After the success of last year's inaugural Knight Heroes with Barry Jenkins, Boots Riley and Aaron Stewart-Ahn, the series returns to this year’s Festival to continue spotlighting the boldest and brightest talents in film today. This year's invited speakers are the award-winning directors Stella Meghie, Joe Talbot and former Miami resident Lulu Wang.
Stella Meghie is originally from Toronto, Canada. Her feature film debut, Jean of the Jones (16), premiered at SXSW and received screenwriting nominations at the 2017 Spirit Awards and the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards. Her blazing debut brought her to the attention of the Hollywood studios, and she next directed Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson in the Warner Bros film Everything, Everything (17). Her third film, the American comedy The Weekend (18), premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Lionsgate. Her most recent release is currently in movie theaters – the critically-acclaimed romance The Photograph (20), starring LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae.
Joe Talbot is from San Francisco. His feature film debut, The Last Black Man in San Francisco (19), adapted from the life story of his longtime collaborator Jimmie Fails, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, where it won the US Dramatic Best Director Award, as well as a Special Jury Prize for Creative Collaboration. The film was nominated in the best first feature categories at the 2020 Spirit Awards and the 2020 Directors Guild of America Awards. The Last Black Man in San Francisco was released by A24 Films.
Lulu Wang was born in Beijing, China and emigrated with her family to Miami as a young child. She graduated from Miami’s New World School of the Arts before pursuing a career as a filmmaker. Her feature film debut, Posthumous (14), starred Brit Marling and Jack Huston, had its World premiere at the Zurich Film Festival and its North American premiere at Miami Film Festival. Her second feature, The Farewell (19), debuted at Sundance Film Festival, where it received instant critical acclaim and went on to win multiple awards, including Best Film at the 2020 Spirit Awards and a ground-breaking win for its star Awkwafina as Best Actress (Comedy/Musical) at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. The Farewell was released by A24 Films.
This year’s three Knight Heroes will share their career journeys with programmer and moderator Kiva Reardon, and then participate in an on-stage conversation and audience interactive discussion, geared toward engagement with the emerging filmmaking community in Miami and Southern Florida.
Filmmaker Ari Aster, originally scheduled to participate in this year’s Knight Heroes event, will be unable to attend. "I'm sending my sincere apologies for having to cancel my visit to Miami, which is one of my favorite cities. Deadlines on a project, as well as delays beyond my control, have made it impossible for me to join you all at the festival. I'm very sorry to miss this, and I hope that I can redeem it in the near future!" - Best, Ari Aster
This program is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.