Fans of Juno and Young Adult will be thrilled to hear what Miami Dade College's Miami Film Festival has up its sleeve for 2018. The latest project by director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody will hit the big screen early thanks to MIFF. The 35th-annual festival will open March 9 with Tully, and the director will be in attendance.
“Charlize Theron’s fearless performance as a struggling suburban mother on the brink of losing mental control is made possible by another brilliant collaboration by the creators of Juno and Young Adult,” festival director Jaie Laplante says. “Tully is both a parable and a salve for our stressed-out times. It reminds us all of who we are, and there is no more beautiful way to open our 35th edition than with this film.”
MIFF will also bring one of the world's greatest actresses to the Magic City. Isabelle Huppert will receive the Precious Gem Icon Award March 16 at the Olympia Theater. She will be honored alongside screenings of her films Souvenir and Claire's Camera.
“Isabelle Huppert has made profound contributions to cinema over the course of her illustrious career,” Laplante says. “With her recent performances in Things to Come and Elle, as well as Souvenir and Claire’s Camera, both of which we will be screening in conjunction with her festival appearance, Ms. Huppert reaches ever-new pinnacles that continually astonish us and add to her iconic status.”
Another Precious Gem, this time the Master Award, will be handed out to the Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, timed with the release of a new documentary about the filmmaker's career and life, Felix Viscarret's Saura(s).
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“Carlos Saura returns to Miami after receiving the festival’s Career Achievement Tribute Award at our 20th edition in 2003,” Laplante says. “At that time, he was 71. Now he’s 86 and has made eight more brilliant films since his last visit to Miami. But with Saura(s), we see him in a new light, as both a filmmaker and a family-maker. He is a peerless master, and we celebrate the life that continues to nourish his art.”
Filmmakers Michel Hazanavicius and Paul Schrader will also attend the festival, respectively presenting their films Godard Mon Amour and First Reformed and participating in onstage conversations about them. In addition, the fest will present Producer's Master Class, led by the Miami-based producers of The Florida Project, Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri, March 17.
Overall, the festival will screen more than 140 feature narratives, documentaries, and short films from 50 countries. Thirty-eight of the films were directed or codirected by women. There are plenty of great picks, including Armando Iannucci's The Death of Stalin, Michael Pearce's Beast, Christian Papierniak's Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town, and Laura Mora's Killing Jesus.
Miami Film Festival. March 9 through 18 at various venues; miamifilmfestival.com. Single screening tickets cost $10 to $13; special event tickets cost $30 to $100.