21st film fest has 4 world bows, 7 U.S. preems

MIAMI — The Miami Film Festival has announced the main programming lineup for its 21st edition, which will unspool Jan. 30-Feb 8.

Fest is the second under the direction of former Sundance co-director Nicole Guillemet.

Fest will unspool 40 features and 23 documentaries, with four world, three North American and seven U.S. preems in different categories.

World preems include Brazilian helmer Sergio Rezende’s “Where Have You Been?” and docus “Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight” by Cynthia Newport, Jon Timothy Anderson’s “Silver Wings & Civil Rights: The Fight to Fly” and Bruce Weber’s “A Letter to True.”

North American preems are Cuban helmer Fernando Perez’s “Havana Suite,” Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “The Weakness of the Bolchevik,” from Spain; and Guilherme Coelho’s docu “Fala Tu,” about rap music in Brazil.

U.S. preems are Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Facing Windows” (Italy-U.K.-Turkey-Portugal); Bob Smeaton’s “Festival Express”; Gerardo Herrero’s “The Galindez File,” featuring Saffron Burrows and Harvey Keitel; Fernando Colomo’s “South From Granada,” from Spain; Lidia Bobrova’s “Granny,” from Russia; Vicente Amorim’s “The Middle of the World,” from Brazil; and Gianluca Sodaro’s “Raging Heart” from Italy.

Competitive sections are comprised of world cinema (11 features); Ibero-American cinema (10 features); and feature length documentaries (16).

Career achievement honor will go to Brazilian helmer Hector Babenco, who is better known to English-lingo auds for “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” His current domestic smash, the prison drama “Carandiru” will screen at the festival, its second U.S. unspooling after Sundance 2004.

Fest will bring back Encuentros, the program inaugurated last year designed to help Ibero-American filmmakers meet potential distribs and financiers — with an eye on North America sales — and modeled in part after Rotterdam’s Cinemart. Encuentros was developed in partnership with Toronto’s Spanish and Latin American programmer Diana Sanchez.

Sanchez will again select the participating filmmakers, which numbered seven in 2003. The list is not yet finalized for 2004.

Guillemet crafted the list of delegates of Encuentros, drawing on contacts made during her long association with Sundance. Reps from 20th Century Fox, HBO, Global Film Initiative, Wellspring and Film Movement were on hand at the first edition.

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