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Miami Dade College Announces Miami International Film Festival’s 2010 Official Program

MIFF unveiling

(L-R) MDC President Eduardo J. Padron, MIFF Artistic Director Tiziana Finzi, MIFF poster artist Carlos Betancourt, and MDC Cultural Affairs Executive Director Vivian Donnell Rodriguez.

Miami, January 28, 2010 - Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón and other college officials today announced the official film lineup for the 27th edition of the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF). The 10-day Festival, which takes place March 5-14, 2010, is produced and hosted by MDC. This year‘s Festival will showcase 115 films from 45 countries, including five world premieres, 22 North American premieres and 14 U.S. premieres. This year’s competition categories include Ibero-American, World, DOX, Cutting the Edge and Shorts.  Special sections unique to MIFF include Cinema 360˚, Encuentros, REEL Education Seminar Series, Florida Focus and the inaugural Diesel Online Shorts Competition.   Also unveiled during the press conference, was the official poster for this year’s festivities created by Miami-based, contemporary visual artist Carlos Betancourt, as well as this year’s invaluable partners, including:  American Airlines (the official airline of the Miami International Film Festival,) Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, CAMACOL (The Latin Chamber of Commerce,) Comcast, Diesel, Florida Power & Light, HERA, Nespresso, Screen International Magazine, Stella Artois, the University of Miami and Zanelli. 

”Once again we are very pleased to bring the region a dynamic and provocative Festival program. I am especially pleased with the many educational opportunities the Festival will afford with its many seminars, workshops and timely conversations,” said Dr. Padrón

MIFF is the only major film festival housed within an educational institution.

TOP TALENT AND HIGHLIGHTS

Among the films screening at MIFF this year are the dramas CITY ISLAND, starring Miami favorite Andy Garcia, his daughter Dominik García-Lorido and Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe winner for Best Female Actor in a TV Drama Series, Julianna Margulies (THE GOOD WIFE); PLEASE GIVE, starring Amanda Peet, Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt; documentary films, including the international film festival circuit premiere of THE BEATLES ON RECORD by Bob Smeaton and the U.S. premiere of HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman.  The Festival will also feature the critically acclaimed premiere of Sweden’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (MÄN SOM HATAR KVINNOR) by Niels Arden Oplev and several Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar contenders, including: Argentina’s THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS) by Juan José Campanella, Australia’s SAMSON & DELILAH by Warwick Thornton and Peru’s THE MILK OF SORROW (LA TETA ASUSTADA) by Claudia Llosa.

“Attending a film festival is not like going to the regular cinema,” explains Artistic Director Tiziana Finzi, a 21-year film festival programming veteran previously with Locarno, Cannes and Venice. This year marks her second Festival in Miami.  “It is important to create an experience where you take your time, have a journey around the world and see films that, often times, have little chance to be distributed in mainstream U.S. theaters.”

Ken Loach’s LOOKING FOR ERIC, starring world-famous Manchester United football player Eric Cantona, will raise the curtain on Friday, March 5 as the official Opening Night Film; while THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS) will bring the Festival’s activities to an end on Saturday, March 13 as the official Awards Night film.

TRIBUTE

This year’s Career Achievement Tribute ceremony on Wednesday, March 10 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts will honor German film director Margarethe Von Trotta, who is most recognized for her films SHEER MADNESS (1983), ROSA LUXEMBURG (1986), ROSENSTRASSE (2003,) and I AM THE OTHER WOMAN (2006). Considered a pioneer and an icon of international feminist cinema since the 1970s, this acclaimed German actress and director ranks among the world’s most important filmmakers. The award presentation will be followed by a special screening of her newest film, VISION, starring her long-time muse, award-winning actress Barbara Sukowa, as Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen, a visionary leader who is credited with ushering Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.

IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION

The Festival, known for its strong Ibero-American focus, will feature debut and sophomore efforts from  filmmakers representing Spain, Portugal and Latin America, including: LA YUMA by Florence Jaugey, a MILLION DOLLAR BABY-type tale of a female boxer struggling to realize her dream in gang-infested Managua, and is the first feature film shot in Nicaragua in 20 years; LEO’S ROOM (EL CUARTO DE LEO) by Enrique Buchichio, a portrait of a Montevideo college student coming to terms with his sexual identity in staunchly Roman Catholic Uruguay; and THREE DAYS WITH THE FAMILY (TRES DIES AMB LA FAMILIA) by Mar Coll, a Spanish drama detailing the pain and power struggles of a large, conservative Catalan family after their patriarch’s death.   

AWARDS & COMPETITIONS

The Festival’s Cinema 360º is a showcase for emerging, global independent filmmakers, will feature the international premiere of CHILDREN OF GOD by Kareem Mortimer, a rare offering from Bahamas that explores the ever-present homophobia and discrimination in Caribbean societies, and the U.S. premiere of what may be the last cinematic contribution from earthquake-devastated Haiti for years to come: MOLOCH TROPICAL, a satirical look at a despot in the making by former minister of culture Raoul Peck. 

The Cutting the Edge competition, a showcase of provocative films designed to expose viewers to the extreme, will feature kidnapping caper KINATAY from Philippine director Brillante Mendoza, who earned Best Director at Cannes last May for this film; the quirky, psychedelic fantasy PEPPERMINTA from Swiss video-art wunderkind Pipilotti Rist, whose retrospective, Pour Your Body Out, appeared at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2009; and the insane senior citizens romp TRASH HUMPERS by indie prince

Harmony Korine, voted the Best Undistributed Film of 2009 in an IndieWire survey of film critics nationwide.  

The World Competition includes critically acclaimed selections from around the globe.  NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS (Kasi az gorbehaye irani khabar nadareh) directed by Bahman Ghobadi was the winner of Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.  This Iranian film depicts the underground music scene in an often turbulent Tehran.  Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang’s FACE (Visage) weaves though darkly comic vignettes exploring the subject matter of the Salomé myth at Louvre Museum.  Finally, LOLA, directed by Brillante Mendoza, whose drama KINATAY is also apart of this year’s festival, tells the daunting story of two elderly women implicated in a robbery-homicide involving their grandsons  in a poverty-stricken Filipino community.

The complete MIFF program is available in print or online at www.miamifilmfestival.com. Tickets will be available for Film Society Members on Friday, Feb. 5 and to the general public on Friday, Feb. 19 and can be ordered online: www.miamifilmfestival.com or by phone: 305-405-MIFF (6433).

About the Miami International Film Festival:

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is the only major film festival based at an institution of higher learning. MIFF’s mission, in conjunction with the cultural objectives at Miami Dade College – the nation’s largest institution of higher education- is to bridge cultural understanding; endorse tolerance; and encourage artistic development and excellence within a vigorous academic setting by provoking thought through film.

Joanne Schioppi, Rogers & Cowan

212-445-8416 / 917-853-7484

jschioppi@rogersandcowan.com

Dana Ballestero, Miami International Film Festival

305-237-7276 / 305-244-9112

dana@miamifilmfestival.com

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu




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