This Changes Everything, a pivotal documentary examining historic and contemporary gender inequity in the American film and television industries, will open the 36th edition of Miami Dade College’s acclaimed Miami Film Festival, on Friday, March 1st at the historic Olympia Theater. Appearing on camera are leading Hollywood women Meryl Streep, Geena Davis, Sandra Oh, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Saldana, Jessica Chastain, Taraji P. Henson, Cate Blanchett, Amandla Stenberg, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Jill Soloway and many more advocating for meaningful change.
Golden Globe-winning actress Patricia Clarkson will receive the Festival’s Precious Gem Award on Monday, March 4th at the historic Tower Theater Miami.
The Festival will debut the Knight Heroes, with a focus on the emerging new generation of South Florida moving image content creators, three bold and bright talents will share their insights, observations and advice about their creative paths and future outlooks in a two-hour in-person session at Olympia Theater. The inaugural edition of Knight Heroes features Oscar-winning, Miami-born filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk), award-winning filmmaker Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You) andAaron Stewart-Ahn, co-writer of the acclaimed break-out hit Mandy.
In all, the Festival runs March 1st to 10th, and will present more than 160 feature narratives, documentaries and short films of all genres, from more than 40 different countries. The Festival will wrap up with an Awards Night Gala event at Olympia Theater, and the North American premiere of Spanish director Enrique Urbizu’s Gigantes.
Highlights of the CINEDWNTWN series include:
- The World Premiere of Singular, a documentary love letter to internationally-renowned, Miami-born jazz singer Cécile McLorin-Salvant, by American filmmakers Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson.
- The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste García, a Cuban-German coproduction and the directorial debut by acclaimed screenwriter Arturo Infante, a magical and joyous fantasy adventure starring beloved veteran actress María Isabel Díaz Lago.
- The US Premiere of The Accused from Argentina, starring Lali Espósito, Gael García Bernaland Leonardo Sbaraglia, directed by Gonzalo Tobal. The enthralling drama, a Mexican co-production, will compete for the Festival’s Knight Marimbas Award, and was supported in development by Miami Film Festival’s Miami Film 2016 fund.
- The World Premiere of Huracán, a made-in-Miami psychological thriller set in the demanding world of the professional MMA circuit, the directorial feature film debut by Miami native Cassius Corrigan. Preceded by the world premiere of the short film “The Rafter” by Jose Navas.
The Opening Night Film of the Festival’s signature Knight MARIMBAS Award competition, will be the World Premiere of Dominican Republic filmmaker José María Cabral’s The Projectionist, the highly-anticipated follow-up to his 2017 international breakout hit, Woodpeckers (Carpinteros). Also competing in the program is Tobal’s The Accused and Julio Hernández Cordón’s Buy Me A Gun; an earlier work by Hernández Cordón won the Festival’s top prize in 2011, Marimbas From Hell, and it is for that film that the category is now named – representing deep and rich resonance for cinema’s future.
Additional films selected for this year’s Knight MARIMBAS Award competition are:
- 303 (Germany, directed by Hans Weingartner). *USA PREMIERE
- An Affair (Norway, directed by Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- Ash Is Purest White (China, directed by Jia Zhang-ke).
- Dear Son (Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar, directed by Mohammed Ben Attia).
- Divine Love (Brazil/Uruguay/Denmark/Norway, directed by Gabriel Mascaro).
- Dogman (Italy/France, directed by Matteo Garrone).
- Florianopolis Dream (Argentina/Brazil, directed by Ana Katz).
- Golden Youth (France, directed by Eva Ionesco). *USA PREMIERE
- The Good Girls (Mexico, directed by Alejandra Márquez Abella).
- Helmet Heads (Costa Rica/Chile, directed by Neto Villalobos).
- Juanita (Dominican Republic/Spain, directed by Leticia Tonos). *INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
- Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf (USA/Lebanon/The Netherlands/Qatar, UAE, Canada, directed by Susan Youssef). *WORLD PREMIERE
- The Most Beautiful Couple (Germany/France, directed by Sven Taddicken). *US PREMIERE.
- The Nightingale (Australia, directed by Jennifer Kent).
- Non-Fiction (France, directed by Oliver Assayas).
- Notti magiche (Italy, directed by Paolo Virzi). *USA PREMIERE
- Shadow (China, directed by Zhang Yimou).
- Tremors (Guatemala/France, directed by Jayro Bustamante). *USA PREMIERE *MARQUEE SERIES PRESENTATION
- The Trouble With You (France, directed by Pierre Salvadori).
- Yuli (Spain/Cuba/UK/Germany, directed by Icíar Bollaín).
These films join the Knight MARIMBAS Award nominees from the Festival’s fall GEMS program: Animal (Argentina/Spain, Armando Bo), Ben is Back (USA, Peter Hedges), Birds of Passage (Colombia/Denmark/Mexico/France, Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra), Border (Sweden/Denmark, Ali Abbasi), Burning (South Korea, Lee Chang-dong), El Ángel (Argentina/Spain, Luis Ortega) and Petra(Spain/France/Denmark, Jaime Rosales). The Accused, Buy Me A Gun, Divine Love, Florianopolis Dream, The Good Girls, Helmet Heads, Juanita, The Projectionist, Tremors and Yuli will additionally compete in the HBO Ibero-american Feature Film Award competition.
Three distinguished filmmakers will additionally be part of the Festival’s Marquee Series, each featuring a film screening accompanied by on-stage conversations with major film personalities of the moment, discussing their career and sharing an exciting new work. They are:
- Miami-native Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, presenting his latest documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, the Sundance-selected portrait of the great American novelist and Nobel Prize winner for Literature
- Jayro Bustamante, presenting his superb second feature film Tremors directly from its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, having established a strong international reputation with his Best Director win in Berlin for his first feature, Ixcanul, in 2015
- Stanley Nelson, three-time Emmy Award winning documentarian and National Humanities Medal recipient, presenting his new Sundance-selected documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool.
The Opening Night Film of the Knight Made in MIA Award feature film program will be the World Premiere of the new Rakontur production, Billy Corben’s Magic City Hustle, an eye-opening look at some unexpected players in Miami’s gig economy. Magic City Hustle will screen on March 2nd at Tower Theater Miami as one half of a double-header that also includes the Miami premiere of Screwball, Corben’s expose of the Major League Baseball doping scandal that had its origins in Miami in the earlier part of the decade. Also competing for the feature film prize is Scholl-Johnson’s Singular and Corrigan’s Huracán.
Additional films selected are:
- The Great Mother, directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker.
- The Mamboniks, directed by Lex Gillepse. *WORLD PREMIERE
- Miami Basel: Art’s Winter Playground, directed by Aaron Glickman. *WORLD PREMIERE
- A Name Without a Place, directed by Kenny Riches. *WORLD PREMIERE
- Off The Rails, directed by Damian Fitzsimmons. *USA PREMIERE
- Pahokee, directed by Patrick Xavier and Ivette Lucas.
The Great Mother, Magic City Hustle, The Mamboniks, Miami Basel: Art’s Winter Playround, Pahokee and Singular will additionally compete for the $10,000 Documentary Achievement Award. The Opening Night Film for the Knight Made in MIA Award short film prize will be the North American premiere of Faren Humes’ “Liberty”.
Additional films nominated for the short film prize are:
- “Diva & Astro”, directed by Angel Barroeta. *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- “Hierophany”, directed by Kevin Contento.
- “Marcus”, directed by J.R. Poli.
- “My Daughter Yoshiko”, directed by Brian Blum. *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Nocturnal Creatures”, directed by Darwin Robles.
- “The Sea”, directed by Andrés Joan.
- “Six Degrees of Immigration”, directed by Jayme Gershen.
- “Two Brothers”, directed by Montana Cypress.
- “Val”, directed by Samuel Stern.
- “Zenu”, directed by Claudio Marcotulli.
“My Daughter Yoshiko” will additionally compete for the Festival’s $5,000 Zeno Mountain Award.
The HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award competition adds a new competition category to the Festival, the $10,000 HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award. In addition to those films previously announced, the feature film finalists are:
- The Best Summer of My Life (Spain, directed by Dani de la Orden). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- Breathe (Argentina, directed by Arturo Castro Godoy). *INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
- Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (Spain/The Netherlands, directed by Salvador Simó).
- Domingo (Brazil, directed by Fellipe Barbosa and Clara Linhart). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- Fireflies (Mexico/USA/Greece/Dominican Republic, directed by Bani Khoshnoudi). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- Following You (Venezuela/USA, directed by Carmen La Roche). *WORLD PREMIERE
- José (Guatemala, directed by Li Cheng).
- Perro Bomba (Chile/France, directed by Juan Cáceres). *WORLD PREMIERE
- Rojo (Argentina/Brazil/France/Netherlands/Germany, directed by Benjamin Naishtat).
- This is Not Berlin (Mexico, directed by Hari Sama).
- Wandering Girl (Colombia/France, directed by Rubén Mendoza). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
These films join the HBO Ibero-american Feature Film Award nominees from the Festival’s fall GEMS program: Champions (Spain, Javier Fesser) and Dry Martina (Chile/Argentina, Che Sandoval).
The finalists in the HBO Ibero-american Short Film Award competition are:
- “A Fishes’ Recall” (Colombia, directed by Christian Mejía Carrascal). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- “Fragile” (Cuba, directed by Sheyla Pool). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- “Lucy” (Venezuela, directed by Roberto Gutiérrez).
- “This Is Your Cuba” (USA/Puerto Rico, directed by Brian Robau). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Vaca” (Spain, directed by Marta Bayarri).
The winning short film will receive $5,000 and the four runners-up will receive $1,250 each. In addition, the nominating jury selected “Where Chaos Reigns” (Venezuela, Braulio Jatar) to receive an Honorable Mention in this category.
The newly reconceived Jordan Ressler First Feature Award returns with a diverse slate of new directors from all corners of the globe. The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste García filmmaker Infante will additionally compete for this Award, with these finalists:
- Priya Ramasubban for Chuskit (India).
- Cathy Yan for Dead Pigs (China).
- Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky for Freaks (Canada/USA).
- Etienne Kallos for The Harvesters (South Africa/Greece/France/Poland/Switzerland). *NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
- Rudy Riverón Sánchez for Is That You? (United Kingdom).
- Rubén Sierra Salles for Jasmines in Lídice (Venezuela/Mexico). *WORLD PREMIERE
- Celia Rico Clavellino for Journey to a Mothers’ Room (Spain/France).
- Maria Winther Olsen for Nina (Faroe Islands/Denmark).
- Katherine Jerkovic for Roads in February (Canada/Uruguay).
- Alexandre Moratto for Socrates (Brazil).
These films join Jordan Ressler First Feature Award nominees from the Festival’s fall GEMS program: Boys Cry (Italy, Damiano D’Innocenzo and Fabio D’Innocenzo), Diamantino (Portugal/France/Brazil, Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt), The Heiresses (Paraguay/Uruguay/Germany/Brazil/Norway/France, Marcelo Martinessi), and Hopelessly Devout (Spain, Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz).
The Festival’s Premiere Documentary Spotlight section will feature four incisive films direct from their recent world premieres, certain to dominate cinematic conversations throughout 2019:
- Apollo 11 (USA, directed by Todd Douglas Miller).
- The Infiltrators, directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra.
- Knock Down The House (USA, directed by Rachel Lears).
- Mike Wallace is Here (Israel, directed by Avi Belkin).
A significant night in the Festival’s popular Soiree Series will be the world premiere of the made-in-Miami feature film Vandal, directed by Jose Daniel Freixas and starring Juan Pablo Raba, Daniel Zovatto, Beau Knapp and Richard Schiff.
In partnership with Miami Design District, the Festival presents a special Miami edition of the acclaimed Fashion in Film Festival, on the Festival’s closing weekend. The edition features six enticing programs of screenings, talks and live performances, offering a dialogue between cinema, fashion and art as three distinct areas of creative practice bound by affinities, overlaps and continuities. Highlighting a range of poetic sensibilities in showing dress and the adorned body in motion, the Fashion in Film Festival mixes artist, avant-garde and underground cinema with early advertising and documentary films, as well as contemporary fashion films. The program includes:
- The Enigma of Fashion. A selection of films by Segundo de Chomón, Sonia Delaunay, Hans Richter, Lewis Klahr, Jacques Baratier and Martin Creed, amongst others, which animate clothes, shop mannequins and magazine illustrations, allowing them to assume lives of their own and assert a powerful sense of their reality as material things.
- The Inferno Unseen + LIVE MUSIC by Rollo Smallcombe. Henri-George Clouzot’s The Inferno is one of the most tantalizing uncompleted projects in film history. This is a newly edited assemblage of rushes filmed in 1964.
- Underground Glamour. A pairing of José Rodríguez-Soltero’s lavish “Lupe” and Ron Rice’slandmark psychedelic masterpiece “Chumlum” features two of the most accomplished uses of superimposition in underground film, transporting drag glamour into a profoundly hallucinatory dimension; introduced by Tom Gunning.
- Choreography of Movement. Dance, clothing and cinema come together to draw attention to the unique ways in which these art forms explore, magnify and shape one another – features Charles Atlas’s acclaimed film “Hail the New Puritan”.
- The Art of Fashion Film. Focusing on contemporary fashion film as a means of investigating the properties of both dress and cinema, this program highlights the great potential of this burgeoning form to enrich and challenge established conventions of fashion and beauty imagery. Followed by a panel discussion chaired by Christian Larsen.
- Rapsodia Satanica, a masterpiece of silent Italian cinema by Nino Oxilia, conceived as an “opera d’arte totale” amalgam of all the arts of the time, including the avant-garde fashion designs of Mariano Fortuny. With an introduction by Eugenia Paulicelli.
The fiercely-contested, audience-voted Documentary Achievement Award, will be chosen from among 29 finalists making their Florida premieres, including opening night presentation This Changes Everything, Marquee night presentations Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cooland other films. Subjects featured in the films include Toni Morrison, Mike Wallace, Miles Davis, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Fernando Botero, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pauline Kael, Dr. Paul Watson, Norman Braman, Craig Robbins, Jorge Perez, Cécile McLorin-Salvant, Nora Sandigo, Angela Davis, Erik Weihenmayer, Speech (Arrested Development) and many more.
The finalists are:
- 16 Bars (USA, directed by Samuel Bathrick). *REEL MUSIC PRESENTATION
- Ask Dr. Ruth (USA, directed by Ryan White).
- The Biggest Little Farm (USA, directed by John Chester).
- Botero (Canada/Colombia/Italy/Monaco/France/USA/China, directed by Don Millar).
- Chasing the Thunder (USA, directed by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin).
- Coming Home: Colombia (USA, directed by Eric “DJ EFN” Narciandi).
- Eliades Ochoa: From Cuba to the World (Mexico/Cuba, directed by Cynthia Biestek). *USA PREMIERE
- Errol Flynn’s Ghost: Hollywood in Havana (USA, directed by Gaspar González).
- I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (Australia, directed by Jessica Leski).
- Kenbe Fem: A Haitian Story of Survival, Unity & Strength (USA/Haiti, directed by Mark Goodnow). *WORLD PREMIERE
- Last Street (Spain/Jamaica, directed by Amanda Sans). *WORLD PREMIERE
- Los Reyes (Chile/Germany, directed by Iván Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut).
- The Silence of Others (Spain/USA, directed by Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo).
- The Weight of Water (USA, directed by Michael Brown).
- What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (USA, directed by Rob Garver).
The Weight of Water joins the nominee from the Festival’s fall GEMS program, Champions (Spain, Javier Fesser), and “My Daughter Yoshiko” from the Knight Made in MIA Award category to compete for the Festival’s $5,000 Zeno Mountain Award, a group of films which celebrate the diversity of abilities and disabilities.
Additional nominated films are:
- “Carlotta’s Face” (Germany, directed by Valentin Riedl & Frédéric Schuld).
- “Cathedrals” (USA, directed by Benjamin Caro).
- “How I Got To The Moon By Subway” (USA, directed by Tyler Rabinowitz).
A new award for 2019, the Alacran Music In Film Award was created to celebrate the artist and individual behind the composition of a film’s music score and highlight the importance of music in film.
In addition to Screwball, films screening out of competition include:
- Ash (China, directed by Li Xiaofeng).
- Giant Little Ones (Canada, directed by Keith Behrman).
- Hidden Man (China, directed by Jiang Wen).
- Hotel Mumbai (Australia, directed by Anthony Maras).
- In The Aisles (Germany, directed by Thomas Stuber).
- Knife+Heart (France/Mexico/Switzerland, directed by Yann Gonzalez).
- The Mustang (France/USA, directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre).
- Rattlesnakes (USA/UK, directed by Julius Amedume).
- “Score: Haiti” (USA/Haiti, directed by Pete Maiden). *REEL MUSIC PRESENTATION. *WORLD PREMIERE
- Sorry Angel (France, directed by Christophe Honoré).
- Standing Among the Living (Sierra Leone/UK, directed by Sam Liebman, Tyson Conteh, Mungo Benson).
- The Tomorrow Man (USA, directed by Noble Jones).
- With Love (Canada, directed by Marc Bisaillon). *INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
“The Rafter” by Jose Navas is a finalist for the Festival’s IMDbPro Short Film Award. Additional films in the competition are:
- “Bug” (France, directed by Cédric Prévost).
- “Calm Your Curls” (USA, directed by Christopher Rivas).
- “The Changing Same” (USA, directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson).
- “Cured” (USA, directed by Gabriel Villanueva).
- “Duck Duck Goose” (Canada, directed by Shelley Thompson). *USA PREMIERE
- “The Electric Chair” (Spain, directed by Joan Martín Giménez). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Face In Salt” (United Kingdom, directed by Joseph Wallace). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Freaks of Nurture” (Canada, directed by Alexandra Lemay).
- “I Signed The Petition” (UK/Germany/Switzerland, directed by Mahdi Fleifel).
- “Loving Out Loud” (Cuba/Spain, directed by Carles Bosch, Nabil Bellahsene, Elvira Gálvez, Sara Rancaño and José M. Restrepo). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Malabar” (USA, directed by Freddy Rodriguez). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “Me 3.769” (USA, directed by Elaine del Valle). *WORLD PREMIERE
- “The Moon Never Dies” (Brazil/USA/Spain, directed by Mariona Lloreta).
- “Naysayer” (USA, directed by David M. Helman).
- “Newborn” (Canada, directed by Ray Savaya).
- “The Orphan” (Brazil, directed by Carolina Markowicz).
- “Pa’lante” Puerto Rico/USA, directed by Kristian Mercado).
- “Paseo” (Canada/Spain, directed by Matthew Hannam). *USA PREMIERE
- “Raymonde or the Vertical Escape” (France, directed by Sarah Van Den Boom).
- “Second Acts” (USA, directed by Anya Adams).
- “Shadow Cut” (New Zealand, directed by Lucy Suess).
- “The Wrecker Kings” (USA, directed by Kevin Berriz).