MDC and MIFF Celebrate Milestone with 25th Anniversary Film Program and Poster Unveiling
L-R: Patrick de Bokay, Ex. Dir. of the Miami International Film Festival, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami Dade College, Cesar Santos, MDC alumnus and poster artist, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.
Miami, January 30, 2008 -
There is no place like Miami for a film festival. That was the sentiment that resonated among filmmakers, scholars and elected officials who gathered at Miami Dade College (MDC) Jan. 30 to announce the 25th Anniversary program of the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), featuring 163 films, 10 world premiers and 46 North American and U.S. premiers. The festival runs from February 28 through March 9.
At the event, MDC President Eduardo J. Padrón was joined by City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, MIFF Director Patrick de Bokay and poster artist Cesar Santos to unveil this year’s promotional poster. Santos, a local artist and MDC alumnus, said developing the poster for the 25th anniversary of the festival was a labor of love. The poster concept cleverly draws together symbols of Miami, such as the Freedom Tower emerging from the ocean and two giant orange slices portraying film reels.
“I believe we are making history, said Dr. Padrón. “This year, without doubt, is going to be the most exciting.
The Festival opens with Patricia Riggen’s La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon), a Mexican film conceived through MIFF’s Abroad Program about a mother and son living on opposite sides of the U.S. border. La Sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman), from Academy Award-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, will close the 2008 program on Awards Night.
Among the talent expected to attend the festival are Demi Moore, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Binoche, Kate del Castillo, Colin Firth, David Schwimmer, Gael Garcia Bernal, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Carlos Saura, Tony Shalhoub, Kate Beckensale, Heather Graham, Christopher Cooper, Alfred Molina, the Coen Brothers, Carlos Santana, Fito Paez, and Andrzej Wajda.
De Bokay said the festival is a product of Miami’s social and cultural diversity, and made a promise that it will always be Miami’s.
“There are 201 different countries represented in Miami and that’s why filmmakers want to bring their films here,” said De Bokay. This is your festival, it is from here, it is never going to go any other place, and it will keep growing,”
MIFF is the only major film festival in the world hosted by an institution of higher education. Since last year, MIFF has experienced a 300 percent growth in film submissions and film screenings have expanded nearly 20 percent.
With the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, films are eligible to compete for a Knight Grand Jury Prize, which carries a cash award of $25,000 each in four categories. They include Dramatic Features: World Cinema Competition, Dramatic Features: Ibero-American Cinema Competition, Documentary Features: World & Ibero-American Competition, and the Shorts Competition. Films are also eligible for audience awards.
Francisco Vargas, last year’s MIFF 2007 Knight Grand Jury Prize winner for The Violin, was also present for the unveiling and recalled his first experience showing a film in Miami.
“The film festival, being the size that it is, gave me the opportunity not only to make business connections but also make friends,” said Vargas, whose film will be shown at MDC’s Tower Theater on Friday, Feb. 8. “For that, and many other reasons, it has a special place in my heart.”
For more information about the film festival, please call 305-237-FILM (3456) or visit our website at www.miamifilmfestival.com.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, email@example.com, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist