Five years after Darlene Love nearly blew the roof of Olympia Theater when she opened the 2013 Miami Film Festival with Morgan Neville’s 20 Feet From Stardom, another Sundance world premiere is heading straight for the sunshine for its first post-Park City landing: Jason Reitman’s Tully, a last-minute “surprise screening” addition to Robert Redford’s festival, will next open this year’s 35th annual Festival in our own Magic City.
And Tully is not alone. Six more films that world premiered just over a week ago in Sundance will next been seen in the US market right here at Miami Film Festival. They include (in order of appearance at Miami Film Festival):
Three Identical Strangers, Tim Wardle’s “shocking, thrilling and wildly entertaining” (Collider) documentary, tells the bizarre story of three triplet brothers who were separated at birth and grew up without any knowledge of each other – until a coincidental connection at the age of 19 brought them all together. Picked up by NEON, the new US distributor who brought us I, Tonya and Ingrid Goes West last year, this film is destined to be one of 2018’s most talked about events. Winner, Best Storytelling, US Documentary Competition, at Sundance.
Our New President, the World Documentary Competition’s “DAY ONE” film (Sundance terminology for “Opening Night”) is Miami Film Festival alumnus Maxim Pozdorovkin’s takes a look at how the ongoing investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election looks from Mother Russia’s point-of-view. Wild, over-the-top and unbelievable footage – completely different from the droning US news coverage we see every day – Maxim’s film will leave you speechless. Winner, Best Film Editing, at Sundance.
Time Share, a World Dramatic Competition winner at Sundance for Best Screenplay, will next appear in Miami’s signature Knight Competition. That’s because an earlier feature film by Mexican director Sebastian Hofmann previously appeared in Miami Film Festival’s Official Selection – Halley. Time Share is a sharp and incisive black comedy of male egos in crisis.
Believer, a Live Nation production picked up by HBO in Sundance, is a triumphant look at a rock-n-roll gay-straight alliance project, as Dan Reynolds, heterosexual Mormon lead singer of American super-band Imagine Dragons, becomes an unexpected advocate within the Church of Latter-Day Saints for a more inclusive embrace of homosexuals in the faith. Directed by Don Argot.
RBG, picked by Magnolia Pictures at Sundance, is a CNN Films documentary about the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsberg, US Supreme Court justice since 1993, and the ways she advanced the cause of equal rights for women in the path that led her to the nation’s highest court. “The Notorious R.B.G.” as she is known to her legions of young fans across the internet, is both charmer and hellraiser. Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West.
And finally to come full circle to that Sundance 2013 hit – that went on to win the Academy Award a year later for Best Documentary – Morgan Neville returns to Miami Film Festival with his new film chronicling the extraordinary influence on today’s society of one Fred Rogers – or Mister Rogers, as he’s better known, in Won’t You Be My Neighbor?