The 34th edition of the Miami Film Festival will roll into Miami on the 3rd of March until the 12th. Show off your 305 pride and check out what’s in store.
Known for their mission to unite and celebrate diversity through film, the Miami Film Festival presents the best of international cinema, attracting more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals annually.
Richard Gere will open the festival this year, followed by an Opening Night Gala screening of his new film, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, directed by 2-time Oscar-nominated Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar.
Rashida Jones, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, and Oscar-winning director David Frankel are among the renowned guests. Frankel, known for The Devil Wears Prada and recent film Collateral Beauty will be leading one of the few Master Class opportunities. In these Master Classes, industry leaders navigate the different frontiers in film and offer a spectrum of themes, conversations, and networking opportunities. In “Learn From The Best: An Oscar Winning Mentor,” David Frankel will discuss the process of developing, producing, and directing a debut feature film alongside Xavier Manrique, Miami native filmmaker and the director of Chronically Metropolitan.
Miami Film Festival is also continuing their Google Seminar Series. This year’s series focuses on gender and racial gaps in film, especially in the technical and behind the scenes work. Women filmmakers and producers will discuss solutions for gender and racial bias in the film and technology world in hopes that the series will pave the way for women to immerse themselves in an industry normally dominated by men. The sessions will take place in the MDC Live Arts Lab (formerly known as the Prometeo Theater), located in MDC’s Wolfson Campus over a span of two days, March 4th and 5th.
One of the esteemed speakers is Rebecca Theodore-Vachon, a film/tv editor at TheUrbanDaily.com, founder of the blog Film Fatale NYC, and co-host of a podcast titled Cinema in Noir, which discusses cinema from the perspective of a black woman. She will be speaking on the importance of diversity and criticism when it comes to film in order to create an industry with more racial and gender representation.
Those who are starting to make their mark in the fight against lack of representation are also part of the film competitions this festival has to offer. Those like the Knight Competition and Cinemaslam showcase talent and even give the audience a voice. Cinemaslam seeks up-and-coming talent from undergraduate and graduate students in the Miami/South Florida film schools like University of Miami, New York Film Academy Miami, Miami Dade College, Center of Cinematography Arts and TV, and Miami International University of Art & Design. Finalists compete for the Sara Fuller scholarship of $500 cash, courtesy of Film Florida. They also receive awards for directing, acting, genre, technology, and the all-around Cinemaslam champion for 2017.
The Knight Competition focuses on collaborating with a range of powerful works from around the world, directed by filmmakers who have directed at least one previous Official Selection of the Festival. These films are eligible for Achievement awards totaling $40,000 in cash, courtesy of Knight Foundation.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, MFF is continuing its “From The Vault” series, focusing on Polish Academy-award winner Andrzej Wajda. Previous years have focused on filmmakers such as Orson Welles and Terence Davies. In honor of Wajda’s recent passing, two of Three War Film trilogy, A Generation (1955) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958), will screen at the Miami Beach Cinematheque on March 2nd and 9th. His most recent film, Afterimage (2016), will screen on March 6th at Regal South Beach.
Tickets to the Miami Film Festival are available now through the 12th. Members of MFF, students, and seniors receive a discount.
Alondra Guzman is an intern for the FIU Film Studies Program for the Spring 2017 semester. Alondra is currently seeking out the Film Studies Certificate as a Broadcast Media major.