Volume 1, Number 2 - October 18, 2010

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Anna Carabeo
Anna Carabeo
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Renowned Festival Gets New Director

By Anna Carabeo

Picture of Jaie Laplante
Film Guru: Jaie Laplante, has been tabbed as the new executive director of the Miami International Film Festival.

Film guru, Jaie Laplante, has been tabbed as the new executive director of the Miami International Film Festival.

Laplante, 40, has served as director of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, co-director of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and programming director for the Miami Short Film Festival.

“I am very excited to be involved with The Miami International Film Festival,” Laplante said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

The MIFF will take place March 4-13.

“Working with Jaie is a breath of fresh air,” said Danette Wolpert, assistant director for programs and industry for the MIFF. “He comes in with a very hands-on style and new ideas that will ultimately change the face of the festival. I think he is going to be a positive impact.”

Laplante, the first Canadian to be executive director, first came to Miami in 1998.

“Apart from being a hard-working and dedicated person, he loves Miami and his experience organizing and leading other festival and events in Miami; it gives him a unique understanding of the city,” said Diana Sanchez, senior program consultant and director. “As well as contacts from many different facets of Miami's cultural landscape. I think that this is important because it will help attract a wider audience and widen the scope of the festival as a whole.”

Laplante, who first became interested in film at around the age of 10, has acted in films such as Frisk, a film in San Francisco’s International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

He has also been a script supervisor for 1995’s The Doom Generation and was a screenwriter for the movie, Sugar, featured in the 2004 San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Even though Laplante has “experimented” with acting before, he admits he is much better behind the camera than in front of it.

“I think when you are an actor, you only have control over your part and what you are doing, which is only a part of the whole project,” Laplante said. “As MIFF’s executive director, I’m able to touch all parts of the project, in this case, the festival, and shape them to an overall tone and texture.”

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