A unique partnership with Google on a new seminar series addressing gender and racial gaps in the film industry, particularly in technical
cinematographic roles, is among new highlights unveiled today by Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival, as Festival
organizers count down to the 33rd edition of the acclaimed annual event March 4 – 13, 2016. The Festival is the only major film festival
produced and presented worldwide by a college or university.
"Google has changed the world of technology and information in swift and radical ways," noted the Festival’s Executive Director & Director of
Programming Jaie Laplante. "Who better to lead a new charge at changing long-standing gender and racial inequalities in opportunities in
the world of film and technology? We are incredibly honored that Google has chosen Miami International Film Festival as a forum to discuss solutions and
inspire new filmmakers wanting to scale the heights of their chosen profession."
The Google Seminar Series on Gender & Racial Gaps In Film & Tech will take place in The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and other locations over four days, March 5 – 8, within the overall Festival program. Among the
highlights of the series will be veteran cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s screening and discussion of her feature memoir, "Cameraperson," set to world premiere at Sundance Film Festival later this month. Johnson’s film covers her extensive career
working on such filmmakers as Laura Poitras and Michael Moore.
“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, Google CS Education
in Media Program Manager. “We’re thrilled to support the Seminar Series on Gender & Racial Gaps In Film & Tech at The Idea Center at Miami Dade
College to shed light on this important issue and inspire more creators to showcase positive portrayals of women and underrepresented minorities in tech.”
The Festival also unveiled 21 additional new feature films for the 2016 program, highlighting some of the year’s most superb accomplishments. All films in today’s announcement have the special distinction of having been directed by women. The films include:
John S. & James L. Knight Competition
"An Italian Name" (Il nome del figlio),
starring Alessandro Gassman and Valeria Golino. Archibugi returns to Miami after having closed the Festival in 1989
with her film Mignon Has Left.
Liz Garbus’ "Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper"
(also eligible for Knight Documentary Achievement Award). The celebrated CNN journalist interviews his famous mother, now 91, about her eventful life,
romances and tragedies.
Dawn Porter’s "Trapped"
(also eligible for Knight Documentary Achievement Award), a look at legislative moves at the state level attempting to turn back hard-fought women’s
rights from only 40 years ago.
Knight Documentary Achievement Award
- World Premiere: Shaina Koren’s "The Rebound," a Miami-made film about the Miami Heat Wheels basketball team.
American filmmakers and Oscar nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You," a candid look at the legendary barrier-breaking TV producer of the
Jennifer Redfearn’s "Tocando La Luz" (Touch the Light)
(USA), which follows three interwoven stories of blind residents in Havana, Cuba.
"Weiner," by American filmmaker Elyse Steinberg (directed with Josh Kreigman), a look at the entertainment spectacle of
American politics through the media frenzy surrounding Anthony Weiner’s 2013 comeback campaign.
Marcia Tambutti "Allende’s Beyond My Grandfather Allende" (Allende, mi abuelo Allende)
, a Chilean/Mexican co-production that won the first-ever Documentary Award presented at 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Lexus Ibero-American Feature Film Competition
World Premiere: Brazilian screenwriter Vera Egito’s "Restless Love" (Amores Urbanos), her feature film directorial debut, set
in São Paulo.
North American Premiere: Cuban filmmaker Jessica Rodriguez’s "Dark Glasses" (Espejuelos oscuros), partially presented as a
work-in-progress at the 2015 Festival in the Emerging Cuban Independent Film/Video Artist program presented by The Related Group.
North American Premiere: Colombian filmmaker Angela Maria Osorio Rojas (directed with her partner Santiago Lozano Alvarez)’s "Siembra" (also competing for the Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award), a
tale of an uprooted coastal fisherman learning to build a new life in the urban center of Cali.
- Daniela Goggi’s "Abzurdah," a drama about a young high school student driven to anorexia over her affair with an older man, a box office smash hit in its native Argentina.
Ana Katz’s "Mi amiga del parque," also from Argentina, a psychological drama workshopped in the Festival’s Encuentros program in 2015, and making its international debut at Sundance
Film Festival 2016.
Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award
Israel filmmaker Yaelle Kayam’s debut film "Mountain," about the wife of an Orthodox scholar living next to
Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, who discovers her own mountain of unexpressed sexual desire deep within.
U.S Premiere: German filmmaker Theresa von Eltz’s "4 Kings" (4 Könige), a touching drama of four emotionally troubled youths
learning to trust each other at a recovery facility.
French filmmaker Catherine Corsini’s "Summertime" (La belle saison), starringCécile de France as a Parisian at
the forefront of the women’s liberation movement in the early 1970s.
French filmmaker Maïwann’s "My King" (Mon roi), which won a Best Actress award at the 2015 Cannes Film
Festival for Emmanuelle Bercot.
Indian filmmaker Leena Yadav’s "Parched," a luminous drama about three women from rural India liberating themselves from
demeaning patriarchal traditions.
World Premiere: Miami filmmaker Monica Peña’s experimental sophomore feature film, "Hearts of Palm" (also
competing in Knight Competition), featuring music by lead actor Brad Lovett.
Lee Brian Schrager’s Culinary Cinema
Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase’s "Sweet Bean" (An), a beautiful story of an elderly dorayaki maker passing on
the wisdom of her culinary craft.
" Crushed," a murder-mystery thriller set on a vineyard in rural Australia.
These titles join the previously announced women directors from Spain in the 2016 Official Selection:Paula Ortiz’s "The Bride" (La novia); Gracia Querejeta’s "Happy 140" (Felices 140), "We Are Pregnant" (Embarazados); and Veronica Escuer & Cristina Jolonch’s "Snacks, Bites of a Revolution" (Snacks: Bocados de una revolución).
More announcements will follow as the Festival prepares to unveil its complete program. In addition to the sponsors acknowledged above, the Festival also
thanks Telefilm Canada, Frederick Wildman & Sons, German Films, the Consulate General of Canada in Miamiand the Consulate General of Germany in Miami for program-specific support.