Apr 4, 2024 - News

Lights, camera, action: Miami Film Festival begins

Illustration of a film reel with an inverted exclamation point.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Miami Dade College's Miami Film Festival is back for its 41st year, featuring more than 180 films from over 30 countries starting Friday.

Why it matters: This year's festival, which runs through April 14, is the largest to date, and the lineup features more films made for and by Miamians.

  • There are about 40 locally made features and short films in the festival's lineup, according to the Miami Herald.

The big picture: Screenings and events are slated for venues across the city, including the Adrienne Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall, O Cinema South Beach, the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Coral Gables Art Cinema, among others.

  • The program includes screenings and additional events, such as talks with actors including Tom Hiddleston, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Alison Brie.

Worthy of your time: So we (yet again!) created a little cheat sheet— this time with the help of a festival spokesperson:

Opening night film: "Thelma," a film that centers on a 93-year-old woman "at a crossroads in her life — in between senior citizen and senior living." After losing $10,000 to a phone scammer, she tries to get the money back.

"Mountains," a Made in MIA Feature Award winner from Miami-based filmmaker Monica Sorelle. The film focuses on middle-aged Haitian demolition worker Xavier, his Little Haiti home and the realities of gentrification.

"Fallen Fruit," by native Miami filmmaker Chris Molina, tells the story of learning to love the city.

"Los Frikis," a coming-of-age film inspired by true events set in '90s Cuba. Members of a punk band inject themselves with HIV to live at a government-run treatment home.

  • This is the film's world premiere and part of the festival's Spotlight on Cuba series.
  • It's also the recipient of the festival's Marimbas Award.

Included in the festival's experimental presentations, viewers will engage in an immersive screening of "32 Sounds" at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

"A Communist Brainwashed My Daughter," directed by Hialeah native Daniel Lago, is a satire about Cuban machismo, middle-school drama and environmental messaging.

Closing film: "Ezra." Divorced parents disagree on enrolling their autistic 11-year-old son Ezra in a specialized school. The father runs off with Ezra on a cross-country trip.

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