Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival wrapped up its 32nd year with record-breaking numbers as 60,000 attendees participated.
The festival is a whirlwind of cinematic abundance with 125 films from 40 countries throughout ten days (March 6 through March 15) including 15 world premieres. Events took place at six locations throughout Miami.
Produced by MDC, the festival is designed to emphasize Ibero-American cinema and function as a launch pad for international and documentary cinema.
This year’s festival reported more than 60 sold-out films, including Wild Tales, The Record Man and Dawg Fight.
“My favorite part of the festival was to watch audiences and artists connect,” said Jaie Laplante, executive director of MIFF. “That is the magic moment where you feel the purpose of the festival achieved. I could feel it at screenings such as Wild Tales, Theeb and Kamikaze, to name just three out of many.”
The Obscure Spring (Las oscuras primaveras), a Mexican drama about a toxic affair between a married man and a single mother, directed by Ernesto Contreras, won the festival’s top prize—the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize.
The festival utilized 1,231 volunteers this year, of that number 124 of them were MDC students. Volunteers were in charge of taking ticket stubs and ushering, among other duties.
Juan Ordonez, a film major, was one of the MDC student volunteers. He said that volunteering was a great experience to connect with people.
“It’s a very fun and friendly experience. Everyone involved is really welcoming, like a family,” Ordonez said. “Everything was well organized and well done.”
Marco Barrios, a music major in the Honors College at Kendall Campus, said the festival was excellent and that he would only expand the amount of venues.
“Some of the locations were just Miami Beach centered,” Barrios said. “So they weren’t that accessible to just anyone.”
Laplante said he was pleased with the overall engagement MIFF provided.
“I was really happy with the audiences’ response to the documentary programming over-all,” Laplante said. “I was truly moved to see our audience so engaged and asking such stimulating questions, provoking wonderful conversations. “