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Miami International Film Festival Announces Lineup, Will Open With “Mariachi Gringo”

Miami International Film Festival Announces Lineup, Will Open With "Mariachi Gringo"

The Miami International Film Festival announced the lineup for 29th annual event with Tom Gustafson’s “Mariachi Gringo” starring Shawn Ashmore opening the festival March 2.
“Chinese Take-Away,” directed by Sebastián Borensztein and starring Ricardo Darín (“The Secret in Their Eyes”) will round out Awards Night on the 10th.

Amont the slate of 100 features are seven world premieres, five international premieres, 10 North American premieres and 10 US premieres. Selected films will represent categories including World Directors, Québec Cinema and modern Cuban life.

Ten documentaries will compete for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Award, which carries with it a $10,000 grand prize. A recognition of the career of screen veteran Robert Loggia is also scheduled to take place.

The 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival, presented by Miami Dade College, will take place March 2-11, 2012.

The full announcement of the festival lineup is below:


The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), announced today its official lineup of red carpet Olympia Theater galas, parties, education seminars and international film premieres that will make up the Festival’s showcase of more than 100 films from 35 countries during the 10-day event, which runs March 2-11, 2012.

On Friday, March 2nd, the Festival commences with its Opening Night Film, the World Premiere of Tom Gustafson’s musical tour-de-force Mariachi Gringo. The drama stars Shawn Ashmore (“Iceman” in X-Men) as a young man from Kansas who falls in love with the mariachi lifestyle, and travels to Guadalajara to prove that anything is possible. Ashmore and co-stars Academy Award nominee (BabelAdriana Barraza and Mexican starlet Martha Higareda are expected to attend the premiere.   A gala party will be held following the screening at the historic Alfred I. Dupont Building, which will be transformed into a gigantic speakeasy with jazz musicians and dancers.  Patron will serve refreshing XO café cocktails and many of Miami’s best restaurants, including Altamare, 5 Napkin Burger and Meat Market, will offer delicious samplings.

The Festival’s Awards Night takes place on Saturday, March 10th before the screening of the U.S. Premiere of Chinese Take-Away. Winner of three Argentinean Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, director Sebastián Borensztein’s touching fish out of water comedy stars Argentine superstar Ricardo Darín as a shopkeeper who takes in an illegal immigrant desperate to find his extended family. Darín, who starred in the 2010 Academy Award-winning film The Secret in Their Eyes, and Borensztein are expected to attend the premiere. The Festival will celebrate the award winners in all categories with an awards night wrap party at MDC’s historic Freedom Tower.  The fete will include Ultimat Vodka “therapists” on hand to provide partygoers with a personal social audit via a social media application.  Food stations will be catered by Hard Rock Café and desserts courtesy of First & First.

 “It’s exciting to introduce audiences to films filled with provocative and dynamic educational topics,” notes Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “As a whole, the program makes bold statements about the world we live in and challenges audiences to think about our changing world.”

“Now in our 29th year, it’s exciting to see MIFF’s reputation, as an influential and unique player among U.S. and international film festivals, become stronger and stronger,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “The Festival has emerged as key indicator of the health and creativity of the film industry. The significant quality of the films in and out of competition proves it will be an exciting year for film lovers.” 


Born & Raised (USA); La Casa Del Ritmo, A Film About Los Amigos Invisibles (USA/Ecuador); The Diary of Preston Plummer (USA); Hombre y Tierra (USA); Mariachi Gringo (Mexico/USA); The Porcelain Horse (Mejor no hablar (de ciertas cosas)) (Ecuador); Underground Hip-Hop in China (China/USA)


The Beach Chronicles AGX (USA); Beyond Assignment (USA); Cell Phone Zombies (Cel zombies) (Ecuador); Shift (USA)


180 Seconds (180 segundos)(Colombia); Baracoa: Where Cuba Began (Baracoa: 500 Años Despues) (Spain); Ben Lee: Catch My Disease (Australia);  Speechless (Sin palabras) (Colombia); Zoo (Zoológico) (Chile)


Annalisa (Il Paese Delle Spose Infelici) (Italy);Choked (South Korea); Code Blue (The Netherlands); A Cube of Sugar (Ye Habeh Gand) (Iran);  I’d Receive the Worst News From Your Beautiful Lips (Eu Receberia As Piores Notícias De Seus Lindos Lábios) (Brazil); In The Name of The Girl (En el nombre de la hija) (Ecuador); Motherland or Death (Patria o Muerte) (Russia); Pescador (Ecuador/ Colombia); Promising The Moon (Das Blaue Vom Himmel) (Germany); Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Un Giorno Questo Dolore Ti  Sará Utile)  (Italy/USA)


Chinese Take-Away (Un cuento chino) (Argentina/Spain); The Cat Vanishes (El gato desaparece) (Argentina); Distance (Distancia) (Guatemala); The Fifth Commandment (El quinto mandamiento) (Mexico); Heleno (Brazil); The Sleeping Voice (La voz dorminda) (Spain); Porfirio (Colombia/Spain/ Uruguay/Argentina/France); The Strawberry Tree (El arbol de las fresas) (Canada); UFO In Her Eyes (Germany/China); Vaquero (Argentina)

This year’s Festival will include films directed by:

Sean Ackerman, Dominic Allan, Javier Andrade, Urzula Antoniak, Andrea Arnold, Anthony Baxter, Joe Berlinger, Sebastián Borensztein, Beto Brant,   Laura Brownson, Alejandro Brugués, João Canijo, Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Renato Ciasca,  Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Terence Davies, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Roberto Faenza, Tim Fehlbaum, Joel Fendelman, José Henrique Fonseca, Pablo Giorgelli, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Xiaolu Guo, Tom Gustafson, Cristián Jiménez, Bess Kargman, Lawrence Kasdan, Yorgos Lanthimos, Bart Layton, Beth Levison,  Rodrigo Marín, Albert Maysles, Matias Meyer,  Riza Mirkarimi, Ben Murray, Alysa Nahimas, Pawel Pawlikowski, Anne  Renton, Carlos Sorín, Ken Scott, Santiago Segura, Susan Seidelman, Hans Steinbichler, Joachim Trier, David Trueba, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Andrés Wood, and Benito Zambrano, among many others.

This year’s Festival will include films featuring:

María Abadi, Shawn Ashmore, Adriana Barraza, Harry Belafonte, Marisa Berenson,  Blanca Rosa Blanco, The Beastie Boys, Ellen Burstyn, David Byrne, Jean-Marc Calvet, Angie Cepeda, Richard Chamberlin, Rae Dawn Chong, Andrés Crespo, Claire Daines, Ricardo Darín, Germán de Silva, Emily Deschanel, Hebe Duarte, Jerry Hall, Peter Gallagher, Francisca Gavilán, Marcia Gay Harden, Whoopi Goldberg, Ethan Hawke, Hannah Herzsprung, Tom Hiddleston,  Patrick Huard, Richard Jenkins, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Lucy Liu, Ben Lee, John Leguizamo, Paul McCartney, Robert Loggia, Trevor Morgan, Elizabeth Peña, Paulina Porizkova, Jason Ritter, Isabella Rossellini, Simon Russell Beale, Winona Ryder, José Sacristán, Muriel Santa Ana, Rodrigo Santoro, Susan Sarandon, Jason Schwartzman, Jason Segal, Santiago Segura, Sam Shepard, Paul Simon, Kristin Scott Thomas,  Donald Trump, Christy Turlington, Kathleen Turner, María Valverde, Diana Vreeland, Rachel Weisz, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams, Rumer Willis and Oprah Winfrey, among many others.  


This year’s nine Olympia Theater Galas, sponsored by Downtown Development Authority, screen at Miami’s historic 1,567-seat Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.  In addition to the Opening and Awards Night presentations, the Gala series includes:

·       Darling Companion (USA, directed by Lawrence Kasden)

·       The Deep Blue Sea (UK, directed by Terence Davies)

·       The Diary of Preston Plummer (USA, directed by Sean Ackerman) – stars Robert Loggia and Rumer Willis are expected to attend

·       Heleno (Brazil, directed by José Henrique Fonseca) – star Roberto Santoro is expected to attend

·       Juan of The Dead (Juan de los muertos) (Cuba/Spain, directed by Alejandro Brugués) – star Alexis Diaz de Villegas is expected to attend

·       Musical Chairs (USA, directed by Susan Seidelman)

·       Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Un Giorno Questo Dolore Ti Sará Utile)  (Italy/USA, directed by Roberto Faenza) – star Marcia Gay Harden is expected to attend

All directors of the Olympia Theater Galas are expected to be in attendance.


On Monday, March 5th, the Festival will celebrate the dynamic career of award-winning American actor Robert Loggia, prior to the World Premiere of Sean Ackerman’s made-in-Florida romance, The Diary of Preston Plummer.  Loggia, a veteran Hollywood character actor and 1985 Academy Award nominee for Jagged Edge, is well-loved by Miami audiences for his role as Frank Lopez in Brian de Palma’s classic Scarface, and has made many more memorable appearances in films such as Big, Independence Day, Prizzi’s Honor, Lost Highway, An Officer and a Gentleman and HBO’s “The Sopranos”. 


4 World Directors to Watch: a showcase of films by up-and-coming filmmakers hailing from the four corners of the globe. The category introduces Miami audiences to significant young talents working in Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East. The lineup includes:

·       Choked (Ga-si) (South Korea, directed by Kim Joong-hyun)

·       Porfirio (Colombia/Spain/Uruguay/Argentina/France, directed by Alejandro Landes)

·       Annalisa (Il Paese Delle Spose Infelici) (Italy, directed by Pippo Mezzapesa)

·       Habibi (Palestine/USA/

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