MIFF Unveils Line-Up and -- Tada! -- Poster

Categories: Culture

Cesare Santos must have missed the memo on the requisite suspense for the unveiling of his poster for this year’s Miami International Film Festival. Instead he walked to the podium, with the assembled dignitaries, and – oblivious of the planned countdown – calmly pulled the black curtain off his piece. It was a welcome moment of levity and spontaneity at an otherwise staid press conference this morning at Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus announcing the festival line-up.

The veil was quickly replaced and a new countdown ordered for the assembled television cameras.

The fest brims with 163 films and boasts 10 world premieres. Highlights include Academy Award nominee Katyn, recent Sundance phenom American Teen, and the world premiere of a restored print of Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in the West. Expected to attend are Harvey Keitel, Kate Hudson, Alfred Molina, David Schwimmer, and Demi Moore, among others touting their work. “They come for their film, but they also come because it’s Miami,” said the festival’s new director, Patrick DeBokay.

Describing the primary challenge of bringing fresh and compelling movies to local audiences, DeBokay explained the 11th hour addition of American Teens to the line-up: “Paramount called at 6 p.m. last night to say, ‘We want to bring you the biggest film of Sundance.’”

After pulling the cover from his poster prematurely, Santos, a local artist and Miami Dade College alum, took the podium to talk about it. “I wish I didn’t have to speak for it,” he said. Really, he didn’t: The beach scene features the Freedom Tower as a movie camera with orange slices for film reels, hoisted into place by a construction crane in the background. “I love the Freedom Tower, that’s why I had to put it there,” he said. “The cranes, I mean, Miami’s full of that.” --Frank Houston

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