l to r: MIFF 2014 Tributee John Turturro and MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante; NY film critic David Edelstein and John Turturro
Day 3 Wrap: The king of the night was acclaimed Italian American actor, writer, and filmmaker John Turturro, who flew in from Italy to receive MIFF’s 2014 Career Achievement Award, presented by 88 Rue du Rhone. Inside Olympia Theater’s Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Turturro greeted the packed house, humbly stating, “I appreciate everyone’s appreciation of what I’m attempting to portray” and emphasized that he considered this a “mid-career achievement award.”
A compelling video of Turturro's multi-faceted acting career was created by MIFF alumnus directorJokes Yanes (Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, MIFF 2013), and was followed by an onstage chat withDavid Edelstein, chief film critic for New York Magazine and NPR's Fresh Air, who told the crowd that Turturro was “truly one of his existential heroes.” Turturro spoke about Woody Allen’s unbelievable generosity, the friendship the two of them share (including the same hairdresser) and Allen’s remarkable ability to come up with zingers on the spot.
The Tribute capped off with the presentation of Fading Gigolo, Turturro’s latest directorial achievement, where Woody Allen plays a late-blooming pimp to Turturro’s middle-aged 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.
Following the screening, a "Career Achievement Tribute" Party in John Turturro's honor was held at the stunning Epic Hotel; John Turturro & Jaie Laplante; Poolside party sponsored by 88 Rue du Rhone, Area 31 Restaurant, byejoe and Stella Artois.
l to r: The Mountain director Taba Blanchard; Default actor David Oyelowo; A Place in Heaven actor Alon Aboutboul
Lead actor Alon Aboutboul engaged in a deep discussion with the audience after the screening ofA Place in Heaven, a meaty film about faith, and fathers and sons, and, ultimately, the soul, so many of the audience questions were around the choices made by the artists in shaping the story.
During the Q&A for Default at Coral Gables Art Cinema, the audience was so moved by some ofDavid Oyelowo's comments on the misunderstandings and misperceptions around Africa and how it is portrayed in the news, they burst into spontaneous applause, along with a very moving moment when a young Somali actor from the film came and spoke of the different perceptions and attitudes towards the West in his country.
l to r: Blackbrick chef Richard Hales, South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager; presented by Plymouth Gin; Culinary Cinema guests enjoy a taste of modern China following the screening of Final Recipe.
l to r: Papi Short Program 2 presented by Macy's with director Eric Paternot and bodybuilder Tshering Dorji ("Shirt Out Game Over"); The Art Rush director Marianne Lamour & producer Juliette Maynial; Papi Shorts Program 2 with directors Joey Daoud ("Strike, The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told" and Kareem Tabsch ("Cherry Pop: The Story of the World's Fanciest Cat" WORLD PREMIERE)
l to r: La Jaula de Oro director Diego Quemada-Díez; In Darkness We Fall director Alfredo Montero; City of God: 10 Years Later director Cavi Borges