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Miami International Film Festival unveils eclectic, Ibero-American heavy lineup

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Over the course of the past week, Miami Dade College unveiled the entire roster of films that will play as part of the 31st annual Miami International Film Festival. This year’s festival, which will take place from March 7 through the 16th, will feature 92 films from more than 38 countries. Among the selections are films from world-renowned filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch, François Ozon, James Gray and Ari Folman. Stars that’ll grace screens during the festival include Tom Hiddleston, Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Juliette Binoche, David Oyelowo, Jude Law, Robin Wright, Shirley MacClaine, Andy Garcia, Christopher Plummer, Tilda Swinton and Jesse Eisenberg. Yup, that’s quite a list.

Although MIFF’s specialty of showcasing Ibero-American cinema will continue to be the main draw, the festival’s organizers have also programmed special lineups to highlight films from China, Mexico and Germany.

The festival will open with the North American premiere of Elsa & Fred starring Oscar-winning screen legends Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacClaine, a remake of an Argentinean film of the same name, and will close with the World Premiere of Raymond Felitta’s Rob the Mob starring Miami-native Andy Garcia, Michael Pitt, Ray Romano, Cathy Moriarty and Griffin Dunne among others on March 15.

“The programming team believes the selection of films showcased in the festival this year is a reflection of our passion for film, and we hope that it will strengthen our community’s love and appreciation for the art of filmmaking,” stated MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Among the 10 films competing for the festival’s top award – the Knight Foundation prize – are Septimo, an Argentinean crime thriller starring Ricardo Darin, Sundance World Cinema Jury Prize winner To Kill a Man from Chile, and Wolf at the Door, a Brazilian legal thriller. The Knight Documentary competition contenders include comedian Mike Myers’ directorial debut Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordan, a career retrospect on legendary music manager Shep Gordan, The Dog, a look back at the crime that inspired Dog Day Afternoon, and acclaimed Sundance hit Whitey: United States of America V. James J. Bulger from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (the Paradise Lost trilogy).

A pair of documentaries that focus on the impact of films will also play at the festival. Locations: Looking for Rusty James tackles the impact of Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish on a generation of Latin Americans while City of God: 10 Years Later will explore how the Oscar-nominated thriller changed the lives of the residents of the film’s titular neighborhood.

In addition to the films, MIFF will also host a series of special events including a special Career Achievement Tribute to actor-writer-director John Turturro, who will present his latest film Fading Gigolo. Audiences and budding filmmaker will also be able to catch a series of master class educational seminars given by filmmakers from all around the world.

Films will play at venues all across Miami including The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Miami, Regal South Beach 18 and the Miami Beach Cinematheque in Miami Beach, Paragon Grove and Coral Gables Art Cinema in Coral Gables, and O Cinema in Wynwood and North Miami. Tickets will be available for purchase on February 7th for Film Society members and on February 14th for the general public.

View the entire lineup at the festival’s website at www.miamifilmfestival.com

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