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Miami Dade College 41st Anniversary Miami Film Festival Announces Lineup

“Thelma” and “Ezra” to Open and Close 2024 Festival

Alison Brie & Tony Goldwyn to be Honored with The Art of Light Award

“Sing Sing” Director Greg Kwedar to be Honored with Impact Award

 

Miami, FL (March 5, 2024)Miami Film Festival announced its acclaimed lineup for its upcoming Festival from April 5-14, 2024. The Festival will open with Thelma, directed by Josh Margolin and starring June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, and Parker Posey. The Festival will close with Ezra, directed by Tony Goldwyn, who will be in attendance on Saturday, April 13. Featuring ten World Premieres, ten North American Premieres, five U.S. Premieres, and 11 East Coast Premieres, and 42 Florida Premieres, the 2024 Miami Film Festival will celebrate more than 180 feature narratives, documentaries, and short films of all genres, from over 31 countries worldwide.

“This year’s lineup spotlights exciting narrative programming, essential documentaries, and groundbreaking shorts, bringing an unbelievable host of films to our local community,” said James Woolley, Executive Director. “The Miami Film Festival is delighted to welcome our audiences back for another year of incredible screenings and inspiring conversations.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing this incredible slate of diverse and exciting films to Miami,” said Lauren Cohen, Director of Programming. “With over 30 countries featured and nearly half of the presented features being directed by women, this lineup showcases films from some of the most prestigious festivals in the world, as well as a hugely impressive slate of works from up-and-coming filmmakers making their world, international, and North American premieres. We are so proud to have a lineup of films to truly move audiences as we celebrate the best in world cinema.”

MFF will open with the Magnolia Pictures film Thelma. Josh Margolin’s American comedy film follows a grandmother who embarks on a quest to recoup her money after she loses $10,000 in a phone scam. The film stars June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, and Malcolm McDowell. Director Josh Margolin and producer Zoë Worth will attend to introduce the film. 

The Festival will close with Bleecker Street’s Ezra, starring Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Robert De Niro, Vera Farmiga, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rainn Wilson. From director Tony Goldwyn, Ezra follows Max Bernal, a stand-up comedian living with his father, while struggling to co-parent his autistic son Ezra with his ex-wife. When forced to confront difficult decisions about their son’s future, Max and Ezra embark on a cross-country road trip that has a transcendent impact on both their lives. Ezra is an endearing and often funny exploration of a family determined to find their way through life’s complexities with humor, compassion, and heart. 

The screening of Ezra will be preceded by a presentation of the Festival’s Art of Light Award to director Tony Goldwyn. The Art of Light Award is presented to cinematic artists whose exemplary work shines new wonders on the continuing evolution of motion pictures. Tony Goldwyn is an acclaimed actor, director and producer. Goldwyn made his feature directorial debut with A Walk on the Moon and other feature directing credits include The Last Kiss, Someone Like You and Conviction.  As an actor, Goldwyn can currently be seen in the award-winning film Oppenheimer and Law & Order as the new district attorney.

Alison Brie will also be a recipient of The Art of Light Award. Brie is best known for portraying Annie Edison on the sitcom Community and Trudy Campbell in Mad Men. She gained additional recognition for her role in Glow, for which she received nominations for two Golden Globe Awards and two Critics’ Choice Awards. In addition to her television work, Brie recently starred in Freelance opposite John Cena, Somebody I Used to Know which she co-wrote and executive produced, Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, Horse Girl which she co-wrote and produced and Happiest Season. Brie is currently in production on Together which she is starring in and producing alongside Dave Franco.

In addition to the Art of Light honorees, director Greg Kwedar will be honored with the Impact Award for his film Sing Sing, which will be screened at the Festival. The Impact Award is presented to Kwedar in recognition of his film’s considerable impact in advocating for dignity, healing, and rehabilitation within our criminal justice system. Kwedar’s additional credits include Jockey, which garnered a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination and Transpecos, which won the 2016 Audience Award at SXSW. 

 

Three MARQUEE screening presentations will be presented with directors in attendance for post-screening Q&As. These include:

  • Dear Jassi (India, directed by Tarsem Singh), following the story of a young couple who desperately want to be together, but are separated due to time, distance, and societal expectations.
  • Directly following the Florida Premiere screening of Dear Jassi, the Festival will host a 35mm retrospective screening of Singh’s 2000 film The Cell, co-presented by Popcorn Frights.
  • Sing Sing (United States, directed by Greg Kwedar), following the story of a theater troupe who finds escape from the realities of incarceration through the creativity of putting on a play in this film based on a real-life rehabilitation program and featuring a cast that includes formerly incarcerated actors. Starring Colman Domingo, Clarence Maclin, Paul Raci and Sean San José. 
  • The Performance (United States, directed by Shira Piven), following the story of Harold May, an American Jew and gifted tap dancer. While on tour in Europe, Harold, played by Jeremy Piven, and the rest of his troupe are scouted by a German attaché who leads the troupe to an exclusive performance for Hitler himself.

Three CINEDWNTWN Gala screening presentations will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall with talent in attendance. These include:

  • Los Frikis (United States, directed by Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz) – World Premiere – Based on the true story of teenagers who deliberately inject themselves with HIV to escape the oppression of “Special Period” Cuba.
  • Mountains (United States, directed by Monica Sorelle), following a Haitian demolition worker who is faced with the realities of redevelopment as he is tasked with dismantling his rapidly gentrifying Miami neighborhood.
  • The Asylum (United States, directed by Jaime Gutierrez), transports us back to Miami Senior High in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, where we witness the impact and legacy of the Stingarees basketball program.

The Festival will also feature a CENTERPIECE screening of The Idea of You, directed by Michael Showalter, the celebrated director behind films such as The Big Sick and The Eyes of Tammy Faye. The Idea of You stars Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine, and centers on Solène, a 40-year-old single mom who begins an unexpected whirlwind romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet.

31 Special Presentation screenings will add to the depth of creative filmmaking from around the world to Miami. These include:

  • 32 Sounds (United States, directed by Sam Green) – Florida Premiere
  • Antihero (United States, directed by Patricia Juárez) – World Premiere
  • Blue Pandora (Cuba, directed by Alan González)
  • Chosen Family (United States, directed by Heather Graham) – East Coast Premiere
  • Copa 71 (United Kingdom, directed by James Erskine and Rachel Ramsay)
  • Ex-Husbands (United States, directed by Noah Pritzker) – Florida Premiere
  • Fallen Fruit (United States, directed by Chris Molina) – World Premiere
  • George Dureau: New Orleans Artist (United States, directed by Jarret Lofstead and Sergio Andrés Lobo-Navia) – East Coast Premiere
  • Goodbye Julia (Sudan, directed by Mohamed Kordofani)
  • Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field (United States, directed by Michael Selditch and Molly Rogers)
  • Heart Strings (United States, directed by Ante de Jong) – International Premiere
  • Nicolás Guillén Landrián Shorts Retrospective – (Cuba, directed by Nicolás Guillén Landrián and Jorge Egusquiza Zorill) – North American Premiere
  • The Idea of You (United States, directed by Michael Showalter) Florida Premiere
  • Junction (United States, directed by Bryan Greenberg) – Theatrical Florida Premiere 
  • Last Summer (France, directed by Catherine Breillat) – Florida Premiere
  • Queen of Bones (United States, directed by Robert Budreau) – East Coast Premiere
  • Red Rooms (Canada, directed by Pascal Plante) – Florida Premiere
  • Rosalie (France, directed by Stéphanie Di Giusto) – Florida Premiere
  • Seven Blessings (Israel, directed by Ayelet Menahemi) 
  • Sting (Australia, directed by Kiah Roache-Turner)
  • Suze (Canada, directed by Linsey Stewart & Dane Clark)
  • Talking in Your Sleep (United States, directed by Juancho Rodriguez)
  • The Asylum (United States, directed by Jaime Gutierrez
  • The Concierge (Japan, directed by Yoshimi Itazu)
  • The New Boy (Australia, directed by Warwick Thornton) – Florida Premiere
  • The Performance (United States, directed by Shira Piven) – Florida Premiere
  • The Practice (Argentina, directed by Martín Rejtman) – Florida Premiere
  • Toll (Brazil, directed by Carolina Markowicz) – East Coast Premiere
  • UnBroken (United States, directed by Beth Lane)
  • Under Therapy (Spain, directed by Gerardo Herrero) – Florida Premiere
  • Unión de Reyes (Union of Kings) (United States, directed by Danny Pino) – East Coast Premiere

The $20,000MARIMBAS Award is an international competition for new narrative feature films that best exemplify richness and resonance for cinema’s future. (A marimba is a variation of a xylophone that produces a deeper, richer, and more resonant tone than a traditional xylophone. The marimba originated in Guatemala and Central America approximately 400 years ago and remains popular to this day in a wide variety of musical disciplines. The name of Miami Film Festival’s award is inspired by its 2011 winner, Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas from Hell, which embodies the spirit of forward-looking cinema.)  Films chosen for this year’s MARIMBAS Award are:

  • A Normal Family (South Korea, directed by Hur Jin-Ho) – Florida Premiere
  • Back to Life (Vuelve a la Vida) (Venezuela, directed by Alfredo Hueck and Luis Carlos Hueck) – World Premiere
  • Close Your Eyes (Cerrar los Ojos) (Spain, directed by Víctor Erice) – Florida Premiere
  • Days of Happiness (Canada, directed by Chloé Robichaud) – Florida Premiere
  • Dear Jassi (India, directed by Tarsem Singh) – Florida Premiere
  • Ezra (United States, directed by Tony Goldwyn) – Florida Premiere
  • Ghostlight (United States, directed by Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson) – Florida Premiere
  • Joika (United States, directed by James Napier Robertson) – Florida Premiere
  • Los Frikis (United States, directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz) – World Premiere
  • Out of Season (France, directed by Stéphane Brizé) – US Premiere
  • Puan (Argentina, directed by María Alché and Benjamín Naishtat) – East Coast Premiere
  • Sing Sing (United States, directed by Greg Kwedar) – Florida Premiere
  • Something is About to Happen (Que nadie duerma) (Spain, directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza) – International Premiere
  • Sujo (United States, directed by Astrid Rondero and Fernanda Valadez) – East Coast Premiere
  • The Rye Horn (Spain, directed by Jaione Camborda) – US Premiere
  • The Shadow of The Sun (Venezuela, directed by Miguel Angel Ferrer) – Florida Premiere
  • We Grown Now (United States, directed by Mingal Baig) – Florida Premiere

For the seventh year of the Festival’s Made in MIA Award competition, the Festival will award two prizes – $25,000 to the best feature-length film making a minimum Florida premiere in the Festival and $10,000 to the best short film – of any genre – that features a substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida, from West Palm Beach to the Florida Keys, and that most universally demonstrates a common ground of pride, emotion, and faith for the South Florida community. The films competing for this award are:

  • A Communist Brainwashed My Daughter (United States, directed by Daniel Lago) – World Premiere
  • Idol Affair (Buscando A Coque) (Spain, directed by Teresa Bellón and César F. Calvillo) – International Premiere
  • Mountains (United States, directed by Monica Sorelle) – Florida Premiere
  • Mumble: Fate of A Lost Icon (United States, directed by Frankie Midnight) – Theatrical World Premiere
  • Naked Ambition: Bunny Yeager (United States, directed by Dennis Scholl & Kareem Tabsch) – Florida Premiere
  • Puffing Iron (United States, directed by Chris Rodriguez and Grant Rosado) – World Premiere
  • Resident Orca (Canada, directed by Sarah Sharkey Pearce and Simon Schneider) – World Premiere

Twenty-four films will compete for the $10,000 Made in MIA Short Film Award. They are the following:

  • Adiós Abuelita,” directed by Anthony Romaguera
  • “Ba-ba,” directed by Ronald Baez
  • “Churchill’s,” directed by Matt Deblinger
  • “Creator(s),” directed by Jennifer Joy O’Grady
  • “El Reggaetonero,” directed by Eddy Moon
  • “El Soldador,” directed by Alexandra Martinez
  • “Gainza,” directed by Mariela Farfan
  • “Garden High,” directed by Jayme Kaye Gershen“Homemaker,” directed by Carlie McCann
  • “In God’s Hands,” directed by Alexandra Codina
  • “In The Absence Of Fruits And Flowers,” directed by Kali Kahn
  • “Jack And Sam,” directed by Jordan Matthew Horowitz
  • “Jellyfish Jam,” directed by Noelia Solange and Yulia Safonkina
  • “June 1,” directed by Rio Angelo
  • “Kaila,” directed by Angelica Bourland
  • “Konpa,” directed by Al’Ikens Plancher
  • “Letter From The Age of Ecocide,” directed by Shireen Rahimi
  • “Not Rod,” directed by Becca Greene and Alex Pollack
  • “Objects of Desire (Objetos de Deseo),” directed by Alejandro Renteria
  • “Olive Juice,” directed by Kenny Riches
  • “Open Dialogues: Queer Allies,” directed by Freddy Rodriguez
  • “Querido Pequeno Haiti,” directed by Diana Larrea
  • “Save The Bay,” directed by Ramiro Carranza
  • “Uncle Ahol,” directed by Michael Arcos
  • “You Were Never Really Here,” directed by Flor Portieri

The $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award is sponsored by the South Florida family of the late Jordan Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter and Cornell University Film Studies graduate who, during his brief entertainment career, held production positions on the original production of Broadway hit Jersey Boys before passing away in a tragic accident at the age of 23. A total of 23 films will compete for the Award:

  • All The Silence (Todo el Silencio) (Mexico, directed by Diego del Rio) – North American Premiere
  • Babes (United States, directed by Pamela Adlon) – Florida Premiere
  • Bob Trevino Likes It (United States, directed by Tracie Laymon) – East Coast Premiere
  • Devil Dog Road (Spain, directed by Guillermo Polo) – World Premiere
  • Excursion (France, directed by Una Gunjak) – Florida Premiere
  • Girls Will Be Girls (India, directed by Shuchi Talati) – Florida Premiere
  • Good Bad Things (United States, directed by Shane D. Stanger) – East Coast Premiere
  • Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (Canada, directed by Ariane Louis-Seize) – Florida Premiere
  • In The Summers (United States, directed by Alessandra Lacorazza) – Florida Premiere
  • La Suprema (Colombia, directed by Felipe Holguin Caro) – US Premiere
  • Oceans Are The Real Continents (Los océanos son los verdaderos continentes) (Italy, directed by Tommaso Santambrogio) – East Coast Premiere
  • Rain (Lluvia) (Mexico, directed by Rodrigo García Sáiz) – North American Premiere
  • Salt Water (Agua Salá) (Colombia, directed by Steven Morales Pineda) – World Premiere 
  • Sariri (Chile, directed by Laura Donoso) – North American Premiere
  • Seguridad (Canada, directed by Tamara Segura) – World Premiere 
  • Sisterhood (France, directed by Nora el Hourch) – Florida Premiere 
  • The Girls Are Alright (Spain, directed by Itsaso Arana) – North American Premiere
  • The Hypnosis (Sweden, directed by Ernst De Geer) – East Coast Premiere
  • The Major Tones (Los tonos mayores) (Argentina, directed by Ingrid Pokropek) – North American Premiere
  • The Queen of My Dreams (Canada, directed by Fawzia Mirza) – Florida Premiere
  • Tuesday (United States, directed by Daina Oniunas-Pusic) – Florida Premiere
  • Vera And The Pleasure of Others (Argentina, directed by Frederico Actis and Romnia Tambuerllo) – North American Premiere
  • Wild Woman (Cuba, directed by Alan Gonzalez) – US Premiere 

15 films will vie for the jury-awarded  Documentary Achievement Award. These films are:

  • Black Box Diaries (United States, directed by Shiori Ito) – Florida Premiere
  • Daughters (United States, directed by Angela Patton and Natalie Rae) – Florida Premiere
  • En La Caliente: Tales of A Reggaeton Warrior (Cuba, directed by Fabien Pisani) – US Premiere
  • Ibelin (Norway, directed by Benjamin Ree) – Florida Premiere
  • Lady Like (United States, directed by Luke Willis) – North American Premiere
  • Landrian (Cuba, directed by Ernesto Daranas) – North American Premiere
  • Maya And The Wave (United States, directed by Stephanie Johnes) – Florida Premiere
  • Merchant Ivory (United States, directed by Stephen Soucy) – Florida Premiere
  • Skywalkers: A Love Story (United States, directed by Jeff Zimbalist) – Florida Premiere
  • Stories From The Lighthouse (United States, directed by Deborah Dickson) – Florida Premiere
  • Story & Pictures By (United States, directed by Joanna Rudnick) – Florida Premiere
  • Tell Them You Love Me (United States, directed by Nick August-Perna) – Florida Premiere
  • The Contestant (United Kingdom, directed by Clair Titley) – Florida Premiere
  • What’s Next? (United States, directed by Taylor Taglianetti)East Coast Premiere
  • Women of Iran (United States)World Premiere

The $4,000 Miami International Short Film Award competition features 45 films. The complete list includes:

  • “[subtext],” directed by Erin Brown Thomas, Oliva Haller
  • “72,” directed by Marissa Chibás
  • “A Wedding Day,”directed by Brendan Beachman
  • “All Four Won,” directed by Nick Galarza
  • “An Ode To Procrastination,” directed by Aleksandra Kingo
  • “Are You Mad At Me,” directed by Emily Dubovi
  • “Blue Hour,” directed by J.D Shields
  • “Boo,” directed by Genevieve Aniello
  • “Buried,” directed by Nat Gee
  • “Chidera,” directed by Sope Aluko
  • “Confessions,” directed by Stephanie Kaznocha
  • “Delta,” directed by Jing Ai Ng
  • “Didn’t Think I’d See You Here,” directed by Dylan Guerra
  • “El Sofa,” directed by Maria Corina Ramirez
  • “Every Man A King,” directed by Nikhil Ganesh
  • “Fred,” directed by Bjorn Franklin and Johnny Marchetta
  • “Funky,” directed by Shoval Tshuva
  • “Good Girl,” directed by Jenny Kleiman
  • “I Am Neither Here Nor There,” directed by Christian Del Rio Solorzano
  • “In Wonderland ,” directed by Andrea Camacho McCracken
  • “Machisma,” directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros
  • “Manicure,” directed by Carlos Enrique Tejera
  • “My Nights Glow Yellow,” directed by Hannah Bang
  • “Nagaatti,” directed by Barento Taha
  • “Palm Sunday,” directed by Wes Andre Goodrich
  • “Party Time,” directed by Michael Marrero and Jon Rhoads
  • “Pathological,” directed by Alison Rich
  • “Pillow Talk,” directed by Mathilde Hauducoeur
  • “Pushover,” directed by Brian Lederman
  • “Red, White, and Blue,” directed by Nazrin Choudhury
  • “Rocky Road On Channel Three,” directed by James Rogers III
  • “Serious Play,” directed by Kate Mason
  • “Shadow Brother Sunday,” directed by Alden Ehrenreich
  • “Shut Up And Fish,” directed by Raul Sanchez and Pasqual Gutierrez
  • “Sorry Grandpa Hsiao,” directed by Candace Ho
  • “Stan Behavior,” directed by Tyler C. Peterson
  • “The Anne Frank Gift Shop,” directed by Mickey Rapkin
  • “The Breakthrough,” directed by Daniel Sinclair
  • “The Comics,” directed by Karen Knox
  • “The Delivery,” directed by Tope Babalola
  • “The Old Young Crow,” directed by Liam LoPinto
  • “The Test,” directed by Olivia Marie Valdez
  • “What You Left In The Ditch,” directed by Tucker Bliss
  • “Yellow,” directed by Elham Ehsas
  • “You’re My Best Friend,” directed by Chell Stephen
  • “Young King,” directed by Larin Sullivan

The $1,000 Short Documentary Film Award, sponsored by the University of Miami and co-presented with Bill Cosford Cinema, will see the following films in competition:

  • “Is It Because I’m A Girl,” directed by Peter Decherney
  • “Jack and Sam,” directed by Jordan Matthew Horowitz
  • “Over The Wall,” directed by Krystal Tingle
  • “Save The Cat,” directed by Jordan Matthew Horowitz
  • “Audio & The Alligator,” directed by Andrés I. Estrada 

Taking part in the annual Florida student film Cinemaslam Competition will be:

  • “?Y Tu Que Has Hecho?,” directed by Paolo Cesti
  • “Do You See What I See,” directed by Vance Malcom Osteen
  • “Florida Family Fun,” directed by Sabino Venuti
  • “I dreamt of this, Esther,” directed by Nicole Santiago
  • “Liquid Courage ,” directed by Brittany Alexia Young
  • “Lucas,” directed by Pablo Velho
  • “Retrospection Of A Home,” directed by Sebastian Marcano-Perez
  • “Silver Alert,” directed by Atticus Hohman
  • “Tres Leches,” directed by Cristian Campocasso 

Additional events include:

  • Preview Night screening of the Sony Pictures Classics film Wicked Little Letters on March 20th at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center.
  • Bal Harbour Village’s Movie Night on the Beach, featuring a free screening of the 2007 indie hit film Waitress on March 14th, in celebration of Pi Day.
  • Free Screening of official Festival selection Suze at Mayfair House Hotel & Garden in Coconut Grove.
  • Spotlight on Cuban Cinema, showcasing over ten films from Cuban and Cuban exile origin, sponsored by ArtesMiami.

The Festival is curated by Director of Programming Lauren Cohen; senior programmer Thom Powers (documentary), Ivonne Cotorruelo (Ibero-American Films Programmer), Rachel Bleemer (features), Alejandro Rios (Cuban Films Programmer), and Chris Molina (short films).

Other major Festival sponsors are Miami-Dade County, State of Florida’s Division of Arts and Culture, Miami Downtown Development Authority, official wine sponsor The Critic, Tilia Real Estate and The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building. The Festival’s headquarter hotel is the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. All Spanish-language films in Miami Film Festival are supported by FlixLatino.  

Miami Film Festival screenings will take place at Silverspot Cinema, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall, Regal Cinema South Beach, Cosford Cinema,  Coral Gables Art Cinema, the Miami Beach Bandshell, O Cinema South Beach, and PAMM. Individual tickets for all Festival events will go on sale to the general public beginning March 7. Festival members will have the opportunity to pre-buy beginning March 5.  For more information, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

 

About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival

Celebrating cinema in two annual events, Miami Film Festival (41st annual edition April 5-14, 2024) and Miami Film Festival GEMS (November 2024), Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival welcomes more than 45,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. The Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries in the last five years, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. For more information, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

About Silverspot Cinema

Silverspot Cinema is a privately held, customer-centric company with sophisticated cinemas offering a unique event venue with an enhanced entertainment experience in a boutique environment. Each theater offers premium dine-in service with signature cocktails and delectable bites at its sleek bar and lounge or convenient in-theater service. Based in Miami, Silverspot has six locations nationwide. For more information, visit www.silverspot.net.

 

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