Anna Marie de la Fuente Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival marks its 40th edition, running March 3-12, with a full-blown return to the in-person festival experience with a sidebar of only 10 titles available online. “We’re celebrating the human connection and getting back into cinemas again,” says programming head Lauren Cohen who in her first year flying solo at the helm, is putting her personal stamp on the festival with female-centric topics dominating the Master Classes. “It’s our 40th anniversary, which is such a milestone for us, we want it to be bigger and better than ever,” she continues.
Opening with Ray Romano’s directorial debut “Somewhere in Queens” and wrapping with Stephen Frears’ “The Lost King,” this edition features a dozen world premieres, three North American premieres, eight U.S.
premieres and 14 East Coast premieres. Given Miami’s allure and reputation as a music capital, a serendipitous number of this year’s selection of more than 140 local and international projects – from feature films, docus and shorts – are celebrating music and dance. “People ask me what the theme of this year’s festival is and interestingly enough, while not exactly planned, we have several dance and music-themed films in our lineup,” says Cohen.
Those films include: “Black Swan,” choreographer Benjamin Millipied’s directorial feature debut “Carmen” ; a documentary on the origin of Cuban jazz music, “AfroCuba ’78” ; bio-drama “Chevalier,” which revolves around the life of French-Caribbean musician Joseph Bologne ; Sundance docu “Pianoforte,” which focuses on the cutthroat Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw; and the tragic Dutch ballerina tale, “Piece of My Heart.” “Carmen” executive producer and composerRead more on variety.com