Prism’s Top Miami Film Festival Picks
January 30, 2017
It’s peak movie awards and festival season, and tons of titles are being thrown at you with vigor and passionate opinion. But here’s one of the best things about this year’s Miami Film Festival and their 131 films from over 35 countries: there’s literally something for everyone. From March 3rd – 12th, instead of getting overwhelmed with what you should see over what is gaining critical acclaim, check out the flicks we’re particularly excited about and maybe just take our word for it?
Films About Music:
There are quite a few musically-charged titles hitting the festival this year, and we have two that we can’t wait to jam out to. Give Me Future: Major Lazer in Cuba comes for its East Coast premiere and follows the big name EDM act as they take to the shores of Cuba for their viral music festival that happened in 2015. More than a look at the heavy-hitter, we’re excited to learn more about the local acts they worked with while over there.
Another powerful documentary is Dubfire: Above Ground Level, an intimate look at one half of the GRAMMY-winning duo, Deep Dish: Ali Shirazinia aka Dubfire. Not only do you have the compelling story of a product of war-torn refuge, but a dissection of what it takes to break the threshold of any creative industry with commentary from big names like David Guetta, Pete Tong, and Paul Oakenfold. Plus, MFF will be the film’s world premiere with a special talk featuring Shirazinia himself.
At Miami Film Festival, there’s an influx of works spanning the entire world, but we love how it acts as a catalyst for local and Miami-bred talent. Are We Not Cats is the feature debut of the young Miami-born filmmaker, Xander Robin, who in his early twenties has already gained great acclaim for his shorter works. This one is for fans of the bizarre (we know we are) and the kinds of stories that start sad (and a little scary) but take you for a wild ride into happiness.
One of the films we’re most excited about features Chris Noth (better known as “Mr. Big” in HBO’s Sex and The City ) and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) and is directed by Miami local, Xavier Manrique. Chronically Metropolitan tells the story of a young writer hoping to get his ex-girlfriend back after discovering she’s engaged to another man. Interesting social commentary will surely ensue.
For its North American premiere, we’re particularly intrigued by Lipstick Under My Burkha, a heart-winning showcase of Indian women in all their glory and constantly fighting against a society built upon strict gender codes. It’s a rolling look at different women in varying situations all connected by the inner fire for vision and pizazz.
Big, BIG fans of anything British and film certainly isn’t an exception. Set within the milieu of Britian’s wartime film industry, Their Finest is a “stirring and delightful new film from An Education director, Lone Scherfig follows a screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) who experiences both an emotional blitzkrieg and unexpected liberation while shooting on location for the British Ministry of Information’s Film Division.” Plus, Jeremy Irons and Bill Nighy are sure to give great performances (as always).
The Big Names:
Most of us culture vulture go to the festival to catch up on our quirky, indie cinema, but we can’t say no to some fan-led curiosities. We’re just going to go ahead and say two words: Richard Gere. Now that we have your attention, make sure you catch Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, also the Opening Night feature. It’s likable and a bustling whirlwind fit for the city its set in.
How can you magnify something so vibrant and full of character as Rossy De Palma, the multi-talented actress, fashionista, musician, and muse to Almodóvar? Put her in a starring role about Nellie Bly in Travelling Lady, the American journalist known for her record-breaking 72-day trip around the world and make an entire night out of it. Watch the film throughout the festival or sit down with De Palma and Jessica Mitrani to catch a musical surprise pre-screening.
And Little Gems:
A movie doesn’t need to be heavy or loud to be powerful. Case in point: Carrie Pilby. A 19 year-old genius in England at the forefront, a sense of loss washes over her after graduating from Harvard at such a young age. Susan Johnson’s adaptation of Caren Lissner’s bestseller is a smart, surprisingly resonant coming-of-age comedy that turns notions of privilege inside out in a light-hearted vessel. You’ll come for the familiar faces, but really you’ll stay for the humor.
We spend a lot of time standing strong in the face of society, who doesn’t love a good tear-generating romance? The History of Love is the kind of movie you know you’re going to melt to just by learning the story. Based on American author Nicole Krauss’ bestseller, it’s a sprawling saga of undaunted ardor and merciless twists of fate spanning decades and continents, and following the story of two lovers pulled apart by movements greater than themselves.
Remember, tickets for the festival go on sale next Friday, February 10th but you can already reserve your spots for their special events and Google talks here.