MDC’s 33rd Annual Miami International Film Festival Shined A Spotlight On Women

Miami Dade College’s annual Miami International Film Festival showcased 129 feature films, documentaries and short films by a diverse pool of filmmakers from 40 different countries. The only major film festival worldwide produced by a college or university ran from March 4 to 13.

This year the event’s theme was women.

“More than any year at the Festival in its 33 years, there was a strong presence of films directed or co-directed by women, 46 to be exact,” said MIFF Associate Director Eloisa Lopez-Gomez.

MIFF partnered up with Google, hosting the Google Seminar Series on Gender & Racial Gaps in Film & Technology, which was presented at The Idea Center in Wolfson Campus.

Lopez-Gomez said this seminar series focused on “gender and racial gaps in the film industry, particularly in technical cinematographic roles.”

The festival hosted star-studded events and premieres and holds a large focus on Ibero-American filmmakers. Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia’s film, My Big Night (Mi Gran Noche), opened the festival on March 4 at the Olympia Theater. The film, which stars Spanish pop star Raphael, was one of the many Spanish feature films to premiere at the festival.

Its seven event locations included the historic Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami, the Coral Gables Art Cinema and O Cinema Miami Beach.

“Our biggest obstacle is the horrific traffic and parking problems that Miami is suffering under, making it difficult for our patrons to get to as many films as they would like to during the Festival,” said Jaie Laplante, MIFF Executive Director.

Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard, won the Knight Competition’s Grand Jury Prize. Tied for the Lexus Audience Favorite Feature Film were Spanish filmmaker Javier Ruiz Caldera’s Spy Time and Cuban filmmaker Pavel Giroud’s The Companion. American filmmaker Logan Sandler’s short Tracks was the winner for Lexus Audience Favorite Short Film.

This year’s programming included the Marquee Series, Soiree Series and MIFFecito. Laplante said he would like to improve the quality of the theatrical experience, and his biggest goal is “to continue providing outstanding programming of only the world’s best films each and every year.”

 “My favorite part of the festival is seeing the audiences engaging with the filmmakers after the screening,” said Lopez-Gomez. “Movies are stories, and to see those stories travel and connect miles from where they started is incredible.”