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Miami Film Fest opens with ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’

Competing docs incude 'Blackfish,' 'Valentine Road'

The 30th Miami Intl. Film Fest will showcase 117 feature films and 12 shorts from 41 countries during its March 1-10 run, along with career achievement nods to Swedish writer-director Lasse Halstrom and Spanish multihyphenate Fernando Trueba.

Opening night pic is Morgan Neville’s “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” and the fest’s annual kudos night gala will culminate with “Venus and Serena,” helmed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major. This year marks the first in MIFF’s history that the opening and closing pics are both docus.

“If you’re not at the movies every day in the first 10 days of March, you’re in the wrong place,” said MIFF’s exec director Jaie Laplante in the Tuesday release.

MIFF’s 30th installment presents six competition categories and 15 non-competition categories, including the Knight Ibero-American competition, the Knight Docu competition, the U. of Miami Shorts competition and the CINEDWNTWN Galas.

Some of the participating docs recently visited Sundance, such as Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s “Blackfish,” Lucy Walker’s “The Crash Reel,” Marc Silver’s “Who is Dayani Cristal?” and Marta Cummingham’s “Valentine Road.”

Fest will feature 12 world preems, seven international, 13 North American — including River Phoenix’s “Dark Blood” — and 15 Stateside.

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