November 2014, Volume 18, Number 4

Cultural Spotlight

 

MIFFecito Offers Shot of Hottest World Cinema

South Florida film lovers didn’t have to wait until March to get a dose of Miami International Film Festival at MDC (MiamiFF) this year, thanks to the launch of MIFFecito, a mini festival that ran Oct. 16-19.

As integral to Miami’s cultural scene as Cuban cafecito is to a Miamian’s palate, MiamiFF offered cinephiles a delectable taste of its 32nd edition with MIFFecito, screening 13 hot international films at MDC’s beloved Tower Theater in Little Havana.

“MIFFecito is an appetizer to MiamiFF’s main course, the perfect fall break for film lovers who crave a cinematic fix,” said MiamiFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante.

International Infusion

The bite-size festival packed a punch, offering North American, East Coast and Florida premieres of films from a diverse patchwork of countries including Bhutan, Chile, Cuba, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland and Spain.

MIFFecito made a groundbreaking start with the Florida premiere of Behavior (Conducta) by Cuban filmmaker Ernesto Daranas. Centering on the moral tug-of-war over a Havana boy who is sent to a reform school, the film became a conversation starter in Cuba on the current state of society in the island nation.

Top Titles

Other MIFFecito highlights included the North American premiere of Carmina and Amen (Carmina y amén) by Spanish director Paco León, starring his larger-than-life mother Carmina Barrios and sister María León. Another comedic gem, Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos), was also a hit. No surprise there, since this taboo buster about a Seville man’s quest to win over a Basque woman and her family is the all-time highest-grossing film in Spain’s box office history.

In addition, Poland’s Life Feels Good (Chce sie zyc) inspired audiences with an incredible true story of a boy born with cerebral palsy and his 26-year fight to communicate with the world. And director Mariana Chenillo, who won the 2009 MiamiFF Audience Award for her first film, Nora’s Will, returned this year for her follow-up film Paradise.

For more about MiamiFF, visit miamifilmfestival.com.

— MR


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