After a whirlwind week and a half, the 31st Miami International Film Festival is in the can.
We enjoyed tons of great films from the 97 features screened. We helped shine a spotlight on some local talent, attended some world and regional premieres, even snagged some red carpet chats with the stars (despite their pleas for help).
But amid all the cultural merriment and smoke-blowing schmoozefests, two movies tickled audiences fancy more than the rest. A big congratulations to this year's Lexus Audience Award winners, John Turturro's Fading Gigolo and Tabaré Blanchard's The Mountain.
Each year, the awards are given to one feature and one documentary for National Historic Freedom Tower of Miami Dade College. In attendance were special guests Andy Garcia and Raymond de Felitta, who previously hosted their own screening of the film Rob the Mob.
But we're not here to talk up that quirky, crime-centric romance. Let's hear about our winners. According to a press release, the synopses are as follows:
"Fading Gigolo stars Woody Allen, who is a late-blooming pimp to John Turturro's middle-aged junior florist-turned hustler in a hilarious NY comedy, where legendary screen sirens Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara turn up as eager clients, and Vanessa Paradis plays an orthodox Jewish widow in need of human touch. The film was part of an evening which presented John Tuturro with the Career Achievement Tribute & Award."
"The Mountain is a documentary about a trio of Dominicans who contend with the harsh, freezing climate of Katmandu and made history by crowning Mount Everest with a Dominican flag in 2011, inspiring three young surfers to conquer Pico Duarte, Hispaniola's highest mountain."
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"Every year the films that are brought into the Festival continue to amaze me. The energy and artistic excellence could be felt by all in attendance throughout the entire festival," said MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante in a press release. "We look forward to what the 32st Festival in 2015 will entail."
Once again, we say congrats to all the winners and the films featured at the festival. Until next year, keep it reel.
Fading Gigolo sees wide release April 18.