The Miami Film Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. The festival, which runs from March 3 to March 12, includes 12 world premieres. The event will open with Ray Romano’s “Somewhere in Queens” and close with Stephen Frears’ “The Lost King.” The festival will screen a total of 140 films from more than 30 countries.
Director of programming Lauren Cohen said, “In our fourth decade of programming, we’re proud to continue bringing a diversity of top-quality films to increasingly sophisticated audiences.”
Four centerpiece presentations will take place during the festival, spotlighting key films with directors in attendance for post-screening Q&As. Included in that slate are Stephen Williams’ “Chevalier,” starring Kelvin Harrison, Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton and Minnie Driver; Benjamin Millepied’s “Carmen,” starring Melissa Barrera, Paul Mescal and Rossy De Palma; Dani de la Orden and Àlex Murull’s “The Final Game (42 Segundo)”; and Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok’s “Judy Blume Forever.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Knight Heroes returns, created with the support of John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. In addition to screenings, the festival will award cash prizes to shorts, documentaries and features. Competing for the $25,000 Knight Marimbas Award are “The Beasts (As Bestas),” “The Gravity,” “The Happiest Man in the World,” “How to Blow Up a Pipeline,” “Leila’s Brothers,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Revoir Paris,” “Riceboy Sleeps,” “Sanctuary,” “Subtraction,” “Tori and Lokita,” “Valeria Is Getting Married” and “Vicenta B.”
The festival includes eight additional competitions, including the Knight Made in MIA Award, supported by Knight Foundation, that will be decided by juries. A prize of $45,000 will be given to the best feature-length film and $10,000 to the best short film. An additional 16 films are in competition for the $10,000 Jordan Ressler first feature award and 17 films are competing for the $5,000 Miami international short film award. There are six films in competition for the $1,000 award for documentary shorts, while ten films will vie for the audience-voted documentary achievement award.
The 40th festival will introduce a new award, the Goya Quick Bites short film award — the filmmaker who best showcased the intersection of food and community will be awarded $2,500.
Other films premiering are as follows:
“15 Ways to Kill Your Neighbour” (France/Argentina), directed by Santiago Mitre, East Coast premiere “AfroCuba ’78 (United States), directed by Emilio Oscar Alcalde, North American premiere
“The Beat Bomb” (Italy), directed by Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani, International premiere
“Bebo” (Cuba/Germany), directed by Ricardo Bacallao, World premiere
“Four’s a Crowd”(Spain,) directed by Alex De La Iglesia), U.S. premiere “Joyland” (Pakistan/United States), directed by Saim Sadiq, Florida premiere
“My Love Affair with Marriage” (Latvia/U.S./Luxembourg), directed by Signe Baumane, Florida premiere
“Plan 75″ (Japan/France/Philippines), directed by Chie Hayakawa, Florida premiere
“Two Many Chefs” (Spain), directed by Joaquín Mazon, North American premiere