Global filmmakers to meet in Miami
By Meisha Perrin
The Miami International Film Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, will celebrate its 30th year by taking patrons back to a time when telephones weren't portable and television sets had limited channels.
A pre-festival retrospective series of films that have made up the festival's previous 29 years is in the works for this year's festival, counting up from the very first festival that began on Feb. 3, 1984, until the most recent festival held in March this year.
"At MIFF's 30th anniversary edition our audiences can expect a celebration of some of the best elements of our history, as well as new programs that will give the feel of a fresh start," said Jaie Laplante, executive director of the Miami International Film Festival. "Milestones are a chance to look forward, as much as they are to look back," he said.
In the retrospective series, select highlights from clips that the festival officials believe best represent that particular year will be on display for the festival's expected audience of 70,000.
The festival is working under a $1.4 million budget this year, the same as in the past two years, and the cost for guest travel is expected to exceed $200,000 to support all the filmmakers who will be brought to Miami.
The first film that will be shown at the 30th anniversary edition by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar in late January will be followed by a month-long series from many other directors and nations.
Some of the directors will be present and available to answer questions.
"We've introduced many great directors not just to Miami, but in some cases to the US and even North America as a whole," Mr. Laplante said, "directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Fernando Trueba and Eliseo Subiela."
The film festival has competition and non-competition categories.
In the realm of competition are:
nIbero-American feature projects, either completed or in post-production, seeking exposure to sales, distribution and programming professionals.
nDramatic works from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, as well as Latino-themed works produced in the US, that will compete for $40,000 in prizes courtesy of Knight Foundation, and a $5,000 Screenwriting Award from the Jordan A. Ressler Foundation.
nFirst-time feature filmmakers from Spain, Portugal or Latin America will compete for a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by Lexus.
nEngaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons or inspiring people, that will compete for $10,000 courtesy of Knight Foundation.
The non-competition categories are:
nFeature narratives from both masters and up-and-coming filmmakers, including an international selection of dramas, comedies, suspense thrillers, neo westerns and innovative docudramas.
nEngaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons or inspiring people.
nNarrative or documentary films with music-themed content.
nProvocative and stirring feature-length visual experiences guaranteed to test limits and take viewers to the extreme.
nFilms partially or wholly shot in Florida or by a filmmaker (director/producer) who is a current resident of Florida.
nThe latest in short films from around the globe, appropriate for any of the festival's categories.
nSuspenseful thrillers that'll rock your cortex. Slashers, killers and all psychopaths are welcome, the organizers say.
nA masterful display of film Americana (US independent production titles only).
Programmers for the festival are still accepting entries for a limited time. The extended deadline for non-competition categories is Sept. 28.
Festival officials expect to release more information to the public about the special events, film premieres and directors in the next few months.
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