Opening Weekend of Miami Int'l Film Festival
By Douglas Lorah
The Miami International Film Festival opened Friday, March 3rd with the screening of Heartlift at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Heartlift is the handywork of director Eliseo Subiela. At the conclusion of the film, festival goers were shuttled off to a fun-filled party at the Bank of America building in downtown Miami.
Movie goers turned to party goers as the elevator doors opened to the top of the parking garage, otherwise known as the Sky Terrace. The views of downtown Miami were amazing. A reflection pool, a DJ spinning tunes, and a few Asian buffets later and people were ready to mingle. Festival sponsor Bacardi definitely got the spirits rising. If you get a chance to attend an event there, do so.
Regular screenings continued on Saturday and Sunday at various locations throughout the city. The grand finale to the opening weekend of the festival had to be the sold out screening of Andy Garcia's feature directorial debut, The Lost City, also at the Gusman. It has screened at the Teluride Film Festival in August and AFM in LA in November, but this was its East Coast Premiere as well as the first screening in Andy's hometown.
The Lost City, written by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, is a love story set amid the turmoil of the Castro takeover of Cuba. The movie, which runs 144 minutes, received a standing ovation that lasted strongly throughout the credits. Festival Director Nicole Guillemet immediately introduced Andy Garcia. He in turn introduced much of the cast to the audience followed by a few words by Andy. He then answered questions from the audience.
Andy Garcia has wanted to make a film about this subject for 16 years. Even with his name recognition, as well as Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Steven Bauer and a multitude of recognizable talent, he still had a hard time getting financing and distribution. Financing was done privately. He followed the same path as most independent filmmakers... rejection and determination. When the film was completed, none of the studios wanted to distribute it. Well, he finally has Magnolia Pictures distributing the film on a platformed release beginning April 28th in a few select cities in North America.
The Miami International Film Festival continues through Sunday, March 12th.
Please go to the Photo Seen for pictures from the Opening Weekend Festivities.
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