Miami Fest Hungry For Funds

The cash-starved Miami Film Festival, counting on ticket sales to make up a $40,000 budget deficit, has announced its schedule for Feb. 1 to 10. The 26-film lineup will open with Spanish director Carlos Saura’s Oscar entry, “Ay Carmela,” and close with the directorial debut from British playwright Tom Stoppard, “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.”

Over the year, the festival has lost vital funds: $100,000 from the city of Miami, $50,000 from the local Knight Foundation and thousands more from former corporate sponsors now facing a softening economy. The festival also is hoping for $75,000 due from the state of Florida, which is confronting its own financial crunch.

In a bold move, the festival will screen Peter Greenaway’s “Drowning By Numbers.” Last year’s showing of Greenaway’s “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” earned the festival a reprimand from Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith, who said showing such films could endanger future funding. At that point “The Cook” had not yet received its X rating.

Also on the roster of films: Eric Rohmer’s “A Tale Of Springtime,” Bertrand Tavernier’s “Daddy Nostalgie” and Eliseo Subiela’s “Last Images Of A Shipwreck.” There are two Soviet films planned: “Taxi Blues” and “Freeze – Die – Come To Life.”

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