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Miami Film Festival Unveils Diversity Program with Google

The Miami International Film Festival has unveiled a partnership with Google on a seminar series addressing gender and racial gaps in the film industry, Variety has learned exclusively.

The festival, presented by Miami Dade College, opens its 33rd edition on March 4. The event — which bills itself as the only major film festival produced and presented by a college or university — has also unveiled 21 female-directed films in its program.

Google has changed the world of technology and information in swift and radical ways,” said Jaie Laplante, the festival’s executive director. “Who better to lead a new charge at changing long-standing gender and racial inequalities in opportunities in the world of film and technology?”

The seminar series will take place during March 5 – 8. It will include cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s screening and discussion of her feature “Cameraperson,” which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month and cover her career working on such films as “Citizenfour” and “The Invisible War.”

“Our research shows that when it comes to encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in computer science and other technical fields, positive role models matter, which makes the work of the film industry so powerful,” said Julie Ann Crommett of Google.

The festival’s 21 additional feature films include:

–          Francesca Archibugi’s “An Italian Name” (Il nome del figlio), starring Alessandro Gassman and Valeria Golino.

–          Liz Garbus’ “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”

–          Dawn Porter’s “Trapped.”

–          Shaina Koren’s “The Rebound,” a Miami-made film about the Miami Heat Wheels basketball team.

–          Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

–          Jennifer Redfearn’s “Tocando La Luz” (Touch the Light), which follows three stories of blind residents in Havana.

–          “Weiner,” by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg,” a look at Anthony Weiner’s 2013 comeback campaign.

–          Marcia Tambutti Allende’s “Beyond My Grandfather Allende” (Allende, mi abuelo Allende), a Chilean/Mexican coproduction that won the documentary award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

–          Brazilian screenwriter Vera Egito’s “Restless Love” (Amores Urbanos), set in São Paulo.

–          Cuban filmmaker Jessica Rodriguez’s “Dark Glasses” (Espejuelos oscuros).

–          Colombian filmmaker Angela Maria Osorio Rojas’ “Siembra,” a tale of an uprooted coastal fisherman.

–          Daniela Goggi’s “Abzurdah,” a drama about a high school student driven to anorexia over her affair with an older man.

–          Ana Katz’s “Mi amiga del parque,” a psychological drama workshopped in the Festival’s Encuentros program in 2015.

–          Israel filmmaker Yaelle Kayam’s debut film “Mountain,” about the wife of an Orthodox scholar living next to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

–          German filmmaker Theresa von Eltz’s “4 Kings” (4 Könige), a drama of four emotionally troubled youths learning to trust each other.

–          French filmmaker Catherine Corsini’s “Summertime “(La belle saison), starring Cécile de France as a Parisian at the forefront of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s.

–          French filmmaker Maïwann’s “My King” (Mon roi), which won a Best Actress award at Cannes for Emmanuelle Bercot.

–          Indian filmmaker Leena Yadav’s “Parched,” a drama about three women from rural India.

–          Miami filmmaker Monica Peña’s experimental “Hearts of Palm.”

–          Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase’s “Sweet Bean” (An).

–          Megan Riakos’ “Crushed,” a murder-mystery thriller set on a vineyard in rural Australia.

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