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by Brian Brooks
February 25, 2009 3:20 AM
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"Valentino" and "Empty Nest" to Bookend 26th Miami International Film Festival

After receiving an honorary shout out on the Oscar pre-show Sunday night, the man who has outfitted many a celeb, will be feted in Matt Tyrnauer's Toronto '08 documentary, "Valentino: The Last Emperor," kicking off the 26th Miami International Film Festival with a gala at Miami's beautiful and historic Gusman Theater. 137 selections for this year's festival come from over 40 countries during this year's event, taking place March 6 - 15. Along with 40 shorts are 97 feature-length films, including four world premieres, 22 North American premieres and 18 U.S. premieres. Of this year's eight first-time filmmakers, seven are in competition. Also slated is a career achievement award for Abel Ferrara with a six title slate of screenings, including "Chelsea on the Rocks." Closing MIFF is Daniel Burman's comedy/drama "Empty Nest" (El Nido Vacio).

"With the 26th edition of the Miami International Film Festival, I'm looking forward to building on the great successes of its first quarter-century, so we can chart a course for the next 25 years that will expand the art of film to new audiences and, more importantly, expand the role of film as an educational tool," commented MIFF's new director, Tiziana Finzi in a statement. Finzi brings more than 20 years of international film festival programming and coordination experience to MIFF, including her tenure at the Locarno Film Festival and programming posts at the Venice Film Festival, and Pesaro and Taormina film festivals. Finzi along with collaborator, Juan Carlos Zaldivar have created a new section of the festival, called "Cutting the Edge," which will showcase "provoking, and sometimes extreme, works that stand at the crossroads of video and art disciplines of every kind."

"Because Juan Carlos and I share many artistic philosophies, the concept of Cutting the Edge came naturally," Finzi said about the new program. "We wanted to shine a spotlight on works that blend different genres of art, and how they imaginatively challenge artistic norms. We hope the Festival experience is enriched not only by films' themes and messages, but also by Cutting the Edge's inherent questions about life's limits, borders and definitions."


Gusman Red Carpet Screenings:

"Berlin Calling," directed by Hannes Stoehr (Germany)
"Cachao: Uno Mas," directed by Dikayl Rimmasch (USA)
"Chelsea on the Rocks," directed by Abel Ferrara (USA)
"Children's Small Stories," directed by Gabriele Salvatore, Guido Lazzarini, Fabio Scamoni (Italy)
"Empty Nest," directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina/Spain/France/Italy)
"Galantuomini," directed by Edoardo Winspeare (Italy)
"Lecture 21," directed by Alessandro Baricco (Italy/UK)
"Lion's Den," directed by Pablo Trapero (Argentina/Korea/Brazil)
"Machan," directed by Uberto Pasolini (Italy/Sri Lanka/Germany)
"Mancora," directed by Ricardo de Montreuil (Peru/Spain)
"Valentino: The Last Emperor," directed by Matt Tyrnauer (USA)


World competition:

"Afterschool," directed by Antonio Campos (USA)
"Bullet in the Head," directed by Jaime Rosales (Spain/France)
"Hooked," directed by Adrian Sitaru (Romania/France)
"I Want to See," directed by Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige (France/Lebanon)
"Involuntary," directed by Ruben Oestlund (Sweden)
"Katia's Sister," directed by Mijke de Jong (Netherlands)
"Khasma," directed by Karim Dridi (France)
"Kisses," directed by Lance Daly (Ireland/Sweden)
"Landscape No2," directed by Vinko Moederndorfer (Slovenia/Serbia)
"March," directed by Haendl Klaus (Austria)
"Paper Soldier," directed by Alexey German Jr. (Russia)
"Parque Via," directed by Enrique Rivero (Mexico)
"Perfidy," directed by Rodrigo Bellot (Chile/Bolivia/USA)
"Soi Cowboy," directed by Thomas Clay (Thailand/UK)
"Teza," directed by Haile Gerima (Ethiopia/Germany/France)
"The Past is a Foreign Land," directed by Daniele Vicari (Italy)
"The Three Monkeys," directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey/France/Italy)


Documentary competition:

"16 Memories," directed by Camilo Botero Jaramillo (Colombia)
"9 to 5: Days in Porn," directed by Jens Hoffmann (Germany)
"La Fura in Vivo," directed by Matteo Minetto (France)
"Last Words," directed by Arno Hagers, Erik Lieshout, Reinier van Brummelen (Netherlands)
"Mental," directed by Kazuhiro Soda (Japan/USA)
"Oblivion," directed by Heddy Honigmann (Netherlands/Peru)
"Servicios Prestados," directed by Diego Lerman (Argentina)
"Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's Intimacies," directed by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico)
"The Inheritors," directed by Eugenio Polgovsky (Mexico)
"The Man Who Bottled Clouds," directed by Lirio Ferreira (Brazil/USA)
"The Road to Fallujah," directed by Mark Manning (USA)
"Unidad 25," directed by Alejo Hoijman (Argentina)

[For a complete MIFF 2009 line up, visit the festival's website.]

TAGS: Features

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