The 30th Edition of the Miami International Film Festival will begin on March 1st. From award-winning films to internationally celebrated actors, MIFF will be presenting a contrasting and impressive selection with 117 feature films and 12 shorts from a total of 41 countries. MIFF Executive Director, Jaie Laplante, released the film lineup Tuesday morning. Here are a few films to keep an eye or two out for.
The distinguished film that many are eager to watch, is Pablo Larraín’s Oscar nominated feature film No. The Chilean film is based on the true story of an ad executive who comes up with an ad campaign to defeat Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1988. This critically acclaimed film stars well-known Mexican actor, Gael García Bernal (Babel, The King). The film, which is in the Cinedwntwn Gala category, will be showing on March 5, 7:00pm.
Two of America’s sweethearts, Venus and Serena Williams, will also be spending time on the MIFF screen in the documentary Venus and Serena. Directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major followed the tennis queens throughout 2011, which was an extremely challenging year for both sisters. Venus was battling an autoimmune disease while Serena was fighting back from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. The inspiring documentary depicts how the sisters overcame their adversities to defy the odds. The film is also in the Cinedwtwn Gala category and will be showing on March 9, 7:00pm.
Film enthusiasts are also anticipating Ana Piterbarg’s Everybody Has a Plan (Todos Tenemos un Plan). The drama stars Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo, A Dangerous Method) playing the double role of twin brothers, one who leads a complacent life and the other a life on the edge. A turn of events causes one of the twins to take on the identity of his brother. Not only is the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee playing two roles, but the Danish-American actor also impresses with his fluent Spanish dialogue. The film, competing in the Knight Ibero-American competition, will be showing on March 2, 7:15pm.
For a small town story that definitely stays true to its film category of America the Beautiful, At Any Price stars father son duo Denis Quaid and Zac Efron. The film, directed by Ramin Bahran, follows the broken relationship between a father and son that becomes restored through the rebuilding of a family business. Although it may sound like a familiar story, critics have been raving about the acting performances. Roger Ebert says Quaid “gives the performance of a lifetime.” The film will be showing on March 5, at 9:30pm.
Twenty years after his tragic death, River Phoenix’s final movie will have its North American preview in the festival. After saving the film from destruction, original director George Sluizer has finished the film and chosen Miami to debut the completed creation. The film reveals the story of a young man and recent widower (River Phoenix) who lives a lonely life in the desert, awaiting an apocalypse. He comes into contact with a pair of stranded honeymooners and begins to help them,
until he takes a liking to the wife and decides to imprison the couple. The much anticipated film, part of the Cinedwntwn Galas category, will be showing on March 6, 7:00pm.
In addition, the festival will be honoring the renowned film director Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque, Chico and Rita). Both directors’ most recent work will be showing as well. The Hypnotist (Hyponotisören) by Hallström and The Artist and the Model (El Artista y La Modelo) by Trueba, both which received 13 Goya nominations this year, including Best Director and Best Picture, will be on the screens.
The Festival will kick off its first night on March 1st with a remarkable Gala party at The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building, sponsored by Ultimat Vodka. The festival will then celebrate its final night at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College, with a Gala party sponsored by Pyrat Rum.
“If you’re not at the movies every day in the first 10 days of March, you’re in the wrong place”- Jaie Laplante, Festival Director