The 2018 Miami Film Festival

The Miami Film Festival’s 35th edition (March 9 -18) promises to deliver an eclectic line-up of films and film events in collaborating theatres all over Miami.  The festival focuses not only on worldwide cinema, but also the expansive film industry and community of South Florida.

The schedule of events for MFF can seem somewhat daunting at first. There are countless events to attend for film lovers of all interests, but here we have compiled a list of the most anticipated and noteworthy events for FIU students and friends of the Film Studies program.

For the traditional opening night gala screening, Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking)  offers up his new film Tully. Starring Charlize Theron as the mother of three, it takes a look at the challenges and difficulties tied to motherhood. If you have the money to shell out, the screening features a conversation with the director alongside one of the stars, Ron Livingston, and can be purchased with the Into the Jungle Opening Night Party. If not, then the screening itself is $30.

The following day MFF lines up Cinemaslam, the Festival’s student competition which features entries from undergraduate and graduate students across South Florida. A few finalists include: Vivir by Fernando Dumas from Miami Dade College,  Opposite Sex  by Lidia Rosa Hernandez from Center of Cinematography, Arts, and Television, and Zindagi by Vasisth Sukul from University of Miami. Golden Panther filmmakers should be especially excited  to see, and to network with, these up-and-coming local talents at MDC’s Tower Theater Miami at 1pm on March 10th.

Student filmmakers and FIU community members will also be interested in the films up for the Knight Made in MIA Awarda competition for films about, or filmed in South Florida. One such short film is Fight Like a Girl, which is playing with other short films on March 10th at 7:30 pm. Directors Agustin Gonzalez, a faculty member of Miami-Dade College, and Nicole Wulf, a former MDC graduate, focused their short documentary film on three South Florida women trying to navigate the male dominated world of competitive video gaming.

To wrap up the opening weekend of the Miami Film Festival, the Olympia Theater will host a Carlos Saura tribute and screening of Saura(s) on Sunday, March 11th. Saura is Spain’s greatest living director and holds the record in MFF for most featured films for one director with 14 Official Selections in the Festival’s 35 year history. His films display Spanish history and culture in an endearing and expansive way. Saura(s) is a film by Félix Viscarret, a fellow Spanish director, which highlights Saura’s contributions, featuring clips from some of his films and an exchange between Viscarret and Saura about art, life, and love. The Carlos Saura Tribute + Screening of Saura(s) event includes a conversation with Carlos Saura and the presentation of the Precious Gem-Master Award, the screening of Saura(s), and an optional Desserts + Directors party as part of a package.

MFF, originally the Miami International Film Festival, began in 1984 with a group of film partisans known as the Miami Film Society. Since then, their goal remains as catalysts in sharing and expanding the Miami (film) culture by creating platforms such as the Miami Film Festival (GEMS, Cineclub, and extending membership to the society itself within the community).

The 2018 Miami Film Festival is an opportunity for its participants to receive attention and acclaim for their work, but also for its audiences to come together and meet experienced members of the film industry. The films highlighted starting March 9th until the 18th are not films that you will see in your everyday theatre. It is a special and unique experience to see these films for the first time amongst groups of people who appreciate film the way you do, sometimes alongside the filmmakers and creators themselves. Don’t miss the unforgettable opportunity to be a part of this year’s edition of MFF.

Kimberly Morles and Luisa Suarez are students of the FIU Film Studies Program