Miami International Film Festival to Kick-Off 2nd Year of “Lee Brian Schrager’s Culinary Cinema” Program by Co-Presenting New Wayne Wang Film at 2014 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

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For Immediate Release
For Immediate Release:

September 23, 2013
Miami International Film Festival 
to Kick-Off 2nd Year of 
“Lee Brian Schrager’s Culinary Cinema” Program 
by Co-Presenting New Wayne Wang Film 
2014 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival 
Wang’s “Soul of a Banquet” Will Have East Coast Premiere at the Festival
Miami, FL — Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College, announced today that it will join forces with Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival to present the East Coast premiere of celebrated filmmaker Wayne Wang’s new film, Soul of a Banquet,on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The event will kick-off the 2nd year of MIFF’s Lee Brian Schrager’s Culinary Cinema program, continuing at the 31st edition of MIFF, which opens March 7th.

Wang’s film is a deeply personal account of legendary San Francisco restaurateur and chef Cecilia Chiang, told in her own words and through the perspectives of chef/author Alice Waters and food writer Ruth Reichl.  Wang, Chiang and Reichl are confirmed to attend and introduce the screening, which will take place at Miami Beach SoundScape, part of the New World Center designed by architect Frank Gehry, outdoors on the soaring 7,000-square-foot projection wall.

“The opportunity to work with Wayne Wang and our friends at Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is a dream way to preview the culinary cinema programming that Lee Brian Schrager will be bringing to MIFF’s audiences in March,” said MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante.

Lee Brian Schrager’s Culinary Cinema program, curated by FNSOBEWFF founder Schrager, is dedicated to celebrating Miami’s exceptional status as an internationally recognized multicultural, culinary and cinematic melting pot, and combines deliciously stimulating films with innovative cuisine by some of the world’s most notable filmmakers and chefs, bringing together Miami locals and guests alike to celebrate creativity on the screen and plate.

Hong Kong-born, San Francisco-based filmmaker Wayne Wang has a rich oeuvre that includes 1982’s Chan is Missing (inscribed in the National Film Registry in 1995); the classic The Joy Luck Club (1993), adapted from the novel by Amy Tan; the multi-award winning Smoke, 1995; Maid in Manhattan (2002, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes) and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2012).  Soul of a Banquet is his 20th feature film credit as a director.

Cecilia Chiang, the seventh daughter of a privileged Beijing family who wasn’t even allowed in the kitchen as a child, came to San Francisco in the early sixties and decided to start her own restaurant when she was unable to terminate a lease she had signed to help out some friends. The restaurant became an immediate success and had an enormous impact on the San Francisco culinary scene; Alice Waters has said that what Chiang did to popularize Chinese cuisine at The Mandarin is equivalent to what Julia Child did for French cuisine.

Wang’s deeply personal portrait follows Chiang’s story from her childhood in Beijing and the experiences of her family during the Cultural Revolution, through to her life as an accidental restaurateur hailed by the likes of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. The film then transitions into a careful study of a banquet prepared by Chiang; as this event unfolds, Wang’s film becomes a lavish visual documentation of this banquet as it is meticulously prepared and presented by Chiang and her masterful team of chefs.

The screening of Soul of a Banquet will take place Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 6pm at the New World Center, 500 – 17th Street, Miami Beach. For more information, visit or

The complete line-up of the 31st Miami International Film Festival (March 7-16, 2014) will be announced in late January 2014.  Dates for Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s 13th year are set for February 20-23, 2014.

Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 31st anniversary March 7 – 16, 2014, 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. MIFF’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 2014 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more, visit or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).
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 Miami Book Fair International, Florida Center for the Literary Arts, MDC Live Arts performance series, MDCulture Art Cinema at Koubek Theater film 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 renowned 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 175,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer nearly 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees. For more, visit
MIFF Contacts:
Janice Roland, Falco Ink, (212) 445-7100,
Shannon Treusch, Falco Ink, (212) 445-7100,
MDC Contacts:
Juan Mendieta,  (305) 237-7611,

Tere Estorino (305) 237-3949,
Sue Arrowsmith, (305) 237-3710,
Alejandro Rios, (305) 237-7482,