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Miami international film festival opens friday


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MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENS FRIDAY

with Black Book (Zwartboek) by Paul Verhoeven
The 24th Annual Miami International Film Festival

presented by Miami Dade College

will take place March 2 - 11, 2007

112 Films—92 Features and 20 Shorts—Highlight 2007 Festival


Including 8 World Premieres, 31 International, North American

& U.S. Premieres, and 47 East Coast Premieres

MIAMI, February 26, 2007 – The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), opens the 24th annual Festival this Friday, March 2 with Back Book (Zwartboek) from director Paul Verhoeven at 7:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Black Book stars Carice van Houten. Following Black Book, the Festival hosts its Gala Black Tie Opening Night Party, “Black Book/White Night/Hot Film” at the historic Freedom Tower, provided courtesy of Pedro Martin and David Martin of the Terra Group.


The Stars Shine at the Festival

Among those scheduled to attend the Festival are Black Book director Paul Verhoeven and star, Carice van Houten; Career Achievement Tributee Luc Besson and Rie Rasmussen star of Angel-A; Viggo Mortensen, star of Alatriste; Eduard Fernández, star of Fiction and Alatriste; Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), star of The Heart of the Earth; Tristán Ulloa, star of Salvador; and attending the screenings of La Lupe Queen of Latin Soul are director Ela Troyano, the sister of Guadalupe Yolí herself, Norma Yolí, and Olga Guillot, “The Queen of Bolero” prominently featured in the film. In addition, more than 300 filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, and industry executives will attend the 2007 Festival to actively participate in screenings, panels and sales meetings including Damián Alcázar, Alberto Arvelo, Andi Baiz, Emily Barclay, Michael Barker, Steven Barron, Luis Bellaba, Tammy  Blanchard, Cedella Marley Booker, Carles Bosch, Matt Brodlie, Jim Brown, Zita Caivallosa, Robert Cary, Andres Cepeda, Antonio Cuadri, Veronica Cura, David D'Arcy, Oded Davidoff, Joaquim de Almeida, Ira Deutchman, Agustin Diaz Yanes, Serge Elissalde, Geoffrey Enthoven, Howard Feinstein, Mark Fergus, John Fiege, Alex Garcia, Nancy Gerstman, Anita Grabowski, Julie Goldman, Octavio Gomez-Berrios, Mike Goodridge, Quim Gutiérrez, Adam Guzinski, Megan Hammitt, Justine Henzell, Todd Hitchcock, Ted Hope, Samantha Horley, Anne Hubell, Sheila Johnston, Gonzalo Justiniano, Daniel Katz, Julia Kaufman, Peter Keough, Philippa Kowarsky, Sarah Lash, Patrick Leblanc, Jérome Lemonnier, Diego Lerman, Ilana Levine, Caroline Libresco, Kirsi Marie Liimatainen, Cynthia Lopez, Mike Maggiore, Oliver Mahrdt, Elba McAllister, Selton Mello, Maria Merlino, Kirill Mikhanovsky, Takayuki Nakamura, Bertha Navarro, Frances Negron, Sabrina Nudeliman, Benjamin O'Dell, Loris Omedes, Matt Orley, Veronica Orozco, Hsiao-hung Pai, Chitra Palekar, Raoul Peck, Mike Plante, Tahani Rached, Steven Raphael, Barry Rebo, Jason Resnick, André Ristum, Rene Rodriguez, Eileen Rodriguez, J.B. Rutagarama, Veronica Sanchez, Daniel Sánchez, Josefina Sartora, Issaka Sawadogo, Dror Shaul, Tali Shemesh, Steve Solot, Ugo Sorrentino, Jim Stark, Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg, Cecilia Suarez, Rodrigo Triana, Tonny Trimarsanto, Christine Vachon, Francisco Vargas Quevedo, Francis Veber, Eduardo Veràstegui, Margarethe von Trotta, Lois Vossen, Bruce Weber, Douglas Wellbat, Ryan Werner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Fred Willard, Rob Williams, Marco Williams, Sean Wolfinghton, Vanessa Wranger, Markus Zimmer, and Bernardo Zupnik.


Opening Night Film and Gala Black Tie Opening Night Party March 2

The Festival will open with Black Book by award winning Dutch director Paul Verhoeven best known for Basic Instinct and Total Recall. This engrossing, yet violent, tale of espionage, intrigue and betrayal is set in Nazi-occupied Holland. Carice van Houten gives a remarkable performance as a beautiful Jewish torch singer who joins the Dutch resistance in the final days of World War II (7:00 p.m., Gusman). Following the screening of Black Book is the Gala Black Tie Opening Night Party “Black Book/White Night/Hot Film” (Weiss-Schwarze, Blanco-Negro). Whatever the language, black and white will shine in the stunningly restored 2nd floor of the historic Freedom Tower, provided courtesy of Pedro Martin and David Martin of the Terra Group. Dress is formal white and black as we dine, dance and frolic the night away.


Career Achievement Tribute March 7

The Miami International Film Festival honors world-renowned director-producer-writer Luc Besson with its fifth annual Career Achievement Tribute (7:00 p.m., Gusman). With critically praised films such as Nikita and Léon, as well cult favorites such as The Fifth Element, Luc Besson’s career has become synonymous with contemporary French cinema. Following the Career Achievement Tribute, MIFF is proud to present the East Coast premiere of Besson’s recent film Angel-A.


Awards Night Film and Celebration March 10

The Awards Night film will be Ira & Abby (USA, 2006) by director Robert Cary (7:00 p.m., Gusman). Neurotic Ira and free-spirited Abby are a mismatched Manhattan couple who impulsively get engaged just six hours after first meeting. Bliss is short-lived, however, when meddlesome parents and ineffective therapists become involved. This warm, witty relationship comedy penned by actress-screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) took home the Audience Award for best narrative feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt, Frances Conroy, Judith Light, Jason Alexander, Robert Klein, and Fred Willard. Following the screening of Ira & Abby is the Awards Night Celebration “On the Eve of 25” Saturday, March 10 at the Alfred I. DuPont Building located directly across the street from the Gusman Theater.


Festival Grand Finale of Films March 12

The Festival will close with a grand finale of films on the final day including the World Premiere of The Heart of the Earth (Spain/UK/Portugal, 2006) by director Antonio Cuadri and starring Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Sienna Guillory and Joaquim de Almeida. Also, among the twenty films closing out the Festival on Sunday, March 11 are Red Like the Sky (Rosso come il cielo) (Italy) by Cristiano Bortone; The Only One (Vidange perdue) (Belgium) by Geoffrey Enthoven; Red Road (Scotland) by Andrea Arnold; God Willing (Om Gud vill) (Sweden) by Amir Chamdin and Erik Eger; Sweet Mud (Adama Meshuga’at) (Israel) by Dror Shaul; The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years (Lo más bonito y mis mejores años) (Bolivia/USA) by Martín Boulocq; Satanas (Colombia/Mexico) by Andi Baiz; A Grave-keeper’s Tale (Maati Maay) (India) by Chitra Palekar; and a special screening of the winner of the Latin America Caribbean FedEx Express Audience Award.


In Competition / Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000

Competition categories include Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition, Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition, and Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition. One film in each competition category is eligible for a Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 in addition to an Audience Award. A FIPRESCI prize will also be awarded to a film in the Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition category. Awards will be announced on Saturday, March 10 on stage at the Gusman prior to the screening of Ira & Abby.


Summary of Awards/Prizes

  • Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 to a film in World Dramatic Features

  • Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 to a film in Ibero-American Dramatic Features

  • Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 to a film in World & Ibero-American Documentary Features

  • FIPRESCI Prize awarded to one film in World Dramatic Features

  • Special Jury prize recipient(s) receive a Movado watch




  • Audience Award prize of $2500 and a Movado watch to a film in World Dramatic Features

  • Audience Award prize of $2500 and a Movado watch to a film in Ibero-American Dramatic Features

  • Audience Award prize of $2500 and a Movado watch to a film in World & Ibero-American Documentary Features




  • Latin America Caribbean FedEx Express Audience Award of $10,000 to a film from a Latin American or Caribbean filmmaker or originated from Latin American or Caribbean country selected from the Gusman Premieres and International Panorama programs




  • Red Star Award sponsored by Heineken to a film from the dramatic Ibero-American competition for originality, innovation and vision in film; the winner will be honored at an event in Los Angeles in November to meet key industry leaders and will be featured in Premiere Magazine and on Premiere radio




  • Movie Magic’s newest release of EP Budgeting 6 software in each Audience Award competition
    Movie Magic’s newest release of EP Scheduling 4 software in each Audience Award competition

  • Movie Magic’s newest release of EP Budgeting 6 software to each Miami Encuentros participant

  • Movie Magic’s newest release of EP Scheduling 4 software to each Miami Encuentros participant


Jurors

Each of the competition categories are judged by a jury of three. In addition, FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics) awards its prize to one film in the Dramatic Features - World Cinema category. Jurors include:


Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition

Raoul Peck (Writer, Director, and Producer, L’Affaire Villemin, Lumumba)

Christine Vachon (Co-Founder, Killer Films/Producer, Boys Don’t Cry, Far from Heaven, Hedwig & the Angry Inch)

Bernardo Zupnik (Producer / President, Distribution Company of Argentina S. A.)


Dramatic Features –Ibero- American Cinema Competition

Howard Feinstein (Professor / Writer / Programmer, Sarajevo Film Festival)

Bertha Navarro (Producer, Pan’s Labyrinth, I Murder Seriously, Loco Fever)

Jim Stark (Producer, Coffee and Cigarettes / Co-writer, Factotum)


Documentary Features –World & Ibero American Competition

Cynthia Lopez (Vice President, American Documentary P.O.V.)

Mike Maggiore (Programmer, Film Forum)

Rob Williams (Acquisitions Executive, Red Envelope Entertainment)


FIPRESCI (International Film Critics Association)

Sheila Johnston (Journalist, The Independent)

Peter Keough (Film Editor, Boston Phoenix)

Josefina Sartora (Critic, Cineismo)


REEL Seminars Series

Miami Dade College and the University of Miami School of Communication present the REEL Education Seminars Series, a week of informative panels and workshops to educate and entertain. The REEL Education Seminar Series features film industry leaders and noted filmmakers as they share their experience, knowledge, and advice in a series of twenty-six panels covering various aspects of the creative process, film production, distribution, new technology and independent filmmaking. The REEL Education Seminar series is also sponsored in part by Eastman Kodak Entertainment Imaging, BMI, SagIndie, The Governor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, and Entertainment Partners. Panelists include executives from MTV Networks, Telemundo Network NBC Universal, The Collective, Endeavor Independent, United Talent Agency, Big Beach Films, Silverwood Films, Latino Public Broadcasting, Emerging Pictures, Netflix, Jaman, Sundance Institute, CineVegas, Movieola, Silver Screen Classics, Kodak, American Documentary P.O.V., National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Panamax Films, DreamWorks, MPAA, MIRAVISTA, Warner Bros International, Sony Latin America, Screen International, Variety, Submarine Entertainment, THINKFilm, HBO, ITVS, Ghost Robot, This Is That, Belladonna Productions, Required Viewing, IFC, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, Paramount Vantage and Warner Independent Films. Seminars are held at MDC’s Wolfson and North Campuses, the University of Miami and the host hotel for the Festival, The Shore Club.


Touching Florida

The Festival proudly celebrates the latest works from filmmakers from Florida and from directors and producers with films whose subjects touch on Florida. Feature films and documentaries are showcased in this special section devoted to the Sunshine State. including Bella from director Alejandro Monteverde, Full Grown Men from director David Munro and Thanks to Gravity from director Jessica Kavana Dornbusch.


MIFF Abroad – Inside Colombia

The Miami International Film Festival celebrates its second year of this film exchange program with an exciting selection of films from emerging Colombian filmmakers. These outstanding films continue a new MIFF tradition of celebrating one Latin American country each year, with a special program of films, discussions and events. Later this year, MIFF will travel to Colombia with films and U.S. industry professionals to participate in this new program with the Colombian film industry. Include in the program are Bluff from director Felipe Martínez, Satanas from director Andi Baiz and A Ton of Luck (Soñar no cuesta nada) from director Rodrigo Triana.


The Big Picture

The Big Picture program highlights films that tackle world issues. These films aim to increase awareness and inspire dialogue that will lead to understanding and meaningful change. Award Winning British director Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts, based on the shocking true story as reported by journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai, of a group of Chinese illegal immigrants who were drowned while picking cockles in a British seaside town, will serve as the centerpiece of this year’s topic, Modern Slavery. The program includes thought-provoking panel discussions; engaging filmmakers, international experts and the audience.


Discussion panelists on human trafficking include:


  • Michele Gillen is an Emmy award-winning chief investigative reporter for CBS-4; her pioneering work on human trafficking was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”




  • Hsiao-Hung Pai is a journalist and writer who writes for The Guardian, Feminist Review and UK-Chinese publications; she is the author of The Hidden Assembly Line.




  • Anna Rodriguez has been working with human trafficking case victims since 1999. As a law enforcement victim advocate, Anna discovered a victim of human trafficking which became the U.S. vs. Tecum case, which was instrumental for the creation of the T Visa. She has been recognized by federal, state and local agencies for her efforts and commitment to eradicate human trafficking in SW Florida.




  • Dona Widell, MA, is the Supervisory Special Agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the US Department of Homeland Security.

To complement its commitment to tackling social issues, MIFF is featuring winning, student-produced short films on “Being Homeless” meant to educate the community and engage youth to show compassion toward people who are homeless. The contest was created by the Miami Coalition for the Homeless in conjunction with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.


Miami Encuentros

Celebrating its fifth year, Miami Encuentros gives emerging producers from Spain and Latin America the opportunity to present new projects to U.S. and international industry professionals, including producers, sales agents, television stations and distributors. This year, the Miami International Film Festival and Miami Encuentros Director Diana Sanchez have chosen 9 filmmakers to participate in Encuentros from Spain, Brazil, USA, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Chile. The program is sponsored by Eastman Kodak and Entertainment Partners. This intensive three-day event fosters dialogue, builds lasting connections and offers opportunities for networking and the nurturing of the next generation of filmmakers, providing access to distributors and ultimately to the public. Miami Encuentros 2007:



Astronauts Diary (Diario de un astronauta) Dir. Manuel Huerga (Spain)

Dog Eat Dog (Perro come perro) Dir. Carlos Moreno (Colombia)

Dog Security (La seguridad de los perros) Dir. Jorge Gaggero (Argentina)

Giant (Gigante) Dir. Adrián Biniez (Argentina)

King of Cha Cha Cha (El rey del Cha Cha Chá) Dir. Isabel Martínez (Costa Rica) and Vicente Ferraz (Brazil)

Lokas Dir. Gonzalo Justiniano (Chile)

Mosquita and Mari (Mosquita y Mari) Dir. Aurora Guerrero (USA)

Negro Luz y Fer Dir. Luis Ortega (Argentina)

Square Man (O Homem que deu certo) Dir. André Ristum (Brazil)
Program Categories

Gusman Gala Premieres (17 films)

Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition (13 films)

Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition (14 films)

Documentary Features - World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition (16 films)

International Panorama - Dramatic Features: World Cinema (8 films)

International Panorama - Dramatic Features: Ibero-American Cinema (10 films)

International Panorama - Documentary Features: World & Ibero-American Cinema (5 films)

International Panorama - Animation (2 films)

International Panorama – Gone But Not Forgotten (2 films)

International Panorama - Touching Florida (4 films)

Big Picture Discussions (1 film)

Short Films Program (20 films)

MIFF Abroad: Inside Colombia (3 films)



Screenings will take place at six venues throughout the city: The Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami, Regal South Beach Cinema in South Beach, Tower Theater in Little Havana, Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema in North Miami Beach, The Bill Cosford Cinema at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and The Colony Theatre in Miami Beach.
The Miami International Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support it receives from its sponsors, including its Producing Sponsors, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, American Airlines, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Premiere Sponsors include America Filmworks, Comcast, del Rivero Messianu DDB, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Regal Cinemas, University of Miami and Venevision International. Principal Sponsors are 2150 Editorial, ABC Management Services and The Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building, AméricaEconomía, CBS4 and MY33, Clear Channel Radio, Diario Las Americas, Eastman Kodak Entertainment Imaging, Entertainment Partners, FedEx Express, Florida Power & Light, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Heineken, Hertz Radio, Jaman, Lava Studio, Magna-Tech Electronic Company, Miami Parking Authority and Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Movado, Premiere Magazine, Selecta Magazine, Shore Club, Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema, Telefutura 69, Terra Group, Univision 23, Univision Radio, Vanidades, Wachovia and Warren Henry Automobiles. The Festival’s Supporting Sponsors include Astoria Communications, Blue Capital Management, BMI, Books & Books, Carlton Fields, Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, Cineworks Digital Studios, Inc., Consulado de México en Miami, Continental New Art Digital, Cultural Services Department of the French Embassy in the U.S., Digital Devoid, Dorchester Hotel, El Argentino, FilmFinders, The Garner Foundation, Inc., Hotel Victor ICAA, Lion Video, Manhattan Transfer, Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami New Times, Midtown Video, Personal Music, Pinnacle Housing, Raleigh Hotel, River Oyster Bar, SAGIndie, SocialMiami.com, TownHouse Hotel, Universal Casting, Univision Online, View Premium, LLC, 88.9 FM Serious Jazz (WDNA), WLRN Public Radio and Television, and WPBT TV-Channel 2.
The 2007 Miami International Film Festival is sponsored in part with the support of the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; the City of Miami Mayor’s Office of Film and Cultural Affairs; the Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; Miami-Dade Transit; the City of Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority; the City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Program; Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, Inc., and Florida International University – Latin American and Caribbean Center.
The Miami International Film Festival to be held March 2-11, 2007, brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and US films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema.


  • More than 67,000 people attended the Festival in 2006

  • In addition, more than 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry representatives from around the world attended the 2006 Festival to introduce their work to Miami audiences and industry professionals

  • The 2006 Festival held more than 250 screenings, including features, shorts, Outreach and press

During the last four years, the Festival has presented films from more than 60 countries, including 200 East Coast, U.S. and World Premieres, scores of Oscar winners and nominees, and many international prizewinners. Tickets go on sale to Members Feb. 2, 2007 and to the General Public Feb. 16, 2007.


Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 163,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 200 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety management and nursing.
For more information contact the Miami International Film Festival at (305) 237-3456 or visit www.miamifilmfestival.com. For more information on Miami Dade College, please visit www.mdc.edu.
Contact:

Interviews: Carmen Argamasilla (305)446-6695 / (305)491-3051; Lourdes de la Torriente (305)663-8334 / (305)282-4264

MDC: Beverly Counts Rodrigues (305)237-3949; Juan Mendieta (305) 237-7611

MIFF: Mic Mikolai (305)237-7879
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