Three Made-in-Miami Feature Films to Premiere at 2011 Miami International Film Festival

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For Immediate Release:

February 28, 2011

Three Made-in-Miami Feature Films to Premiere at 2011 Miami International Film Festival

Special appearances expected by Andy Garcia (Magic City Memoirs), artist Bert Rodriguez (making sh*t up) and Miami High Coach Ottis Mooney (Mooney Vs. Fowle)

Miami, FL — Organizers of the 2011 Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), which is produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), today announced the lineup of the Festival’s Florida Focus section, an annual celebration of made-in-Florida films produced by up- and-coming local filmmakers. The Festival is pleased to announce all three selections were filmed here in Miami: the already-sold-out, Andy Garcia-executive produced indie drama Magic City Memoirs, the Bert Rodriguez documentary making sh*t up and the 1962 cinéma vérité-style high school football documentary Mooney vs. Fowle. The 28th annual edition runs March 4-13, 2011. For more information, visit

“These made-in-Miami films really represent the heart of this year’s Festival,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “All three of these compelling films utilize their Miami setting in a way that is absolutely essential to their stories, and MIFF ticket buyers are clearly reacting to the authenticity that these three films exude.”

A fourth film set in Miami—under the working title Sweet 15—is currently in development, and is scheduled to receive assistance through the Festival’s internationally renowned Encuentros Program for feature-length projects in progress. Encuentros (“encounters” in Spanish) is the only development program of its kind among film festivals in the U.S.—and one of the few in the world—that is dedicated exclusively to nurturing new Spanish- and Portuguese-language cinema from Spain, Portugal, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, as well as film projects targeting U.S. Hispanic audiences. Miami-born director Anna Margarita Albelo and producer Jamin O’Brien are scheduled to attend the Festival and will also be available for interviews.

The three completed films screening at this year’s Festival are:

Magic City Memoirs
SOLD-OUT World Premiere: Friday, March 11, 6:45 p.m. (Gusman Center)
Directed by Aaron J. Salgado
USA | 2011
97 minutes | Color
Three Miami high school friends — Mikey, Eric and Angel — revel in their world of private school privilege and lax parental oversight while living large on the hip-hop lifestyle of parties, fast cars, fast boats and easy sex. Miami director Aaron Salgado and producer J.D. Freixas capture the texture and energy of this pulse-pounding tropical paradise as only true insiders could. Executive produced by Andy Garcia. The ensemble cast of this made-in-Miami indie original features many locals and natives, including Dominik Garcia-Lorido (City Island), Natalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7), Jordi Vilasuso (All My Children) and newcomers JR Villarreal as Mikey, Michael Cardelle as Eric and Andres Dominguez as Angel.

Press Conference: Friday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m., The Betsy South Beach rooftop lounge, 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. (Only accredited and approved media will be admitted.)

Red Carpet: Friday, March 11 at 6:00 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 Carpet.)

Scheduled Participants: Andy Garcia, Aaron Salgado, J.D. Freixas, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Natalie Martinez, Jordi Vilasuso, J.R. Villarreal, Michael Cardelle, Andres Dominguez and veteran character actor Julio Oscar Mechoso (Castle), among others. (Subject to change.)

Advance Interviews: Contact MIFF or MDC publicists for availability of interviews with Andy Garcia, Aaron Salgado, J.D. Freixas and cast members.

making sh*t up

World Premiere: Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 p.m. (Tower Theater)

Directed by Bill Bilowit
USA | 2011
75 minutes | Color
Miami’s own conceptual artist Bert Rodriguez gets the movie star treatment in making sh*t up, a documentary about his own eccentric life as a masterpiece-in-progress. Miami director Bill Bilowit makes the most of his candid access, capturing Rodriguez’s exhibitions for Art Basel Miami Beach and the Whitney Biennial as he battles his personal demons in the process. The film effectively follows the artist, from the “clearance sale” of his entire art collection to his near-death head injury experience on Biscayne Boulevard and the consequences that followed. The documentary features cameo appearances and commentary by world-renowned artists Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, María José Arjona and Manny Prieres, among others.

Red Carpet: Wednesday, March 9 at 6:15 p.m., Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami (Little Havana). (Only accredited and approved media will be permitted to cover the Red Carpet.)

Scheduled Participants: Bert Rodriguez, Bill Bilowit and executive producer Grela Orihuela, among others. (Subject to change.)

Advance Interviews: Contact MIFF or MDC publicists for availability of interviews with Bert Rodriguez, Bill Bilowit and Grela Orihuela. (Subject to change.)

Mooney vs. Fowle

50th Anniversary “From the Vault” Presentation: Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 p.m. (Cosford UM)
Directed by James Lipscomb
USA | 1962

58 minutes | B/W
Before Friday Night Lights there was Mooney vs. Fowle, the pioneering, behind-the-scenes look at the now-historic 1961 Florida state high school championship game between perennial rivals Miami High School and Edison High School. This marvel of cinéma vérité documentary filmmaking is a candid and uncensored portrait of rival coaches Ottis Mooney of Miami High (the underdogs) and Haywood Fowle of Edison (the favorites to win), who led their teams before a record crowd of 37,000 at the Orange Bowl. Long a favorite of film historians, the film is a collaboration between Miami High alumnus and LIFE Magazine editor-turned-filmmaker James Lipscomb and the legendary Robert Drew of Drew Associates, another LIFE Magazine editor- turned-filmmaker, who, in the 1960s, revolutionized reality television through his accounts of John

F. Kennedy on the campaign trail (Primary) and inside the White House (Crisis). This unscripted look at the passions behind high school football stirred controversy at the time with the county School Board and was never broadcast on local television or released in local theaters. Today, on its 50th anniversary, it endures as a remarkable document of film history and Miami lore.

Free, Post-screening Panel Discussion: Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m., Bill Cosford Cinema, University of Miami, 1111 Memorial Drive, Second Floor, Memorial Building, Coral Gables. (Only accredited and approved media will be admitted.)

Scheduled Participants: Director James Lipscomb; former Miami High Coach Ottis Mooney; Jerry Pearson, former Miami High quarterback who played for Mooney; Phil Tedder, former Edison High assistant coach under Haywood Fowle; Pete Kiernan, former Edison High quarterback who played for Fowle; NBC6 Sports Anchors Adam Kuperstein and Joe Rose, formerly of the Miami Dolphins; and, Thom Powers, MIFF’s Documentary Programming consultant. (Subject to change.)

Advance Interviews: Contact MIFF or MDC publicists for availability of interviews with James Lipscomb or Ottis Mooney. (Subject to change.)

Sweet 15 (current working title)
Participating project, 2011 Encuentros Program for films in development
Country: USA (Miami, Florida)
Director: Anna Margarita Albelo
State of production: In development; scheduled to shoot October–December 2011 in Miami Brief synopsis: Sweet 15, to be director Anna Margarita Albelo’s feature film debut, is a coming- of-age comedy set in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood in the 1980s. One day, Lucy Alvarez gets an assignment in school: present a Contribution of Work (C.O.W.) that defines your individual and cultural identity. Lucy and her best friend, Ambrosia, find the perfect project; a “Quinces” celebration, the traditional Latin celebration of a young girl’s transition into womanhood. Unfortunately for Lucy, Erika Payne, the school’s social center and daughter of a wealthy, local politician, has a suspiciously similar idea for her presentation: a Sweet 16 party to end all parties. What’s worse, all three girls share the same birthday, so Lucy and Ambrosia’s Quinces falls on the same night as Erika’s Sweet 16! Who will have the best party?
Encuentros representatives: Director Anna Margarita Albelo and Producer Jamin O’Brien, head of production and co-chair of Worldview Entertainment, a motion picture production and financing company. His film credits include Boynton Beach Club, Just Like the Son written and directed by Morgan Freeman, and Handsome Harry, starring Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, and Campbell Scott.
Interviews: Albelo and O’Brien will be available in Miami for interviews.


Film stills: Credentials/press badges:

Are available to download from Contact MIFF or MDC publicists for access and instructions.

Press badges are REQUIRED for ALL PRESS to enter and cover press conferences, pre-scheduled in-person interviews with directors and talent, REEL Education Seminars, post- screening panels and Q&A’s with directors and talent, and all other Festival special events. Only electronic applications will be accepted. You must register all members of your coverage team


through the application posted on the “Accreditation” page in the “Press” section of the Festival’s website at

Hard tickets are required to attend all screenings. The Festival offers a VERY LIMITED number of complimentary hard tickets for accredited press to attend general admission screenings during the Festival. Submit your ticket requests in writing to MIFF publicist Danny Diaz, One individual ticket per screening, up to four (4) screenings, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for guests may be purchased separately online. Press tickets will distributed to the “Will Call” centers at the various MIFF theater venues, and must be picked up no later than 15 minutes before the screening begins. Unclaimed tickets will be claimed by MIFF ticketing staff and sold to the general public.

A complete schedule of press conferences, Red Carpets, and special events will be posted on the website within a week of the Festival. Check the website for regular updates.

Press Updates:

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 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 in arts and associate in science 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,

Additional MDC media contacts: Tere Estorino, director of media relations, 305-237-3949,; Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,; Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,; or Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,