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Miami International Film Festival's 25th Anniversary Celebration

The 25th anniversary edition of the Miami International Film Festival opens tomrrow evening, with a star-studded ten days of film premieres, celebrity tributes, information seminars and, of course, legendary parties. Hundreds of filmmakers and film professionals from all over the world will descend on the “sunshine state” for a provocative mix of networking, wheeling and dealing and partying at various Miami and South Beach nightspots.

This is the inaugural event for Festival Director Patrick de Bokay, who was hired last year to replace Nicole Guillemet in the top spot. De Bokay's experience in the distribution, promotion and festivals worlds are paying off with an industry-rich event that appeals to film buffs and film professionals. While the Festival will include several programs that looks back at its rich history, there is a strong sense of moving into the future, as the Festival assumes its mantle as one of the most important film events on the international film festival circuit.

The excitement begins tomorrow night at the Spanish rococo landmark Gusman Center for the Performing Arts with the Opening Night Gala Premiere of LA MISMA LUNA (Under The Same Moon) by Mexican director Patricia Riggen. The film, a Mexican/US co-production, had its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it was an immediate audience hit. The film, which stars America Ferrara (UGLY BETTY), Kate del Castillo and Adrian Alonso, tells the poignant tale of a mother and her young son who live on opposite sides of the US/Mexican border. The film’s heart-tugging emotional story and standout performance by the young Adrian Alonso as the young boy who risks it all to be reunited with his mother, has been compared to such contemporary classics as CINEMA PARADISO and MY LIFE AS A DOG. Miami audiences will have a rare sneak preview of the film before it opens in theaters on March 19th, via Fox Searchlight.

Following the Gala Premiere, members of Miami’s social, artistic and political elite will party into the wee hours at the Festival’s Opening Night Gala, sure to be one of Miami’s most-talked about cultural events. Paraphrasing Bette Davis in one of her grand cinematic moments, “Fasten your seatbelts, the 25th anniversary of the Miami International Film Festival is going to be a wild ride.”

Sandy Mandelberger, Miami Film Festival Dailies Editor on


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