The lineup for Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival was revealed today by the festival’s executive director Jaie Laplante during a presentation at Silverspot Cinemas. The announcement revealed local ties for both opening and closing night features, as well as the more than 125 features and shorts from 30 different countries that’ll be screened at the festival.
The gathering will begin on Friday, March 6 and run through Sunday, March 15. The first day will present a screening of the latest film adaptation of Miami noir novelist Charles Willeford’s works, The Burnt Orange Heresy, starring Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Debicki, and Claes Bang. Miami Film Festival will also be celebrating Willeford with a 35mm screening of Miami Blues, as well as a month-long exhibition of the late author’s memorabilia and odes to other adaptations of his books at the Tower Theater.
“Charles Willeford’s classic 1971 art world noir thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy has been updated by director Giuseppe Capotondi and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Smith into a biting satire of the world of contemporary high art and the attendant, controversial role of art criticism that swirls around it – an apt examination for Miami’s current major destination status on the international art market,” Laplante said in a statement. “The film is swanky, steamy and sexy, with Willeford’s jet-black, cruelly-ironic humor firmly intact.”
On Saturday, March 14, Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch’s documentary about the life and vision of Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado, Mucho Mucho Amor, will close out the festival during its Awards Night. Both filmmakers will be in attendance for the film, which is competing for the $30,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award, as well as the festival’s Documentary Achievement Award. The feature also celebrates Mercado’s long history with Miami and HistoryMiami Museum’s recent exhibition honoring the late icon’s 50-year legacy.
“There will be no better way to wrap up our 37th year of sharing our love for cinema and Miami than with Cristina and Kareem’s sharing of the incredibly positivity and love that the life of Walter Mercado represents,” added Laplante.
The Burnt Orange Heresy
Sony Pictures Classics
Two women will be receiving the festival’s precious gem award this year: Academy Award-nominated actress Amy Ryan and Goya Award winning actress Emma Suárez. The former will receive the honor as the festival screens the Florida premiere of her lead performance in Liz Garbus’ Lost Girls, while the latter will receive a Career Achievement Tribute prior to a screening of the U.S. premiere of her new film, Window to the Sea, and participate in a conversation with the film’s director Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
The Knight Heroes program will be returning this year, with three filmmakers coming forward to share their experiences in a two-hour session. This year’s edition features Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary), Stella Meghie (Everything Everything, The Photograph), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell).
All screenings at the Olympia Theater and Silverspot Cinemas are part of the festival’s CINEDWNTWN series, which includes other highlights like The Weasel’s Tale, Resistance, Reefa, and Us Kids. Both Reefa and Us Kids will join Mucho Mucho Amor and nine other features in being films that feature a substantial portion of their content in South Florida. When Liberty Burns, Chateau Vato, The Definition of Insanity, The Last Rafter, List(e)n, Marcus, Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Is Now, Paper Children, and They Call Me Dr. Miami, are the other films featured in the Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award competition.
The Knight MARIMBAS Award competition will be featuring a number of films including The Weasels Tale, Resistance, Detention, Dolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars, Eduardo and Monica, The Invisible, Out in the Open, Overnight, White Lie, Aadhaar, Aleli, And the Birds Rained Down, Arab Blues, Ema, High Tide, La Llorona, Lara, Only the Animals, Pacified, Proxima, The Sleepwalkers, Synchronic, and While at War.
Individual tickets for all Festival events will go on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, February 13. Festival members have the opportunity to pre-order their passes.
Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 15 at Olympia Theater, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-372-0925; olympiatheater.org. For more information and the full festival line-up, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call 1-844-565-6433 (MIFF) or 305-237-FILM (3456).