The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premier venue for the exhibition of international and US films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema. Both juried and audience awards are given in Documentary and Dramatic categories.

About the Festival

Throughout its 22-year history, the Miami International Film Festival has earned a position as a major US film festival, launching to national prominence such filmmakers as Pedro Almodavar, Lasse Hallstrom, Fernando Trueba, and Atom Egoyan. Under the leadership of Nicole Guillemet, former co-director of Sundance Film Festival, more than 150 filmmakers, producers, and talent from around the world attended the 2004 Film Festival to introduce their work to industry professionals and Miami audiences. Since the fall of 2003, the Festival has operated from Miami Dade College, a multi-cultural, state-supported college with six campuses and numerous outreach centers, the Festival has a superb organizational base, a strong connection with the community, and direct access to unparalleled intellectual and artistic resources.

Over the years, MIFF has presented films from more than 50 countries, including 125 US and world premieres, scores of Oscar winners and nominees, and many international prizewinners. Held during the high part of the tourist season at the end of February, MIFF brings world cinema to a diverse local audience. Attendees include filmgoers drawn from Miami’s culturally diverse community including well-educated. film-loving, year-round residents, thousands of students from the six local colleges and universities, as well as a substantial number of tourists who come to Miami for the city’s many cultural and lifestyle amenities.

What is, however, most significant for the Festival, is the national and international role of artistic leadership that Miami plays because of its unparalleled cultural and ethnic diversity and unique geographic position as the US gateway to Latin America. MIFF is a natural exhibition venue for Latin American filmmakers, attracting the best talent from this region as well as from Spain and Portugal. Consequently the Festival is easily able to connect with leaders and innovators in the cultural and entertainment world of the region. The Festival's influence is as effective to the north as it is to the south; there is a strong natural connection with the Hispanic population, the segment of our population which is growing most rapidly in the US.

Festival Facts & Figures

Grand Jury Prizes are presented in three categories: Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition, the Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition, and Documentary Features - World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition.

Opening Night Film
UK/Germany/Romania/France/Italy, 128 min., 35mm, Color, 2004

In a Paris shell-shocked by the Great War, one painter dared to transform the greatest art movement of the 20th century with a seismic force that still reverberates today. Amedeo Modigliani (Andy Garcia), a towering figure of Modernism, moved through that bohemian world with a boastful, self-destructive swagger that made colleagues from Max Jacob to Diego Rivera look at him with both fascination and jealous scorn.

But it was against the resentful Pablo Picasso (Omid Djalili) that the tempestuous Italian found his deepest rivalry. And it was in the beguiling young Catholic art student Jeanne Hebuterne (Elsa Zylberstein) that the dashing Jewish artist discovered his MUSE ~ the woman who would inspire his most potent paintings and spark a passion that fueled his work but consumed his soul. When she becomes pregnant by him, the impoverished Modigliani feels pressure to win money and acclaim by entering the city’s annual art competition ~ a gesture that forces Picasso to compete as well, beginning one of the most feverish and fertile challenges in the history of art.

Garcia captures the sensual self-destruction of Modigliani with the kind of flair that has earned the actor nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and an Emmy, and his work here transforms this film into a master class in biographical performance. Writer-director Mick Davis, using flashbacks and dream sequences, realizes Modigliani’s universe with such a supple conviction that the film is both a pleasure and an education.

Andy Garcia as Modigliani
Garcia appeared at the MIFF premier of his new movie.
Andy Garcia by Gartel, Feb. 2005
Andy Garcia graciously signs autographs.
Film: A Director's Medium
Mick Davis, Director of Modigliani
Hear the Applause
Nicole Guilletmet - Film Festival Director and Mick Davis

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