The latest for Miami’s Film Festival
Kiss those multiplex blues goodbye. Just in time to wipe away January’s movie doldrums, organizers of the 27th Miami International Film Festival on Thursday unveiled their lineup. It includes: the eagerly awaited adaptation of a wildly bestselling novel; a new Cuban drama about the darker side of contemporary life on the island; documentary portraits of legendary playboy Hugh Hefner, the Beatles and Pablo Escobar’s eldest son and new films starring Miami natives Andy Garcia and Catherine Keener.The festival, to be held March 5-14, will screen 115 feature-length and short films from 45 countries, including five world premieres and 22 North American premieres. The diversity and breadth of the selections continues the inclusive, challenging tone artistic director Tiziana Finzi set in 2009, her first year.
“I’ve had a lot of freedom to program the movies I wanted,” Finzi said. “The audience here has tremendous courage and energy. They are very hip and up to date on cinema.”
The program was announced at a press conference held by Miami Dade College, which presents the festival. The event’s $1.8 million operating budget is supported by grants and sponsorships, increasingly difficult to attain in a struggling economy.
Opening night will bring Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric, about a middle-aged postman who seeks life advice from famed soccer star Eric Cantona (who plays himself). The closer will be the Argentine drama The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos), about a retired prosecutor (the great Ricardo Darin) who reopens the unsolved case of the rape and murder of a young woman.
The recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Tribute will be Margarethe von Trotta, the German actress and director who became an icon of international feminist cinema in the 1970s. Several of her films will be screened, including her latest, Vision, based on the life of the German nun Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century mystic, author and composer.
Festival tickets go on sale Feb. 5 for Film Society members and on Feb. 19 for the general public. Screenings will be at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami, the Regal South Beach, the Miami Beach Cinematheque, the Bill Cosford Cinema at the University of Miami and Little Havana’s Tower Theater. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com.