In its ever rotating cast of administrators, the Miami International Film Festival has named a new director, Jaie Laplante. The last director Tiziana Finzi's contract was not renewed with little explanation as to why, just a phoned-in "caio." Her 2010 programming included big hits like The Secret in Their Eyes, which went on to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Laplante, who has a BFA with a specialization in film production from Toronto's York University, currently oversees programming and budgets as director of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Previously, he was the co-director of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
According to Miami Dade College, Laplante also has screenwriter credits. But is this the same Jaie Laplante that IMDB.com says starred in the gay serial killer thriller Frisk in 1996? We hope so.
In the film, which also stars Parker Posey, this Laplante plays the
former lover of a gay serial killer. When it screened at the 1996 San
Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the New York
Times reported that "some hailed it as a disturbing and iconoclastic
masterpiece, while roughly half the audience angrily stormed out of the
theater before the film's conclusion."
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Laplante, who officially takes over the festival on October 15, is
currently traveling. We look forward to asking him about his time
behind and in front of the camera as well as his plans for the festival, which runs March 4-13. If his
acting credits do include Frisk, we hope this means he'll be brave enough to program the kind of films that elicit praise as well as protests.