Mission & History
The mission of Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is to bridge cultural understanding and encourage artistic development and excellence by provoking thought through film. By bringing the best of world cinema to Miami, MIFF presents the city and the film industry with a singular platform that fosters creative and technical talent.
Miami International Film Festival had its beginnings as the main activity of the Film Society of Miami, Inc., which was founded in 1983. Since its first edition, which opened on February 3, 1984, the Festival has continued to bring the finest in world cinema to South Florida. The Festival has gained recognition with its consistently high quality of programming and presentations from filmmakers, critics, and the film industry. During the early years, films were screened in a variety of local theaters in the greater Miami area. By the sixth Festival in 1989, the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts had become the official residence.
As the 1990s drew to a close, the Film Society transferred administration of the Festival to Florida International University for a brief period, and then in October 2003 to Miami Dade College (MDC), where it has remained since. MDC has led the Festival through a period of tremendous growth and expansion, and the number of official Festival venues increased in the new decade to include (in addition to the Olympia Theater), Regal South Beach Cinemas, MDC’s Tower Theater, Colony Theatre, City of Miami Beach's Soundscape Park at New World Center, Cosford Cinema, Miami Beach Cinematheque, Coral Gables Art Cinema, O Cinema and Wynwood Walls.
MIFF has hosted and introduced a diverse group of filmmakers including renowned filmmakers Pedro Almodóvar, Andrea Arnold, Hector Babenco, Luc Besson, Susanne Bier, Bertrand Blier, Juan Carlos Campanella, Joel & Ethan Coen, Alfonso Cuarón, Terence Davies, Sam Fuller, Alex de la Iglesia, Jonathan Demme, Abel Ferrara, Andy Garcia, Patricio Guzmán, Werner Herzog, Steve James, Lawrence Kasdan, Spike Lee, Lucrecia Martel, François Ozon, Jose Padilha, Patricia Riggen, Ira Sachs, John Sayles, Carlos Sorin, Morgan Spurlock, Fernando Trueba, Liv Ullman, Paul Verhoeven, Denis Villeneuve, Margarethe von Trotta, and Wim Wenders.
Stars that have graced our red carpet through the years include Gregory Peck, Sofia Loren, Kris Kristofferson, Candice Bergen, Kevin Kline, Michael Caine, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Willem Dafoe, Demi Moore, Amy Irving, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener, William Macy, Geraldine Chaplin, Armand Assante, Sylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen, Kate Hudson, Helen Hunt, Jeff Goldblum, Jonathan Pryce, Ricardo Darin, Rodrigo Santoro, Luis Tosar, Gloria Estefan, Kate del Castillo, Danny Glover, Julie Hagerty, Lori Singer, Jorge Sanz, Ashton Kutcher, Steven Bauer, Lena Olin, James Cromwell, Eugenio Derbez, Carrie-Anne Moss, Ariadna Gil, Don McKellar, Gonzalo Vega, Alfredo Castro, Javier Camara, Eduardo Noreiga, Sandrine Bonnaire, Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Jared Gilman and Anne Hathaway, among many other big names and bright lights.
Domestic theatrical distributors and broadcasters participating in the Festival have included Paramount Vantage, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Music Box Films, IFC, Sundance Selects, HBO, HBO Documentary Films, HBO Latino, and Miramax, to name but a few.