The Miami Film Festival has announced its opening and closing titles for its upcoming 39th edition.
The festival, which showcases works from filmmaker’s in the Ibero-American diaspora, will premiere and end with two films listed on the Oscar shortlist for international feature film. “The Good Boss” (El Buen Patrón), a comedy written and directed by Spain’s Fernando León de Aranoa, will open the festival, which will close with “Plaza Catedral,” the sophomore narrative feature of Panamanian director Abner Benaim.
“The Good Boss” stars Javier Bardem as Blanco, the owner of a family business up for consideration for a local award for business excellence. Determined to win the award, Blanco begins meddling in the lives of his employees, setting off a chain of events that leads to shocking repercussions. In Spain, the film was nominated for a record-breaking 20 Goya Awards, which will be held on Feb. 12. León de Aranoa produces the film along with the Mediapro Studio, and the film’s American rights are held by Cohen Media Group. “The Good Boss” is León de Aranoa’s fourth film to be selected for the Miami Film Festival, following “Mondays in the Sun,” “Amador” and “A Perfect Day.”
“Plaza Catedral” is Benaim’s sophomore narrative feature and stars Ilse Salas (“The Good Girls”) and Manolo Cardona (“Narcos”). Benaim’s credits include the documentaries “Invasión,” director winner at Miami Film Festival 2015 and “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” 24 Beats Audience Award winner at SXSW 2018. “Plaza Catedral” is a moving story about a grieving real estate agent who forges an unlikely bond with a tough street kid (Fernando Xavier De Casta). The drama shines a light on Panamanian social justice. In addition to closing the 2022 Miami Film Festival, “Plaza Catedral” will compete for the Festival’s $10,000 HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award.
“We are thrilled to bookend this year’s Festival with two Oscar shortlist contenders from the Ibero-American world,” said Miami Film Festival executive director Jaie Laplante in a statement. “Many of Spain’s greatest filmmakers, including Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Saura, Victor Erice, Fernando Trueba, Bigas Luna and Alex de la Iglesia, have opened previous editions of the festival, and to that list we now add Fernando León de Aranoa with his most wonderful film to date. We are also delighted to welcome Abner Benaim back to the Festival to celebrate his most recent historic achievement in Panamanian cinema, with one of the year’s most beautiful and moving films.”
The Miami Film Festival is held by Miami Dade College. Its 2022 edition will run in person from March 4-13. The complete festival lineup is expected to be announced in early February.