Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Film Festival will showcase a selection of films directed by women during its 2017 program. Some of these films will have their world premiere at the Festival, which runs March 3 to 12, 2017. The 15 films highlighted below hail from all over the world and cover a variety of topics of interest, including two timely films about Cuba.
“Embargo” / U.S.A. (Director: Jeri Rice). A documentary on the origins, history, impact and evolution of the Cuban embargo, featuring rarely-seen archival interview footage with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Sergei Khrushchev, Ted Sorensen, Lucie Arnaz and many others, as well as recently declassified information. Executive produced by Miami’s Jorge M. Perez.
“A Concrete Cinema” (“Un cine en concreto”) / Argentina (Director: Luz Ruciello). The quixtoic story of Omar, a humble, fragile-looking man who pursues an impossible dream to build a movie theatre for the children of his hometown in Entre Rios. With patience and resourcefulness, Omar at first succeeds, only to have family circumstances force him to start over.
“Veinte Años” (“Vinte Anos”) / Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica (Director: Alice de Andrade). In 1992, Andrade documented the ritual of marriage in Cuba after the fall of the USSR. Twenty years later, she revisits three families, in Havana, Miami and Costa Rica, where some are exiled. Dealing only with love, the new film reflects on recent transformations in Cuban society.
North American Premiere:
“Don’t Blame It On Your Karma!” (“No culpes al karma de lo que te pasa por gilipollas”) / Spain (Director: Maria Ripoll). A romantic comedy about Madrid-based feather-fashion designer Sara, whose world is shaken up after a chance reunion with her long-lost high school crush after 13 years, who is now a pop music superstar Cast: Veronica Echegui, Alex Garcia, David Verdaguer.
“Lipstick Under My Burkha” (“Lipstick Waale Sapne”) / India (Director: Alankrita Shrivastava). Four stories of four women caught in a conservative society, each in search of a little freedom. Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Shashank Arora, Plabita Borthakur.
“Maria (And Everybody Else)” / (“María (y los demás))” / Spain (Director: Nely Reguera). Since her mother’s death, Maria has always taken care of her dad and her brothers. When her father announces he will marry again, this time to a much younger woman, María feels her world begin to fall apart. Cast: Bárbara Lennie, Pablo Derqui, Julián Villagrán
“The Night My Mother Killed My Father” (“La noche que mi madre mató a mi padre”) / Spain (Director: Inés Paris). An actress in her 40s is prepared to do anything to recover her former glory and get the part she craves in a new movie. A hysterical comedy about one crazy night of show business desperation. Cast: Belén Rueda, Diego Peretti, Eduard Fernández.
“The Empty Box” (“La caja vacía”) / Mexico, France (Director: Claudia Sainte-Luce) A mixed Mexican-Haitian young woman living in Mexico City is faced with the task of caring for her Haitian father when his health begins to fail. They have never been close, and the bonds of family relations are about to undergo a severe test. Cast: Claudia Sainte-Luce, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Pablo Sigal
“The Grownups” (“Los niños”) / Chile, The Netherlands (Director: Maite Alberdi). Anita, Rita, Ricardo, and Andrés are four “young adults” attending a school for children with Down syndrome for 40 years. They yearn for freedoms at a more personal level, but their society is ill-equipped to handle their desire for more independence.
“Carrie Pilby” / U.S.A. (Director: Susan Johnson). A poignant and very funny dramedy about a highly intelligent young woman who struggles to make sense of the world as it relates to mortality, relationships, sex, and just simply leaving her apartment. Cast: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Jason Ritter, Gabriel Byrne.
“Ella Brennan: Commanding The Table” / U.S.A. (Director: Leslie Iwerks). The world renowned restaurateur Ella Brennan is the matriarch of a Creole-flavored dining dynasty dating back over half a century. Culinary luminaries such as Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, Danny Meyer and Tim and Nina Zagat reflect on the success of Brennan’s famed New Orleans establishment Commander’s Palace.
“League of Exotique Dancers” / Canada, UK, U.S.A (Director: Rama Rau). A documentary that peels off the layers of glitter to expose the sexism, racism and widespread stigma faced by Burlesque striptease performers in the heyday of the 1960s and 70s. Many years later, these classic performers are still kicking up a storm.
“Mr. Chibbs” / U.S.A. (Director: Jill Campbell). Kenny Anderson, a former New York City high-school basketball prodigy and NBA All-Star, loses a cherished coaching position, sending him into a midlife crisis. From his home base in South Florida, he strives to regain his footing and rebuild his family life.
“Visitor’s Day” / U.S.A (Director: Nicole Opper). Sixteen-year-old Juan Carlos, living in a boy’s home in Mexico City, undergoes the most transformative year of his life, as he finds strength to leave his comfort zone, overcome his sense of abandonment and forgive his father for the past.
“Take My Nose…Please!” / Mexico, U.S.A. (Director: Joan Kron). Two actors take a seriously funny and surprisingly moving look at the pressures on women in contemporary society to be attractive, and our deeply ambivalent attitude toward aesthetic surgery.