The Miami International Film Festival opens tonight with a showing of the pop comedy “My Big Night,” with star and Spanish recording legend Raphael in attendance, kicking off this much anticipated event that has become known across the globe.
Over a 10-day period, the film festival, known also as MIFF, will feature a wide array of films, of course, but also pageantry in the form of celebrity-studded red carpets, premieres, stylish parties, panel discussions, film competitions, awards ceremonies, master classes, and an immersive experience in multiculturalism designed to entertain, educate and delight the estimated 70,000 locals and visitors expected to attend.
“This year’s lineup is like a prism that invites Miami to see the world with an illumination that only the cinema, and the artists that create the work, can provide,” says Jaie Laplante, the festival’s executive director and programming director. “The programmers have populated the program with films and events that are essential to the complex, dynamic, ever-changing Miami of the now.”
This year’s festival, which is owned and operated by Miami-Dade College, showcases 129 films, which is the largest selection since the annual event began in 1983. These include 100 feature films and documentaries and 29 short films produced and directed by both renowned and emerging talent from 40 countries. Of these, a record 46 films were directed or co-directed by women. There will also be numerous important premieres, including 12 World, one International, 16 North American and 13 US premieres, debuting in Miami.
There will also be special features, most notably the new Marquee Series, which will showcase dedicated, on-stage conversations with major personalities of the moment, each sharing a new work.
In keeping with the festival’s commitment to local filmmakers, Florida Focus will showcase films partially or wholly shot in the Sunshine State by filmmakers who are native or currently residing here.
For those who enjoy to pair their film experience with partying, the Soiree Series will offer a memorable night out by blending an inspiring and entertaining film that will segue into a memorable social experience designed along the theme of the film.
Music lovers can immerse themselves in Reel Music, which will feature five films that exemplify the global power of music, and also highlighting new and emerging talents in an array of genres.
There is even a special film series for children, dubbed MIFFicito, which features films specially selected for youngsters that the entire family can enjoy as well.
Screenings will take place throughout Greater Miami, including the historic Olympia Theater, which will host the opening and closing night films, as well as others. Additional theaters include MDC’s Tower Theater, Regal Cinemas South Beach, O Cinema Miami Beach, Coral Gables Art Cinema, Cinépolis in Coconut Grove, and Miami Beach Cinematheque.
The festival opens Friday and runs through Sunday, March 13.
More info: Miami International Film Festival