MIFF

Published on March 7th, 2015

MIFF

THEEB

THEEB

Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival returns for its 32nd year, offering a diverse and interesting mix of movies as ever. The festival kicks off with an opening night gala featuring Argentina’s Wild Tales, a film nominated for the Foreign Language Oscar. Local filmmakers will also be heavily featured, including works by Billy Corben and members of the Borscht collective. Speaking about local filmmakers, festival executive director Jaie Laplante says he has noticed “more international-quality work than ever before.  More confidence. More torque.”

Usually the festival hosts a centerpiece tribute for a well-known filmmaker. This year the Artist Tribute Award is going to the Independent Cuban Filmmaker. “In my time at the College in these past five years,” says Laplante, “I’ve always felt a total respect for the integrity of the artist. There’s a strong feeling, as indicated by the special program we created this year with support from The Related Group, that the new generation of Cuban filmmakers working totally on their own, outside the Cuban system, with help from producers in other countries to make their art and to push the boundaries of what they want to say as freely as possible — they are worth empowering, even if through this symbolic honor that encourages them.”

Uncle Victory

Uncle Victory

There will be several Cuba-oriented films capturing slices of life most never considered, from the artistically humanistic and poetic short films of Marcel Beltrán to a look at the city’s contemporary working class and nightlife scene via Venice by respected filmmaker Kiki Álvarez.

Asked for some general movie recommendations that deserve special attention, Laplante offers, “Theeb, because it’s the most authentic thing I’ve seen this year. Phoenix, because it is the most honest.  Uncle Victory, because it is the most touching. Life is Sacred, because it teaches something about winning that I never understood before. And all the shorts, whether in shorts programs or the ones playing before features, because they are all deeply brave, fierce and free.”

Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival runs March 6 – 15 at various venues across Miami-Dade County.
For tickets, visit: www.miamiff-tickets.com.

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~ Hans Morgenstern | The Independent Ethos (www.indieethos.wordpress.com)

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