For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2011
Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival to Honor Academy Award-winning Danish Director Susanne Bier in Career Achievement Tribute
Festival to host exclusive, East Coast Premiere of Bier’s Oscar-winning family drama In a Better World, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Miami, FL — Organizers of the 28th annual Miami International Film Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, are pleased to celebrate the cinematic works of award- winning Danish director Susanne Bier and will present her with the Festival’s Career Achievement Award on Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. during a special tribute ceremony at Miami’s historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The East Coast Premiere of her latest feature film, In a Better World, the 2011 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, will follow the ceremony; it will be the only screening of the film during the Festival. Bier is scheduled to attend the tribute ceremony and screening.
To date, Bier has helmed 11 features, but during her burgeoning career she has become the most prolific storyteller, producer and director to emerge from Denmark since Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Breaking the Waves)—leaving similar indelible marks on the world of cinema with her recent collection of intricately woven and morally complicated stories of love, loss, betrayal and families. Born in Copenhagen in 1960 to Jewish parents, Hitler’s persecution of Jews across Europe forced her father’s family to flee Germany and her mother’s family to flee Russia, both finding refuge in Denmark. The families’ combined plights shaped much of Bier’s early childhood and teachings by her own parents, who urged her to examine the many facets of human nature. She graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in Copenhagen and studied art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
“Susanne Bier’s films are startling in the themes that they explore,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “She brings the care and concern of a great humanist to her work.”
Her latest feature, In a Better World, is a study of troubling contrasts of two very different worlds: The angelic Christian has a mean streak that shocks the teachers at his new school. The innocent Elias is adrift, suffering through the impending divorce of his parents, and the absence of his father Anton (Mikael Persbrandt), who volunteers on a medical mission in a warn-torn African nation. Disturbed by their parents’ inadequate response to a violent and betraying world,
the boys form a bond and strike out in disturbing, unforeseen ways.
Bier’s other career highlights include the 2007 Paramount Pictures feature Things We Lost in the Fire, starring Oscar winners Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) and Benicio del Toro (Traffic); After the Wedding, starring Danish actors Mads Mikkelsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen, her first Oscar-nominated feature (and Denmark’s first Oscar nod in 17 years) and MIFF Official Selection in 2007; Brothers, starring Danish actress Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), winner of the 2005 World Dramatic Cinema Competition Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and later remade by Hollywood; and, the 2002 Danish family drama Open Hearts, also starring Mikkelsen, named Film of the Year by Denmark’s National Film Critics Association.
The 28th edition of the Miami International Film Festival runs March 4-13, 2011. For tickets and more information, please visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-405-MIFF (6433).
WHO: In a Better World director Susanne Bier
EVENTS: Red Carpet: Sunday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m., Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 East Flagler Street, downtown Miami. (Only accredited and approved media will be permitted to cover the Red
Tribute and East Coast Premiere: Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m., Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. A limited number of complimentary tickets reserved for accredited press are available. Please send ticket requests to MIFF publicist Danny Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERVIEWS: All private interviews with Susanne Bier are being scheduled by Allied Integrated Marketing for Sony Pictures Classics. Please contact Chantal
Manno, email@example.com, 954-200-8012, to request an interview. To RSVP for the Red Carpet, please notify MIFF or Miami Dade College media contacts.
Only MIFF or MDC can authorize admission to attend these publicity events.
About Miami International Film Festival
The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 28th edition March 4-13, 2011, is the premier Ibero-American film festival in the U.S. The annual event, which is produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 70,000 film enthusiasts and 400 filmmakers, stars and industry professionals. During the past five years, the festival has screened films from 60 countries and hosted 300 East Coast, U.S. and world premieres. Through Encuentros, the festival’s mentorship and film development program for filmmakers and projects from Spain, Portugal and Latin America, MIFF has become a primary gateway for the discovery of Ibero-American talent in the entertainment world. In addition, the festival’s REEL Education Seminar Series consistently attracts top executives from Warner
Bros., Sony Pictures Classics, IFC Films, Fox Searchlight, DreamWorks Animation, HBO Films/HBO Latino and William Morris Endeavor, among many others. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).
About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, nine visual arts galleries including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 170,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs, including baccalaureate degrees in education, nursing, public safety management and other in-demand fields.
Additional MIFF media contact: Danny Diaz, publicist, 305-389-8986, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional MDC Media Contacts: Tere Estorino, director of media relations, 305-237-3949, email@example.com; Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, firstname.lastname@example.org;Tarnell Carroll, 305-237- 3359, email@example.com; or Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, firstname.lastname@example.org.