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Docs on deck for Miami

'Modigliani' to open at Florida fest

MIAMI — The 22nd annual Miami Film Festival will unspool 87 full-length features and documentaries, with some 40% of the lineup drawn from Spain and Latin America. Fest runs Feb. 4-13.

Program includes a number of world, North American and U.S. premieres, particularly among docs, reflecting the interest of fest director Nicole Guillemet, the former Sundancer who is in her third year at the helm of the Miami fest.

Highlights include the Stateside bow of Spike Lee’s San Francisco gang drama “Sucker Free City” and the world preem of Ken Bowser’s “Live From New York,” the Lorne Michaels-produced docu about the first five years of “Saturday Night Live.”

Fest will open with Mick Davis’ “Modigliani,” starring Cuban-born but Miami-bred Andy Garcia as the Italian painter.

Actor-director Liv Ullmann will be honored with a career achievement tribute. Fest will also screen seven features and five shorts by Gallic ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch, part of a retrospective organized with the U. of Miami and the French consulate.

And the mini-mart Encuentros returns, headed by Diana Sanchez, although details of that program will not be finalized until mid-January.

The 2005 program’s feature-film competition is divided into World Cinema and Ibero-American Cinema sections, each with 13 films; each of these categories is limited to frosh and soph helmers.

The World Cinema competition includes the North American preem of Hans Weingartner’s “The Edukators” (Germany/Austria), starring “Goodbye Lenin’s” Daniel Bruhl, and the U.S. preem of Amma Asante’s “A Way of Life,” set in working-class South Wales.

The Ibero-American feature section includes the world premiere of “Alicia’s Names,” a Spanish psychological drama directed by Pilar Ruiz Gutierrez; the North American preems of “La Carcel de la Victoria: The Fourth Man,” directed by Jose E. Pinto of the Dominican Republic, and Vicente Penarrocha’s “Body Confusion,” from Spain; and the U.S. bow of Argentine helmer Lisandro Alonso’s “The Dead.”

Doc bloc

The 2005 program will include four world, two North American and two U.S. premieres of full-length docs in competition.

Among them are the world preem of Billy Corben’s “Cocaine Cowboys,” about the impact of the influx of drug kingpins from Colombia into Miami in the 1980s, and the North American bow of Marcos Prado’s “Estamira,” a Brazilian docu from the producer of “Bus 174.”

Another two docus will make their world preems outside of competition, and Simone Duarte’s “En Route to Baghdad,” about U.N. diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello’s death in the Iraqi capital, makes its North American bow.

Fest also includes a short program of 26 films and the screening of three classics including Bob Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces” upon the 35th anniversary of its release.

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