16th Miami Film Fiesta
by Leslie Weishaar
The spontaneity of laughter, sing-a-longs and palpable empathy that filled the historic Gusman theater at the U.S. premiere of Wim Wenders' "Buena Vista Social Club" embodied Miami Film Fest director Nat Chediak's devotion to "that community feeling that is essential to moviegoing." During the 10-day long celebration "for the love of film," (Feb. 19 - 28) which kicked off with a screening of Carlos Saura's "Tango" and a lavish pool-side party sponsored by HBO Latin America Group at the Intercontinental Hotel, there were many moments of community catharsis.
Several directorial debuts were greeted with long and boisterous standing ovations: Tony Bui's elegant and beautiful "Three Seasons," the heart-warming "Get Real" by Simon Shore; Erick Zonca's spirited French film, "The Dreamlife of Angels" and the gracefully constructed "A Walk on the Moon," directed by Tony Goldwyn and produced by Dustin Hoffman, Murray Schisgal, Lee Gottsegen, Neil Koenigsberg, Jay Cohen and Goldwyn. Comedies were sometimes accompanied with virtually non-stop laughter, as in the hilarious "Go" by Doug Liman ("Swingers"); "Wind with the Gone" ("El viento se llevo lo que") by Alejandro Agresti (Grand Prize, San Sebastian) and "The Dinner Game" by Francis Veber (which is already in the works for a Hollywood remake by Stephen Spielberg).
Nowhere was the community feeling more evident than in the concern expressed for the status of Cuban family members left behind on the island. As part of the seminar series, Mari Rodr