Ocean Drive - - Contents March 2017 - BY BRETT SOKOL

Soon-to-be-buzzed-about flicks are seen first at the Mi­ami Film Fes­ti­val.


The Mi­ami Film Fes­ti­val is back for its 34th edi­tion with 10 days of eye­open­ing doc­u­men­taries, provoca­tive for­eign flicks, and even a few Os­car hope­fuls. Di­rec­tor of Pro­gram­ming Jaie La­plante ex­plains how it all came to­gether.

Are there any films that just scream Mi­ami? I have a good sense of the pulse of the city. If I’m charged up and ex­cited about a film, I think the pub­lic here will be, too. Tell us about open­ing night. We’re go­ing to present Israeli film­maker Joseph Cedar’s new film, Nor­man. He’s a two-time Os­car nom­i­nee, for Beaufort in 2007 and Foot­note in 2011. This film stars Richard Gere as a New York fixer who ac­ci­den­tally meets the fu­ture prime min­is­ter of Is­rael. A few years later, when his friend as­cends to power, the story plays out in terms of what power and in­flu­ence re­ally mean. Gere is ex­tra­or­di­nary in the film, and he’ll be here open­ing night. What makes Nor­man a good fit for kick­ing off the fes­ti­val? Mi­ami al­ways wants some­thing dif­fer­ent. One year I opened with a doc­u­men­tary, 20 Feet from Star­dom, which went on to win an Academy Award. I’ve opened with an an­i­mated film, Chico and Rita. I was look­ing this year for some­thing that spoke to the mood and cul­ture of our city. A thought­ful, pow­er­ful drama was the ticket! The Mi­ami Film Fes­ti­val runs March 3–12; mi­am­i­film­fes­ti­val.com.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: 'avid Edel­stein and -ohn Tur­turro at the 2014 Mi­ami Film Fes­ti­val; Monica Bel­lucci at the Mar­quee pre­sen­ta­tion of Ville-marie; stills from El Am­paro (TOP) and Santa & An­drés; Carla Gug­ino, -eremy Piven, and Sarah -es­sica Parker...

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