Thom Powers (wearing tie) with Master Class attendees and guests
Day 3 began at noon with MIFFecito Master Class: The Art of Curation with Thom Powers(@ThomPowers), presenting what it takes to be the link between the film and the audience—the curator is the bridge. Veteran curator Thom Powers cited Citizenfour, by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Laura Poitras, as an example of what a film experience should be, stating it was “a transcendent experience that I’m not sure I’ll have again.” Poitras’ film, released to the public just a week ago, shows the first extensive interviews with Edward Snowden after he blew the whistle on NSA and government intrusion.
Belly Motions Bollywood Dance Team
Later in the evening, an enchanting Bollywood dance team from Belly Motions brought a burst of colorful energy into the theater, with a captivating dance number, setting the mood for the Florida Premiere of Vara: A Blessing, written and directed by Bhutanese lama Khyentse Norbu; a veritable feast for the senses. Norbu’s melodramatic tale of forbidden love between a Hindi dancer—daughter of a devadasi—and a low-caste Muslim sculptor is set against the lush countryside of an Indian village that has not yet caught up with the modern world.
actor Roberto Sanchez, MiamiFF executive director Jaie Laplante, MiamiFF senior programmer Andres Castillo; Roberto Sanchez' family/clan
Miami-raised, Cuban-born actor Roberto Sanchez returned to the Tower Theater, the very place that sparked his dreams of becoming an actor, to present Lake Los Angeles—a story of two individuals in pursuit of the American dream. In the film Sanchez plays Francisco, a middle-aged Cuban man, opposite Cecilia (Johanna Trujillo) a 10-year-old Mexican girl. Trujillo got the part after being the only girl (out of ten others) during casting who generated a sad story from personal experience when asked to share one by the director. Sanchez told the audience “This is the greatest moment of my career,” and went on to share how his character in the film has a chance to make things right and that the role felt very personal for him. He’ll be back at MIFFecito tonight to present a second screening of Lake Los Angeles at 6:30 PM.
l to r: filmmaker Mariana Chenillo, Andres Castillo; MiamiFF executive director Jaie Laplante, filmmaker Mariana Chenillo
With José Antonio Zabalgoitia, the new consul general of the Mexican Consulate General in Miami, seated among the sold out crowd, award-winning Mexican writer-director Mariana Chenillo, closed out the night by presenting the Florida Premiere of her new film Paradise(Paraíso)—a romantic comedy five years in the making that offers a distinct perspective on obesity, insecurities, and finding fulfillment beyond the superficial. During the Q&A, when an audience member asked if she had fun making the film, Chenillo’s response was “Fun?! —No that was a very difficult movie to make; it was adopted from a short story and not taken from personal experience,” as it was with her debut feature film Nora’s Will, which took home MiamiFF26’saudience award in 2009.
One more day of splendid MIFFecito films and a special Conversation with Moisés Kaufman to come…