,” “Karen Sisco” and “Charmed.”

Working with such talented actors who attract Latino audiences that total 600 million people, does not phase Lisa Abbott in the slightest. She believes that all things that happen in life happen for a reason and that she can move boldly forward because there is a greater creative hand that guides her.

Who Lisa gets to meet and work with along the way is part of her love-relationship with the Producer and Director of her special faith and the journey so far has been fun, fun, fun. So much fun, that Abbott has been able to include members of the family in the making of “Meet Me in Miami.” Lisas daughter Brooke stars as the beautiful young Julia in the movie. Husband David acted as an executive producer, and her youngest daughter also makes a cameo appearance in the

For a woman who believes that the family that plays together stays together, movies has provided Lisa Abbott and her family with a vehicle to express the
human spirit being uplifted to greater heights of joy and love.

Article by Samuel Cruickshank

The producers description of the film: Luis Montero has the perfect life. At 23, not only is he one of Miamis most eligible bachelors, hes just inherited the family business a rather profitable chain of hotels with properties located all around the world. But despite this promise of fame and fortune, Luis still isn’t happy; hes lost the perfect girl. Luis was 12 when he met Julia. She was staying at the Hotel with her family while on holiday, and when the two met, the connection was instant. They spent the summer together, laughing, playing and wishing it would never end. When it was finally time for Julia to return to her native New Zealand, the two made a promise to meet back at the fountain the same time every year.

Each year Luis waited, but no Julia. Now 10 years later, Luis finally decides its time to put destiny to the test. Dragging along his best friend Eduardo, they board a plane to New Zealand determined to find Julia and win her back.

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