actor Héctor Noas, director Ernesto Daranas, MiamiFF executive director Jaie Laplante
MIFFecito, MiamiFF’s four-day ‘shot of cinema’ kicked off last night at MDC’s Tower Theaterwith director Ernesto Daranas, actor Héctor Noas (both jetting in from the Big Island) and artistic director Erick Glass, in Little Havana present Cuba’s Oscar & Goya contender, Behavior(Conducta). MiamiFF’s executive director Jaie Laplante, welcomed the sold out crowd of movie lovers and thanked them for their continued support of the Festival, along with Miami Dade College’s president Dr. Eduardo Padrón, MDC’s District Board of Trustees, premiere sponsorsKnight Foundation, Miami Dade County, Comcast and American Airlines, and venue sponsorViendomovies. The Tower’s concession area was wondrously transformed into a pop-up food/cafecito shop created by Latin food gurus at Tinta y Café.
Red carpet arrival with director Mariana Chenillo, Juan Pablo Daranas, MiamiFF associate director Eloisa Lopez-Gomez; actor Héctor Noas interviewed by Nicolas Calzada
MiamiFF selection coordinator Christine Archilla and actor Roberto Sanchez; Tinta y Café pop-up shop
During the film’s Q&A, an audience member mentioned, “There are a lot of Latin American subtleties in the film,” and asked “Do you think North American audiences will understand them when they see the film?” Daranas replied, “As a director, all you can do is write from the heart; what best communicates is good storytelling, and what opens doors is universal themes of the human condition.”
Daranas worked solely with the child actors for four months before shooting in order to maintain the improvisational dynamic that he had with them—bringing the adults in just a week prior to filming. The kids ran the show in terms of much of the storyline’s improvisation. The film was shot in seven weeks and, when asked how the film was financed, Daranas replied, “financing came from “el Espíritu Santo” (the Holy Spirit), evoking a burst of laughter from the audience. A special acknowledgement went to Tower Theater’s programmer Orlando Rojas, an important filmmaker in Cuba who inspired Daranas’ generation.
Ball & Chain; Stella Artois gals
Opening NIght Pary guests at Ball & Chain
After the film, Festivalgoers strolled across the street for a glorious throwback to Miami’s heyday of jazz and gamblers at Ball & Chain, a historic music club dating back to 1935. The atmosphere was electric with two live bands, an endless flow of libations from Bombay Sapphire Gin and Stella Artois, accompanied by an exquisite selection of traditional Cuban tapas.