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'Florida Focus' at Miami International Film Festival 2012:

Ocean Drive in South Beach
Ocean Drive in South Beach


What better exposure could there possibly be for a young student filmmaker, or a local artist with an eye for the 'big screen' story other than to be featured in an internationally recognized film Miami? This city is rich with cultures and crossed-cultures, art, fashion and a flair for the most up to date modern trends--and all focus is on Miami during the current run of the 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival though this coming Sunday, March 11th.

If you are in the Miami area and have some time to check out a few local screenings, I would highly recommend that you do so. Miami always serves interesting flair and more importantly, never disappoints. Enjoy, if you do get to attend.

An annual celebration of made-in-Florida films and Florida filmmakers, the program’s overall objective is to provide local producers and filmmakers an important and essential opportunity to exhibit their talents to a proud local audience.

This year’s lineup includes 'The Diary of Preston Plummer', filmed in Florida’s Amelia Island, as part of the Olympia Theater Gala series, and the world premiere of Joshua Dragge’s Born & Raised, filmed in Panama City, FL.

Also featured as part of the Florida Focus program are Miami born-and-raised filmmakers, director Joel Fendelman, with his Arab/Jewish culture clash drama 'David', and producer Jen Dubin, with her new film, the Anne Renton-directed 'The Perfect Family', starring Kathleen Turner, Richard Chamberlain, Elizabeth Peña, Jason Ritter and Emily Deschanel.

MIFF’s traditional From The Vault returns with an iconic Florida documentary first released in 1986, the Maysles Brothers’ 'Islands'. A fascinating look into Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1983 project, 'Surrounded Islands', which wrapped 11 islands of Biscayne Bay in pink fabric for 2 weeks with the help of 430 workers. The last surviving director of the documentary, Albert Maysles, will travel to Miami to discuss the making of the film and his memory of the project from nearly 30 years ago.

Miami short filmmakers Kevin Sharpley (The Beach Chronicles), Jim Virga (Beyond Assignment) and Juan Carlos Zaldivar (Shift) will all world premiere new works in the Cinema 360 and Doc-You-Up sections.

As previously announced, showcasing the works of college-level auteurs in south Florida, the premiere student-film competition CinemaSlam returns and will crown the best made-in-south Florida short film created by undergraduate and graduate-film students attending five of the region’s collegiate institutions. The awards will be presented during the Festival at a special ceremony.

More about the Florida Focus films:

'Born & Raised' is a rough and tough coming-of-age drama set in Florida’s beautiful panhandle. This is a world premiere of the film directed by Joshua Dragge.

'David' is Miami-born director Joel Fendelman’s study of the unlikely connection between two 11-year old boys belonging to deeply conservative religious families – one Arab, one Jewish.

'The Diary of Preston Plummer', Florida has rarely looked so romantic as in this tale of young love set in Amelia Island, co-starring Rumer Willis and Robert Loggia from Scarface and Prizzi’s Honor.

In 'The Perfect Family', Miami-born producer Jen Dubin put together a superb cast, led by Kathleen Turner, Jason Ritter, and Emily Deschanel for this story of a devout Catholic mother struggling to accept her lesbian daughter’s lifestyle.

In 'Islands', legendary documentarians Alberto and David Maysles, along with editor Charlotte Zwerin, capture the true story of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s famed 1983 “Surrounded Islands” project that also became part of Miami’s folklore and art history.

This year’s Festival will showcase of more than 100 films from 35 countries during the 10 day event, which runs March 2-11, 2012. Highlights include red carpet galas at Olympia Theater, parties, education seminars, international film premieres, and more!

For more information about films, screenings and tickets, visit:

View a full schdule for the Festival here:

Festival Contact:
Danny Diaz

Miami Dade College Contact:
Juan Mendieta

WHAT: 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival 2012
MDC - 300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132 and Lincoln Road Mall - 1100 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Sunday, March 2, 2012 - Sunday March 16,2012 (events scheduled:
TICKETS: (305)-405-MIFF (6433) -

Main Box Office:
Regal South Beach Cinemas
1100 Lincoln Road
2nd Floor

Miami Dade College MAP:
Lincoln Road mall MAP

The Miami Film Society:

The Miami Film Society was created by and for Miami film enthusiasts with the idea of sharing the unique experience of cinema not just among themselves but with all of Miami and the Beaches. Nearly 30 years later, this remains its purpose. As the host of the Miami International Film Festival, the Miami Film Society is responsible for maintaining and enriching film culture throughout the region and internationally.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Miami Film Society will be able to apply for the 2012-13 season as of Thursday, March 15, 2012. Membership for this year is closed at this time; however, if you are interested you may find out more about what
benefits you receive should you join by calling or emailing: (305)-237-7979 or

Find out more about Miami Film Society membership at:


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