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Miami Encuentros: Networking At The Miami Film Festival


Wednesday, March 5---------In the past number of years, major film festivals around the world has seen it as their mission to not only exhibit the best films available, but also to serve as a breeding ground for new projects to get launched, financed and distributed. To this end, the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) has joined the ranks of such major film festival events as Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Pusan, Dubai and several others, in organizing parallel industry events designed to stimulate awareness and interest in projects that are still in the development stage.

With its strong accent on films from Spain, Portugal and Latin America, the mandate was clear that MIFF could be a launching pad for new Spanish and Portuguese-language films by allowing producers and directors to network with distributors, financiers, programmers, television executives and other professionals. MIFF is celebrating its sixth year of Miami Encuentros, a breakthrough program that gives emerging producers from Spain and Latin America the opportunity to present new projects to U.S. and International industry professionals. This intensive three-day event, which begins today, fosters dialogue, builds lasting connections and offers opportunities for networking and the nurturing of the next generation of filmmakers.

The Festival has assembled an impressive roster of visiting professionals, giving the Miami Encuentros producers and directors unprecedented access to some of the most important companies in the industry. The list includes: lan Arboleda, Dynamo Capital and Cinapse; Laurent Baudens, Borsalino Films; Arianna Bocco, IFC Films; Pape Boye, COACH 14; Matt Brodlie, Paramount Vantage; Andres Calderon, Dynamo Capital; Monica Chuo, Paramount International; Eduardo Constantini, Costa Films; Pablo Cruz, Canana Films; Leo de Barros, Conspiração Films; Guillerminadi Marcos, Travesia Producciones; Eva Diederix, Elle Driver; Paul Federbush, Warner Independent Pictures; Sandro Fiorin, FiGA Films; Alex Garcia, FiGA Films; Jason Gurvitz, Maya Releasing; Samantha Horley, Lumina Films Ltd.; Sarah Lash, Cinetic Media; Arne Ludwig, 2 Pilots Filmproduction GmbH; Millie Luna, Venevision Internacional; Stuart Manashil, CAA; Eric Mathis, Ondamax Group // Clou Production Services; Gael Nouaille, Wild Bunch; Alberto Perez de La Mesa, Albrije Home Entertainment; Jason Resnick, Focus Features / Universal Pictures; Laura Rister, Untitled Entertainment; Eileen Rodriguez, The Weinstein Company; Eric Rovner, William Morris Agency; Francesco Ruilli, Film Annex; Luillo Ruiz, Buena Ondita; Ilda Santiago, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and Estacao Cinemas; Belly Torres, Buena Ondita; and Mirjam Wertheim, Orange Entertainment.


Director: Alejo Taube, Argentina
Director’s Statement: "The film is about doppelgangers, two people who are identically the same, but have no familial relationship. In this tale, the two men face different, yet complementary destinies. The idea of the doppelganger, or the double, is rooted in our mythology (as in the Arthurian Legends and in the story of The Prince and Pauper). But what happens when this phenomenon affects ordinary people, not princes or heroes?"

Director: Shawn Garry, Chile
Director’s Statement: "B-612 results from my interest in how people deal with solitude, abandonment, and lack of companionship. In this film, I will explore desolation, which is a state of alienation. Under extreme circumstances, my characters bring out either the best or the worst in themselves."
Director: Renato Ornelas, Mexico
Director’s Statement: "CHAPULTEPUNK's essence lies within human beings, in the rights and wrongs we commit in the name of love, in the search for our identity and place in the world. The characters are so human that they remind us of the need we have to free our desires."

Director: Rafa Cortés, Spain
Director’s Statement: "THE DAKOTA DREAM is an absurd comedy, sometimes light, sometimes dark and sometimes surrealistic, that tries to question and compare the veracity of two worlds: the physical and the mental. For me, the latter is possibly the only place in this confusing life where some things can become completely true."

Director: Tata Amaral, Brazil
Director’s Statement: "This film confronts the separation of past and present through characters and locations. In Vera’s, Ercilio’s, Lucia’s and Alfonso’s imaginations and memories - either in militant leftist hideouts or in familiar rooms - the limits of time and space are transformed."

Director: Jairo Eduardo Carrillo, Colombia
Director’s Statement: "The film is the outcome of my 2003 short animated documentary LITTLE VOICES. It was based on the experiences of displaced children, victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. To tell their stories, we used the children's own stories and drawings."

Director: Richard Goldgewicht, U.S.
Director’s Statement: "Inspired by Pablo Ferro’s elusive personality and his mastery of different disciplines, such as animation, design, comic art and motion graphics, I blended animation, motion graphics, documentary footage and celebrity interviews, connected by a warm narrative track by Pablo's friend and collaborator, Jeff Bridges."

Director: Leonardo de Armas, Cuba
Director’s Statement: "The film is a comedy that reflects on Western society’s obsession with self-realization and constant search for happiness. We get a lot of confusing and varied information on how to mold our souls and our bodies in record time. This film invites the spectator to sit in front of a mirror and laugh, recognizing their very self."
Directors: Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, Uruguay
Director’s Statement: "The film is a melancholic portrayal of a family vacation during which nothing goes as expected. Fourteen-year-old Lucia is always fighting with her father, Alberto. The film's third-person perspective allows us to empathize with both characters without patronizing or judging them."

Two films from last year's Miami Encuentros program, LOKAS by director Gonzalo Justiniano and PERRO COME PERRO by Carlos Moreno, are being shown at this year's Festival.....a shining example of how this unique networking program results in financing and distribution.

Sandy Mandelberger, Miami FF Dailies Editor


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Mandelberger Sandy

March 6-15, 2009

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