Somewhere In Queens directed by Ray Romano
Somewhere In Queens directed by Ray Romano

Miami Film Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary edition from March 3-12, 2023, opening with Somewhere in Queens, directed by comedian and actor Ray Romano, who will attend. The festival will close with The Lost King, directed by Stephen Frears on Saturday, March 11.

The 2023 Miami Film Festival will celebrate more than 140 feature narratives, documentaries and short films of all genres, from over 30 countries worldwide.

In Somewhere in Queens, Romano’s poignant and hilarious directorial debut, the beloved comedian stars as a bumbling Queens dad who goes to questionable lengths to ensure that his shy basketball-star son gets a prized college scholarship, much to the chagrin of his loving but fiercely protective wife played by Laurie Metcalf. Romano is expected to attend Opening Night.

The festival will close with The Lost King, starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan. The film follows the true story of an ambitious writer and amateur historian who defies the academic establishment to unearth Richard III’s long-missing remains in a Leicester car park.

Centerpiece Presentations

Centerpiece presentations will spotlight Chevalier, Carmen, The Final Game (42 Segundo) and Judy Blume Forever with their directors in attendance for post-screening Q&As.

Chevalier (United States, directed by Stephen Williams), based on the true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, who rose in French society as a composer before an ill-fated love affair. The film stars Kelvin Harrison, Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton and Minnie Driver.

Carmen (Australia/France, directed by Benjamin Millepied), a modern-day reimagining of the classical opera by French composer Georges Bizet. The film stars Melissa Barrera, Paul Mescal and Rossy De Palma.

The Final Game (42 Segundo) (Spain, directed by Dani de la Orden and Àlex Murull), the emotional and thrilling true story of the ’92 Olympic Spanish water polo team who, despite being the underdogs, managed to astonish the world. – North American Premiere

Judy Blume Forever (United States, directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok), a documentary about the popular writer and the generations of readers who have sparked her work.

Special Presentation Screenings

More than 30 Special Presentation screenings will add to the depth of creative filmmaking from around the world to Miami, featuring numerous Miami Film Festival alumni filmmakers. They include:

15 Ways to Kill Your Neighbour (France/Argentina, directed by Santiago Mitre), starring Daniel Hendler, Vimala Pons, Sergi López, Melvil Poupaud, Françoise Lebrun and Éric Caravaca – East Coast Premiere

AfroCuba ’78 (United States, directed by Emilio Oscar Alcalde) – North America Premiere

The Beat Bomb (Italy, directed by Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani) – International Premiere

Bebo (Cuba/Germany, directed by Ricardo Bacallao) – World Premiere

Adios Buenos Aires (Germany/Argentina, directed by German Kral) starring Diego Cremonesi, Marina Bellati, Regina Lamm, Manuel Vicente, Rafael Spregelburd and Carlos Portaluppi – World Premiere

Cairo Conspiracy (Sweden, directed by Tarik Saleh), starring Tawfeek Barhom, Fares Fares, Mohammad Bakri, Makram Khoury, Mehdi Debhi, Sherwan Haji, Ahmed Laissaoui and Ramzi Choukair – Florida Premiere

Couples Therapy (TV series) (United States, directed by Josh Kriegman) – Florida Premiere

Dear Grandma (El Vasco) (Spain/Argentina, directed by Jabi Elortegi), starring Joseba Usabiaga, Eduardo Blanco and Itziar Aizpuru – International Premiere

Driving Madeleine (France, directed by Christian Carion), starring Line Renaud, Dany Boon, Alice Isaaz, Jérémie Laheurte, Gwendoline Hamon and Julie Delarme – Florida Premiere

Flamin’ Hot (United States, directed by Eva Longoria), starring Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Dennis Haysbert, Emilio Rivera, Tony Shalhoub, Matt Walsh, Pepe Serna, Bobby Soto, Jimmy Gonzales, Brice Gonzalez, Vanessa Martinez, Fabian Alomar, Mario Ponce and Hunter Jones – Florida Premiere

Four’s a Crowd (El Cuarto Pasajero) (Spain, directed by Alex De La Iglesia), starring Alberto San Juan, Blanca Suarez, Ernesto Alterio and Ruben Cortada – US Premiere

Full Time (France, directed by Eric Gravel), starring Laure Calamy, Anne Suarez, Genevieve Mnich, Nolan Arizmendi and Sasha Lemaitre Cremaschi – Florida Premiere

Golden Years (Switzerland, directed by Barbara Kulcsar), starring Isabelle Barth, Gundi Ellert, Davide Gagliardi, Esther Gemsch, André Jung, Ueli Jäggi, Stefan Kurt, Elvira Plüss and Martin Vischer – Florida Premiere

It Ain’t Over (United States, directed by Sean Mullin), starring Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Bob Costas, Vin Scully and Billy Crystal – Florida Premiere

Journey to Hope (United States, directed by Lieter Ledesma) – World Premiere

Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind (Sweden, directed by Stig Björkman – Florida Premiere

Joyland (Pakistan/United States, directed by Saim Sadiq), starring Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, Salmaan Peerzada, Sohail Sameer and Sania Saeed – Florida Premiere

Klondike (Ukraine/Turkey, directed by Maryna Er Gorbach), starring Oksana Cherkashina, Serhiy Shadrin and Oleg Shcherbina – Florida Premiere

Monica (United States/Italy, directed by Andrea Pallaoro), starring Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson, Adriana Barraza, Emily Browning and Josh Close – East Coast Premiere

Moving On (United States, directed by Paul Weitz), starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Malcolm McDowell and Richard Roundtree – Florida Premiere

My Love Affair with Marriage (Latvia/United States/Luxembourg, directed by Signe Baumane), starring Dagmara Dominczyk, Michele Pawk, Trio Limonāde, Cameron Monaghan, Matthew Modine and Stephen Lang – Florida Premiere

The Other Widow (Israel/France, directed by Maayan Rypp), starring Dana Ivgy, Ania Bukstein, Itamar Rotschild and Irit Gidron – Florida Premiere

Patria y Vida: The Power of Music (United States, directed by Beatriz Luengo) – World Premiere

Plan 75 (Japan/France/Philippines, directed by Chie Hayakawa), starring Chieko Baisho, Hayato Isomura and Yuumi Kawai – Florida Premiere

The Punishment (El Castigo) (Argentina/Chile, directed by Matias Bize), starring Antonia Zegers, Nestor Cantillana and Catalina Saavedra – US Premiere

Rule 34 (Regra 34) (Brazil/France, directed by Julia Murat), starring Sol Miranda, Lucas Andrade, Lorena Comparato and Isabela Mariotto – Florida Premiere

Rye Lane (United Kingdom, directed by Raine Allen-Miller), starring David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah – Florida Premiere

Sick of Myself (Norway, directed by Kristoffer Borgli), starring Kristine Kujath Torp, Eirik Sæther, Fanny Vaager, Fredrik Stenberg Ditlev-Simonsen, Sarah Francesca Brænne, Steinar Klouman Hallert, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Henrik Mestad and Anders Danielsen Lie – Florida Premiere

Stories Not to Be Told (Historias Para No Contar) (Spain, directed by Cesc Gay), starring Chino Darin, Anna Castillo, Javier Rey, Quim Gutierrez, Brays Efe, Veronica Echegui, Eva Reyes, Alex Brendemühl, Antonio de la Torre, Maria León, Jose Coronado, Alexandra Jimenez, Maribel Verdu and Nora Navas – US Premiere

The Substitute (El Suplente) (Argentina/Italy/Mexico/Spain/France, directed by Diego Lerman), starring Juan Minujín, Alfredo Castro, Barbara Lennie, Lucas Arrua, Rita Cortese, María Merlino and Renata Lerman – Florida Premiere

Summoning the Spirit (United States, directed by Jon Garcia), starring Krystal Millie Valdes, Ernesto Reyes, Jesse Tayeh, Isabelle Muthiah – World Premiere

The Thunder and the Wind (El Trueno Y El Viento) (United States, directed by Jorge A. Soliño) – World Premiere

Two Many Chefs (Spain, directed by Joaquín Mazon), starring Karra Elejalde, Enric Auquer, Megan Montaner – North American Premiere

Two Tickets to Greece (France, directed by Marc Fitoussi), starring Laure Calamy, Olivia Côte and Kristin Scott Thomas

Unicorn Wars (Spain/France, directed by Alberto Vazquez), starring Ramón Barea, Jon Goiri, Maribel Legarretta, Itxaso Quintana, Manu Heras, Jaione Insausti and Kepa Cueto – Florida Premiere

What’s Love Got to Do With It? (UK, directed by Shekhar Kapur), starring Lily James, Emma Thompson and Shazad Torres – US Premiere

Knight MARIMBAS Award Competition

The $25,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award, supported by Knight Foundation, is an international competition for new narrative feature films that best exemplify richness and resonance for cinema’s future. Films chosen for this year’s Knight MARIMBAS Award are:

The Beasts (As Bestas) (Spain, directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen), starring Denis Menochet, Marina Foïs and Luis Horowitz – Florida Premiere

The Gravity (France, directed by Cédric Ido), starring Max Gomis, Jean-Baptiste Anoumon, Steve Tientcheu, Olivier Rosemberg, Thierry Godard and Hafsia Herzi – Florida Premiere

The Happiest Man in the World (North Macedonia/Belgium/Slovenia/Denmark/Croatia/Bosnia/ Herzegovina, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska), starring Jelena Kordiä Kuret and Adnan Omeroviä – East Coast Premiere

How to Blow Up a Pipeline (United States, directed by Daniel Goldhaber), starring Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane, Jayme Lawson, Macrus Scriber, Jake Weary and Irene Bedard – Florida Premiere

Leila’s Brothers (Iran, directed by Saeed Roustaee), starring Payman Maadi, Taraneh Alidoosti and Navid Mohammadzadeh – Florida Premiere

Piece of My Heart (Netherlands, directed by Dana Nechushtan), starring Elaine Meijerink, Roos Englebert, Daniel Boissevain, Peter Paul Muller and Katelijne Damen – North American Premiere

Revoir Paris (France, directed by Alice Winocour), starring Virginie Efira, Benoit Magimel and Gregoire Colin – Florida Premiere

Riceboy Sleeps (Canada, directed by Anthony Shim), starring Seung-Yoon Choi, Anthony Shim, Ethan Hwang and Dohyun Noel Hwang – Florida Premiere

Sanctuary (United States, directed by Zachary Wigon), starring Christopher Abbott and Margaret Qualley – Florida Premiere

Subtraction (Iran/France, directed by Mani Haghighi), starring Taraneh Alidoosti and Navid Mohammadzadeh – Florida Premiere

Tori and Lokita (Belgium/France, directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne), starring Pablo Schils and Joely Mbundu – Florida Premiere

Valeria Is Getting Married (Israel/Ukraine, directed by Michal Vinik), starring Lena Fraifeld, Dasha Tvoronovich and Yaakov Daniel Zada – East Coast Premiere

Vicenta B. (Cuba/Colombia/France/Norway/United States, directed by Carlos Lechuga), starring Linnett Hernandez Valdes, Mireya Chapman, Aimeé Despaigne, Ana Flavia Ramos, Pedro Martínez and Eduardo Martinez – Florida Premiere

Knight Made in MIA Award Competition

For the sixth year of the Festival’s Knight Made in MIA Award competition, sponsored by Knight Foundation, the Festival will award two prizes – $45,000 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:

Amigo (United States, directed by Luis Gispert) – World Premiere

Febrero (United States, directed by Hansel Porras Garcia) – World Premiere

Havana Stories (United States, directed by Eliecer Jimenez Almeida) – World Premiere

Plantadas (United States, directed by Camilo Vilaplana and Lilo Vilaplana) – World Premiere

Sunnyland (United States, directed by Xavier Medina) – Florida Premiere

Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award Competition

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

“1402 Pork N Bean Blue”, directed by Juan Matos

“23 Weeks”, directed by Hansel Porras Garcia

“Arroz Leche y Powerball”, directed by Mariana Serrano

“Awake Before Dawn”, directed by Jose Navas

“Boy.with.angle.wings”, directed by Frantzy Moreau

“Carmen”, directed by Cristine Brache

“Dying to Direct”, directed by Tom Musca & Tony Mendez

“I Care About Your Mailbox”, directed by Andres Gimenez

“Ill Gotten Gains”, directed by Christopher P Ryan

“In an Orderly Fashion”, directed by Adrian Cardenas Rubio

“Konpa”, directed by Al’Ikens Plancher

“Love on the Island”, directed by Gabriel de Varona

“Mango City”, directed by Emma Cuba & Dana DePirri

“Monarcas”, directed by Diana Larrea

“Open Dialogues: Black Voices|Black Stories”, directed by Freddy Rodriguez

“Python Huntress”, directed by Nicholas Orris & Matt Deblinger

“Remedios”, directed by Randy Valdes

“Road Work Ahead”, directed by Javier Labrador

“Save the Flea”, directed by Michael Ruiz-Unger

“South of 5th”, directed by Karla Caprali

“this was supposed to be a film about you”, directed by Juan Barquin

“Tumba Del Mar”, directed by Andrew Garcia

“Wheel Up”, directed by Alicia Geraldine Edwards

“Where Is Rogerthat?”, directed by David Hamzik

Jordan Ressler First Feature Award Competition

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 Broadway hits before passing away in a tragic accident at the age of 23. A total of 16 films will compete for the Award:

Amanda (Italy, directed by Carolina Cavalli), starring Benedetta Porcaroli, Galatea Bellugi, Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Michele Bravi – Florida Premiere

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (United States, directed by Aitch Alberto), starring Max Pelayo, Reese Gonzales, Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, Veronica Falcon and Kevin Alejandro – Florida Premiere

Blue Jean (UK, directed by Georgia Oakley), starring Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes, Lucy Halliday – Florida Premiere

Carmen (Australia/France, directed by Benjamin Millepied), starring Melissa Barrera, Paul Mescal and Rossy De Palma – Florida Premiere

Charcoal (Carvão) (Argentina/Brazil, directed by Carolina Markowicz), starring Maeve Jinkings and Camila Mardila – East Coast Premiere

Daughter of Rage (La Hija De Todas Las Rabias) (Nicaragua/Mexico/Netherlands/Germany/ France/Norway/Spain, directed by Laura Baumeister), starring Ara Alejandra Medal, Virginia Sevilla, Carlos Gutierrez, Noé Hernandez, Diana Sedano – East Coast Premiere

Everybody Wants To Be Loved (Germany, directed by Katharina Woll), starring Anne Ratte-Polle, Lea Drinda, Ulrike Willenbacher, Urs Jucker, Johanes Hien and Hassan Akkouch – US Premiere

Falcon Lake (France/Canada, directed by Charlotte Le Bon), starring Joseph Engel and Sara Montpetit – Florida Premiere

I Like Movies (Canada, directed by Chandler Levack), starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Romina D’ugo, Krista Bridges and Percy Hynes White – Florida Premiere

Mamacruz (United States, directed by Patricia Ortega), starring Kiti Manver – East Coast Premiere

Martinez (Mexico/France, directed by Lorena Padilla), starring Francisco Reyes, Humberto Busto and Martha Claudia Moreno – World Premiere

Me Little Me (United States, directed by Elizabeth Ayiku), starring A’keyah Dasia Williams, Shamar Philippe, ReSheda D. Terry, Sardia Robinson, Frania del Carmen, Karl Kristian Flores and Jarrid Masse – Florida Premiere

Nayola (Portugal/Belgium/France/Netherlands, directed by José Miguel Ribeiro), starring Elisângela Rita, Marinela Furtado Veloso, Feliciana Délcia Guia and Vitória Adelino Dias Soares – US Premiere

Safe Place (Croatia, directed by Juraj Lerotić), starring Snježana Sinovčić Šiškov, Goran Marković and Juraj Lerotić – Florida Premiere

Somewhere in Queens (United States, directed by Ray Romano), starring Ray Romano, Laurie Metcalf, Jennifer Esposito and Jacob Ward – Florida Premiere

Susie Searches (United States, directed by Sophie Kargman), starring Kiersey Clemons, Alex Wolff, Jim Gaffigan, Ken Marino, Isaac Powell and Rachel Senott – Florida Premiere

Documentary Achievement Award Competition

Ten films will vie for the audience-voted Documentary Achievement Award. They are:

A Bunch of Amateurs (UK, directed by Kim Hopkins) – East Coast Premiere

The Curse of Joe Robbie (United States, directed by Aaron Salgado) – World Premiere

The Disappearance of Shere Hite (United States, directed by Nicole Newnham) – East Coast Premiere

The Eternal Memory (La Memoria Infinita) (Chile, directed by Maite Alberdi), starring Paulina Urrutia and Augusto Góngora – East Coast Premiere

Judy Blume Forever (United States, directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok) – Florida Premiere

Kite Zo A (Canada, directed by Kaveh Nabatian) – Florida Premiere

Kokomo City (United States, directed by D. Smith) – Florida Premiere

Little Richard: I Am Everything (United States, directed by Lisa Cortes) – East Coast Premiere

Pianoforte (Poland, directed by Jakub Piątek) – Florida Premiere

The Padilla Affair (El Caso Padilla) (Cuba/Spain, directed by Pavel Giroud) – East Coast Premiere

Stephen Curry: Underrated (United States, directed by Peter Nicks) – Florida Premiere

Goya Quick Bites Short Film Award Competition

This year, the Festival is introducing a new award, $2,500 Goya Quick Bites Short Film Award, courtesy of Goya, to the filmmaker of a jury selected short film of any genre that best showcases the intersection of food and community. This includes stories that feature a strong focus on food culture, mealtimes, or the way the culinary experience spices up our daily lives. The 6 films competing are:

“23 Weeks”, directed by Hansel Porras Garcia

“Arroz Leche y Powerball”, directed by Mariana Serrano

“Carol, Roberta, and Teri”, directed by Dana Silverman

“Daughter of The Sea”, directed by Alexis C Garcia

“The Dinner Party”, directed by Neda Jebelli

“Not the 80s”, directed by Marleen Valien

Miami International Short Film Award Competition

The $5,000 Miami International Short Film Award competition features 17 films. The complete list includes:

“Altars”, directed by Mariona Lloreta

“Blue Veil”, directed by Shireen Alihaji

“Brownsville Bred”, directed by Elaine Del Valle

“Busan 1999”, directed by Thomas Percy Kim

“Daughter of The Sea”, directed by Alexis C Garcia

“Day Trip”, directed by Brian Robau

“Father’s Day”, directed by Kali Kahn

“Great Seeing You”, directed by Holly Pruner

“The Last Hurrah”, directed by Mia Weinberger

“Miss Patti”, directed by Kate Hamilton & Grasie Mercedes

“My Year of Dicks”, directed by Sara Gunnarsdóttir

“Ñaños”, directed by Emilio Subía

“Sin Raices” , directed by Gabriella Athena Moses

“Sound To Sea”, directed by Ryan Craver

“Tsutsué”, directed by Amartei Armar

“Weapons and Their Names”, directed by Melina Valdez

“We’re Too Good for This”, directed by Missy Malek

Short Documentary Film Award Competition

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:

“And Then I Was Here”, directed by Alexandra Stergiou

“Betsy & Irv”, directed by Nicole Noren

“Free to Care”, directed by Chris Temple & Owen Dubeck

“The Miami Vice Incident”, directed by Tim Kirk

“Salman Toor’s Emerald Green”, directed by Adam Golfer

“We Are Here”, directed by Domenica Castro & Constanza Castro

Cinemaslam Competition

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

“AEROJET”, directed by Ryan Landy

“As I Promised You”, directed by Samuel Vargas

“Cash Out”, directed by Andres Monsalve Roca

“Dream City”, directed by Lensa Jeudy

“En Las Sombras”, directed by Michael Jiménez

“Endangered Funding”, directed by Alejandro Avila

“The Good Harvest” (“La Buena Cosecha”), directed by Melanie Cedeño-Lopez

“Hustle Money”, directed by Sebastian Brito

“I Have Seen A Great Light”, directed by Allen Sowersby

Master Classes, Roundtables and Other Events

A matrix of master classes, roundtables and other events taking place at this year’s Festival include:

A special “In Conversation With” event with Euphoria costume designer Heidi Bivens, moderated by the co-hosts of the popular “Every Outfit” podcast, Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni.

Intimacy Coordinator Masterclass with Nicole Perry

International Women’s Day Conversation: Unlikable Female Characters, with author Anna Bogutskaya

Mercado Del Cine Europeo returns in collaboration with European Film Promotion and Unifrance as a Latin America industry buyers market.

Art of Light Award Presentation + Composer Masterclass, sponsored by Alacran Group

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