For Immediate Release

October 20, 2014
It’s A Wrap! Miami International Film Festival’s MIFFecito, 
A Program Of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture,
Ends With Sold Out Screenings, Incredible Performances and Pomp

4-Day Mini Festival Run Gave Miami a Taste of MiamiFF 2015’s Caliber of Incredible International Programming

Opening Night Began With Director Ernesto Daranas’ Smash Hit BEHAVIOR (CONDUCTA), Continued in Spectacular Fashion at Neo-Cuban Hotspot Ball & Chain

Master Class Discussions on The Art of Film Curation, Plus Impact of Film on Anti-Bullying Efforts, Got Audiences Thinking

MIAMI, FL — Thousands of local film lovers packed Miami Dade College’s Tower Theater this past weekend for the joyous new MIFFecito, the mid-season cinematic appetizer to 2015’s 32nd Miami International Film Festival’s (MiamiFF’s) main course taking place March 6-15, 2015.  Festival organizers proclaimed the 4-day special prelude event to be successful beyond their expectations, with nonstop sold-out film screenings, exuberant visiting artists, and snazzy après-screening soirees. All MIFFecito screenings at the Tower Theater were generously presented by Viendomovies.

A jubilant MiamiFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante said, “Judging by the smile count, this autumnal run of MIFFecito was a programming initiative that truly paid off. It affirmed that the opportunity to deeply immerse one’s self in a rich, meaningful selection of superb new international cinema that is as yet undistributed in this country is profoundly desired. We’re thrilled and filled with anticipation for March!”

MIFFecito opened on Thursday, October 16th with Ernesto Daranas, the director of the sold out Opening Night film Behavior (Conducta), actor Héctor Noas and the film’s art director Erick Grass, arriving for the film’s much anticipated red carpet premiere. Audiences had the pleasure of indulging in Latin treats from Tinta y Café’s pop-up café decorated with Las Tias furnishings in place just for MIFFecito. An electric question and answer session with the artists concluded the emotional Florida premiere of Behavior, and the festivities continued across the street at just-opened Ball & Chain, Little Havana’s retro, neo-Cuban hotspot which hosted MIFFecito’s Opening Night Party. Guests celebrated the electric night of live afro-Cuban sounds, gourmet Cuban tapas, and flowing libations from sponsors Bombay Sapphire and Stella Artois.

Friday night, MIFFecito kicked into full premiere gear, showcasing international hits by directors including Paco León with the North American premiere of Carmina and Amen (Spain), Matías Rojas Valencia with Root (Chile), and director Sydney Sibilia’s I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Italy). Each filled-to-capacity premiere screened to laughing or deeply moved audiences.

Saturday afternoon, the festival changed gears to present an outstanding educational opportunity for the special master class The Art of Curation, presented by MiamiFF’s programming guru Thom Powers.  Powers walked fascinated attendees through a process of engagement with audiences that goes far beyond simply choosing which movies to show. An intense discussion of connecting documentary cinema (Powers’ specialty) and audiences was opened up with the entire audience participating, with special discussion of Laura Poitras’ upcoming Citizenfour film used as a prime case study.

Saturday night, the evening crowds continued and the glamour unleashed, with cameras flashing as Mariana Chenillo, the director of Paradise (Mexico), and Roberto Sanchez, the lead actor of Lake Los Angeles (USA), appeared for the Florida premieres of their respective films. Also premiering that evening was Vara: A Blessing, directed by Bhutanese lama Khyentse Norbu, where guests were pleasantly surprised with an enchanting Bollywood dance team performance by Belly Motions.

Sunday afternoon, Moisés Kaufman, the celebrated director of The Laramie Project, was in attendance along with special guest moderator Dennis Scholl, Vice President of Arts for the Knight Foundation, for a very special retrospective screening of Kaufman’s groundbreaking film. Afterwards, an impassioned conversation ensued regarding the positive impact the film (and the original theater production) have had over the years since its 2002 debut.  Kaufman took the opportunity to announce that, 23 years after forming his internationally celebrated Tectonic Theater Project in New York City, he will be forming a new Miami-based theater company with partners Gary Ressler and Michel Hausmann, in 2015.

The festival closed Sunday night with the East Coast U.S. premiere screening of director Emilio Martínez-Lázaro’s massive smash Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos), the all-time highest-grossing domestic film at the Spanish box office. Spanish Affair screened three times throughout MIFFecito, and every screening was sold out.

For MiamiFF membership opportunities or more information, please visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM(3456). The Festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university.

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About Miami International Film Festival
Celebrating its 32nd anniversary March 6 – 15, 2015, MiamiFF is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. MiamiFF’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory.  The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Major sponsors of the 2015 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit www.iamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

About MDCulture
MDCulture is the Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC). Comprising the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, Tower Theater, the Center for Literature and Theatre, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design, MDCulture is committed to providing everyone the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDCulture offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. For more information, visit www.mdculture.org.

MiamiFF Contacts:
Jessica Wade Pfeffer, Jessica Wade Inc., +1 305-804-8424, jessica@jessicawadeinc.com
Margie Sernik, Jessica Wade Inc., +1 305-456-0483, margie@jessicawadeinc.com
MDC Contacts:
Juan Mendieta, +1 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu

Tere Estorino, +1 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu
Sue Arrowsmith, +1 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu

Alejandro Rios, +1 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu