Film & TV

Miami Film Festival Unveils Selections by Women Directors, Google Seminar Series

Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival will return for its 34th edition in March 2017, and today organizers announced a double dose of excitement for audiences that want more diverse work. Not only will the Google Seminar Series on Gender & Racial Gaps in Film & Tech, which launched last year, return with new guests, but also the fest will screen 15 films from around the world, all directed by women.

The Google Seminar Series will consist of discussions with women filmmakers and producers about solutions for gender and racial bias in the film and technology worlds. Miami Film Festival, the only major film fest produced and presented by a college or university, hopes the series will pave the way for women who aspire to break into an industry dominated by men.

“Now, more than ever, we need a plurality of stories onscreen," festival programmer Kiva Reardon says. "The Google Seminar Series will feature informative talks from invigorating voices working behind and in front of the camera. Each speaker will address issues and tactics for change in their respective fields, with the aim of preparing those in attendance to make their own moves to become the future decision makers of the film industry,”

Taking place March 4 and 5 in the MDC Live Arts Lab, located on MDC’s Wolfson Campus, the series will highlight actress and filmmaker Sarah Gadon; ARRAY executive director Tilane Jones; film/TV editor of and founder of Film Fatale NYC, Rebecca Theodore-Vachon; and the creators of the Gotham Award-winning web series Shugs and Fats, Nadia P. Manzoor and Radhika Vaz.

“We’re ecstatic to return to the Miami Film Festival and have the opportunity to collaborate for a second year on the Google Seminar Series on Gender & Racial Gaps in Film & Tech,” adds Daraiha Greene, Google diversity in entertainment ambassador. “It’s critical that we harness the power of the media and film industry to showcase positive role models and encourage women and underserved groups to pursue careers in computer science.”

The festival will also highlight 15 features directed by women, including a mixture of world, international, North American, and local premieres. World premieres include Jeri Rice’s documentary Embargo and Luz Ruciello’s Argentine drama A Concrete Cinema; the international premiere is Alice de Andrade’s Veinte Años.

Other woman-directed features include North America premieres such as Maria Ripoll’s Don’t Blame It on Your Karma!, Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, and Nely Reguera’s Maria (and Everybody Else) and U.S. premieres such as Inés Paris’ The Night My Mother Killed My Father, Claudia Sainte-Luce’s The Empty Box, and Maite Alberdi’s The Grownups.

Of all the categories, the Florida premieres are the most stacked, with six features being showcased: Joan Kron’s Take My Nose... Please!, Nicole Opper’s Visitor’s Day, Jill Campbell’s Mr. Chibbs, Ramu Rau’s League of Exotique Dancers, Leslie Iwerks’ Ella Brennan: Commanding The Table, and Susan Johnson’s Carrie Pilby, which features a star-packed cast including Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Jason Ritter, and Gabriel Byrne.

Miami Film Festival
March 3-12, 2017. Advance ticket vouchers for the Google cost $9 each or $30 for all at Advance ticket vouchers cost $13 for general admission and $10 for Miami Film Society members via or 844-565-6433 (MIFF). Regular tickets will go on sale February 10.
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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.