The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) announced its official lineup of red carpet Olympia Theater galas, parties, education seminars and international film premieres that will make up the Festival’s showcase of more than 100 films from 35 countries during the 10-day event, which runs March 2-11, 2012.

On Friday, March 2nd, the Festival commences with its Opening Night Film, the World Premiere of Tom Gustafson’s musical tour-de-force Mariachi Gringo. The drama stars Shawn Ashmore (“Iceman” in X-Men) as a young man from Kansas who falls in love with the mariachi lifestyle, and travels to Guadalajara to prove that anything is possible. Ashmore and co-stars Academy Award nominee (Babel) Adriana Barraza and Mexican starlet Martha Higareda are expected to attend the premiere. 

The Festival’s Awards Night takes place on Saturday, March 10th before the screening of the U.S. Premiere of Chinese Take-Away. Winner of three Argentinean Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, director Sebastián Borensztein’s touching fish out of water comedy stars Argentine superstar Ricardo Darín as a shopkeeper who takes in an illegal immigrant desperate to find his extended family. Darín, who starred in the 2010 Academy Award-winning film The Secret in Their Eyes, and Borensztein are expected to attend the premiere.

7 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURES

Born & Raised (USA); La Casa Del Ritmo, A Film About Los Amigos Invisibles (USA/Ecuador); The Diary of Preston Plummer (USA); Hombre y Tierra (USA); Mariachi Gringo (Mexico/USA); The Porcelain Horse (Mejor no hablar (de ciertas cosas)) (Ecuador); Underground Hip-Hop in China (China/USA)

4 WORLD PREMIERE SHORTS

The Beach Chronicles AGX (USA); Beyond Assignment (USA); Cell Phone Zombies (Cel zombies) (Ecuador); Shift (USA)

5 INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES

180 Seconds (180 segundos)(Colombia); Baracoa: Where Cuba Began (Baracoa: 500 Años Despues) (Spain); Ben Lee: Catch My Disease (Australia);  Speechless (Sin palabras) (Colombia); Zoo (Zoológico) (Chile)

10 NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERES

Annalisa (Il Paese Delle Spose Infelici) (Italy);Choked (South Korea); Code Blue (The Netherlands); A Cube of Sugar (Ye Habeh Gand) (Iran);  I’d Receive the Worst News From Your Beautiful Lips (Eu Receberia As Piores Notícias De Seus Lindos Lábios) (Brazil); In The Name of The Girl (En el nombre de la hija) (Ecuador); Motherland or Death (Patria o Muerte) (Russia); Pescador (Ecuador/ Colombia); Promising The Moon (Das Blaue Vom Himmel) (Germany); Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Un Giorno Questo Dolore Ti  Sará Utile)  (Italy/USA)

10 U.S. PREMIERES

Chinese Take-Away (Un cuento chino) (Argentina/Spain); The Cat Vanishes (El gato desaparece) (Argentina); Distance (Distancia) (Guatemala); The Fifth Commandment (El quinto mandamiento) (Mexico); Heleno (Brazil); The Sleeping Voice (La voz dorminda) (Spain); Porfirio (Colombia/Spain/Uruguay/Argentina/France); The Strawberry Tree (El arbol de las fresas) (Canada); UFO In Her Eyes (Germany/China); Vaquero (Argentina)

 

This year’s Festival will include films directed by:

Sean Ackerman, Dominic Allan, Javier Andrade, Urzula Antoniak, Andrea Arnold, Anthony Baxter, Joe Berlinger, Sebastián Borensztein, Beto Brant,   Laura Brownson, Alejandro Brugués, João Canijo, Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Renato Ciasca,  Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Terence Davies, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Roberto Faenza, Tim Fehlbaum, Joel Fendelman, José Henrique Fonseca, Pablo Giorgelli, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Xiaolu Guo, Tom Gustafson, Cristián Jiménez, Bess Kargman, Lawrence Kasdan, Yorgos Lanthimos, Bart Layton, Beth Levison,  Rodrigo Marín, Albert Maysles, Matias Meyer,  Riza Mirkarimi, Ben Murray, Alysa Nahimas, Pawel Pawlikowski, Anne  Renton, Carlos Sorín, Ken Scott, Santiago Segura, Susan Seidelman, Hans Steinbichler, Joachim Trier, David Trueba, Vicente Villanueva, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Andrés Wood, and Benito Zambrano, among many others.

This year’s Festival will include films featuring:

María Abadi, Shawn Ashmore, Adriana Barraza, Harry Belafonte, Marisa Berenson,  Blanca Rosa Blanco, The Beastie Boys, Ellen Burstyn, David Byrne, Jean-Marc Calvet, Angie Cepeda, Richard Chamberlin, Rae Dawn Chong, Andrés Crespo, Claire Danes, Ricardo Darín, Germán de Silva, Emily Deschanel, Hebe Duarte, Jerry Hall, Peter Gallagher, Francisca Gavilán, Marcia Gay Harden, Whoopi Goldberg, Ethan Hawke, Hannah Herzsprung, Tom Hiddleston,  Patrick Huard, Richard Jenkins, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Lucy Liu, Ben Lee, John Leguizamo, Paul McCartney, Robert Loggia, Trevor Morgan, Elizabeth Peña, Paulina Porizkova, Jason Ritter, Isabella Rossellini, Simon Russell Beale, Winona Ryder, José Sacristán, Muriel Santa Ana, Rodrigo Santoro, Susan Sarandon, Jason Schwartzman, Jason Segel, Santiago Segura, Sam Shepard, Paul Simon, Kristin Scott Thomas,  Donald Trump, Christy Turlington, Kathleen Turner, María Valverde, Diana Vreeland, Rachel Weisz, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams, Rumer Willis and Oprah Winfrey, among many others.

OLYMPIA THEATER GALAS

In addition to the Opening and Awards Night presentations, the Gala series includes:

Darling Companion (USA, directed by Lawrence Kasdan)
The Deep Blue Sea (UK, directed by Terence Davies)
The Diary of Preston Plummer (USA, directed by Sean Ackerman) – stars Robert Loggia and Rumer Willis are expected to attend
Heleno (Brazil, directed by José Henrique Fonseca) – star Rodrigo Santoro is expected to attend
Juan of The Dead (Juan de los muertos) (Cuba/Spain, directed by Alejandro Brugués) – star Alexis Diaz de Villegas is expected to attend
Musical Chairs (USA, directed by Susan Seidelman)
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Un Giorno Questo Dolore Ti Sará Utile) (Italy/USA, directed by Roberto Faenza) – star Marcia Gay Harden is expected to attend                                                   

All directors of the Olympia Theater Galas are expected to be in attendance.

TRIBUTE TO ROBERT LOGGIA

On Monday, March 5th, the Festival will celebrate the dynamic career of award-winning American actor Robert Loggia, prior to the World Premiere of Sean Ackerman’s made-in-Florida romance, The Diary of Preston Plummer.  Loggia, a veteran Hollywood character actor and 1985 Academy Award nominee for Jagged Edge, is well-loved by Miami audiences for his role as Frank Lopez in Brian de Palma’s classic Scarface, and has made many more memorable appearances in films such as Big, Independence Day, Prizzi’s Honor, Lost Highway, An Officer and a Gentleman and HBO’s “The Sopranos”.

NEW FILM CATEGORIES

4 World Directors to Watch: a showcase of films by up-and-coming filmmakers hailing from the four corners of the globe. The category introduces Miami audiences to significant young talents working in Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East. The lineup includes:

Choked (Ga-si) (South Korea, directed by Kim Joong-hyun)
Porfirio (Colombia/Spain/Uruguay/Argentina/France, directed by Alejandro Landes)
Annalisa (Il Paese Delle Spose Infelici) (Italy, directed by Pippo Mezzapesa)
Habibi (Palestine/USA/The Netherlands/United Arab Emirates, directed by Susan Youssef)

Spotlight on Québec Cinema: On the heels of MIFF’s 2011 hit screening of Incendies, the Festival is proud to debut four new masterpieces from the Canadian region.

Café de Flore (Canada, directed by Jean-Marc Vallé)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada, directed by Philippe Farlardeau)
The Salesman (Le Vendeur) (Canada, directed by Sebastién Pilote)
Starbuck (Canada, directed by Ken Scott)

America, The Beautiful: Celebrating the American independent voice, the Festival has programmed three must-watch films.

Jeff Who Lives At Home (USA, directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass)
Sawdust City (USA, directed by David Nordstrom)
Without (USA, directed by Mark Jackson)

Films for Youth: Created to broaden the horizons of young moviegoers and families, the Festival confirms two international films.

First Position (USA, directed by Bess Kargman)
In The Name of The Girl (En el nombre de la hija) (Ecuador, directed by Tania Hermida)

Cuba ³:  Three dynamic visions of contemporary Cuban life are depicted in this category about the controversial island regime.

Baracoa: Where Cuba Began (Baracoa: 500 Años Despues)(Spain, directed by Mauricio Vincent Mulet)
Motherland or Death (Patria o Muerte) (Russia, directed by Vitaliy Manski)
The Strawberry Tree (El arbol de las fresas) (Canada, directed by Simone Rapisarda Casanova)

Mayhem: Suspenseful genre thrillers intended to keep you on the edge of your seat. The three titles in this category include:

The Fifth Commandment (El quinto mandamiento) (Mexico, directed by Rafa Lara)
Hell (Germany/ Switzerland, directed by Tim Fehlbaum and executive produced by Roland Emmerich)
Hombre y Tierra (USA, directed by Christian Cisneros)

Miami Mavericks: Prolific in-depth conversations with filmmakers about their bourgeoning careers, film and industry.  This section will Feature an extended in-person session with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders about his film About Face.

About Face (USA, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

KNIGHT DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

 

Ten titles will compete for a $10,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Award in the Knight Documentary Competition:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (USA, directed by Alison Klayman)
Ben Lee: Catch My Disease (Australia, directed by Amiel Courtin-Wilson)
Calvet (UK/Spain, directed by Dominic Allan):
First Position (USA, directed by Bess Kargman)
The Imposter (UK, directed by Bart Layton)
Lemon (USA, directed by Beth Levison and Laura Brownson)
The Strawberry Tree (El arbol de las fresas) (Canada, directed by Simone Rapisarda Casanova)
Under African Skies (USA, directed by Joe Berlinger)
Unfinished Spaces (USA, directed by Alysa Nahimas and Benjamin Murray)
You’ve Been Trumped (UK, directed by Anthony Baxter)

CINEMA 360 & DOC-YOU-UP

Baracoa: Where Cuba Began (Baracoa: 500 Años Despues) (Spain, directed by Mauricio Vincent Mulet)
Beyond Assignment (USA, directed by Jim Virga) and Poetry of Resilience (USA, directed by Katja Esson)
Corpo Celeste (Italy, directed by Alice Rohrwacher)
A Cube of Sugar (Ye Habeh Gand) (Iran, directed by Reza Mirkarimi)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (USA, directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland)
Free Men (Les Hommes Libres) (France, directed by Ismael Ferroukhi)
The Kid with a Bike (Le Gamin au Velo) (Belgium/France/Italy, directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
The Last Christeros (Los Ultimos Cristeros) (Mexico, directed by Matias Meyer)
The Opposite of Love (Lo Contrario Al Amor) (Spain, directed by Vicente Villaneuva)
Oslo, August 31st (Norway, directed by Joachim Trier)
Pelotero (USA, directed by Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jonathan Paley)
Promising The Moon (Das Blaue Vom Himmel) (Germany, directed by Hans Steinbichler)
Superclasico (Denmark, directed by Ole Christian Madsen)
Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis (in 3D) (Spain, directed by Santiago Segura)
UFO in Her Eyes (Germany/China, directed by Xiaolu Guo)
The Woman in The Fifth (UK/France/Poland, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski)
Wuthering Heights (UK, directed by Andrea Arnold)

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