In keeping with the path taken by other film festivals, the Miami Dade Intl. Film Festival will present a hybrid edition of the 2021 slate with both virtual and in-theater presentations. Opening with Miami artist Edson Jean’s “Ludi” on March 5 it will close on March 14 with “Birthright” from another local, Jayme Gershon.
Tributes will be paid to filmmakers including Pedro Almodovar, Rita Moreno, Riz Ahmed, Javier Camara, Aldis Hodge and Andra Day.
Also on March 5, Almodovar will be given the Precious Gem Master Award prior to the unspooling of his first short, “The Human Voice,” starring Tilda Swinton. Hodge and Day will be honored on March 6 with the Art of Light Award for acting, Joshua James Richards will get it for cinematography and Ahmed will get the Impact Award. Camara, meanwhile, will receive a Precious Gem Award.
A Haitian-American actor-writer-director and an IFP Narrative Labs alum, Jean will compete for $40,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award supported by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, and the $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award with “Ludi.” The film follows a worker who is trying to raise money to send home to her family in Haiti. It will unspool at host Silverspot Cinemas in downtown Miami.
Doc “Birthright” follows electro-pop musicians Afrobeta on a tour of Havana. It is also up for the Knight Made in MIA prize, as well as another prize for documentary.
Returning for the third year to the festival is the Knight Heroes program, in which talents talk to their creative heroes in a virtual format. Among those featured are Radha Blank, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Amy Seimetz and Adele Romanski.
Special presentations include films that are of significance to Miami’s Cuban community such as “Plantados,” directed by Lilo Vilaplan; “A New Dawn,” helmed by Manny Soto; and “Revolution Rent” by Victor Patrick Alvarez and Andy Señor Jr. Putting the international in the film festival, many Oscar international features entries will play at the fest.
Besides the Knight Made in MIA awards, films will compete for $25,000 Knight Marimbas Award for new narrative films, $10,000 Jordan Ressler first feature prize and the 10,000 WarnerMedia Ibero-American Feature Film Award. There will also be cash prizes for shorts.
As previously announced, Variety awards editor Clayton Davis will moderate a roundtable with filmmakers of films shortlisted for the Oscar international feature that will run on its Streaming Room on March 5.
For more information visit miamifilmfestival.com