While the film award season celebrates the best in worldwide film, the city of Miami will get a taste of that as the 30th edition of Miami International Film Festival, which runs March 1-10, will showcase 117 feature films and 12 short films from 41 countries.
This year’s lineup for the festival, which was unveiled by MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante this morning from the Freedom Tower, offers a variety of films that Miami moviegoers would not get a chance to see at their local movie theater including 12 films that will be making their world premiere at MIFF.
This year makes a milestone as the festival will kick-off and wrap-up with documentaries for the first time in its history. The festivities begin opening night at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts with “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” a documentary the spotlights backup singers for singers like Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen. The festival’s closing night film is “Venus and Serena,” an in-depth documentary shot over the course of a year that will give moviegoers unprecedented access into the lives of the Williams sisters during their most tumultuous times of their career.
Other films that are feature in this year’s lineup include: “Dark Blood”, the last project River Phoenix nearly completed before dying from a drug overdose in 1993, “Everybody Has A Plan” starring Viggo Mortensen as a man who assumes the identity of his deceased twin brother in Argentina, “The Hunt” starring Mads Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale”) as a schoolteacher who becomes the target of mass hysteria and the Academy Award-nominated “No” starring Gael Garcia Bernal as an ad executive who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum.
Renowned filmmakers Lasse Hallstrom (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) and Fernando Treuba (“Chico & Rita”) will not only be the latest recipients to the festival’s Career Achievement Tributes, but they will also be presenting the their latest movie: Hallstrom’s crime thriller “The Hypnotist” and Trueba’s “The Artist and the Model.”
Aside from the films, the festival is presenting a new program this year called Miami Future Cinema Critics, where a group of seven Miami-based film aficionados ages 21-30 will blog about movies from a select playlist and designate one of those films as the “best film” based on the Critics’ artistic merit. The festival will also host a series of panel discussion and seminars that include filmmakers Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys”) and Cristian Jimenez (“Bonsai”).
Tickets for the festival will go on sale to the general public on February 11. For more information on the festival, visit miamifilmfestival.com.