The Miami International Film Festival spans 10 days. During this time, 117 flicks will be screened between March 1 to the 10. We know what you’re thinking. With so many options, how do you decide what to watch? No worries. Noire Miami did the difficult work for you. This year’s film festival, which is in its 30th year, features several movies that give a voice to people within the African Diaspora and bring attention to black actors and black directors. Here’s what we marked on our must-watch list.
TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM
Black backup singers get center-stage attention in Twenty Feet from Stardom. The musical documentary, directed by Grammy nominated Morgan Neville, sits down with Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer who sang in the shadows of musical giants Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and many more.
Running Time: 90 minutes
When/Where: March 1. Plays at 7:30 p.m./Gusman
Cast: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, Claudia Lennear, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Sting.
Director: Morgan Neville.
Producers: Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers
THE HOT FLASHES
Wanda Sykes takes on the roll of Florine Clarkston in The Hot Flashes. Clarkston, along with friends Beth Humphrey (Brooke Shields), Ginger Peabody (Daryl Hannah), Florine Clarkston (Wanda Sykes) and Clementine Winks (Virginia Madsen) join forces to save a local breast-cancer clinic from closure. The ladies, each of a distinguished age, form a basketball team and challenge the Texas State High School Girls Champions. Academy Award-nominee Eric Roberts joins the cast as Beth’s husband.
Running Time: 99 minutes
When/ Where: Time: 7 p.m. Coral Gables Art Cinema, Tues March 5
Cast: Brooke Shields, Camryn Manheim, Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts, Virginia Madsen, Wanda Sykes
Producers: Brad Hennig, Nina Henderson-Moore
VENUS AND SERENA
(Awards Night Film)
Venus and Serena Williams allow directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major intimate access into their lives as they struggled through physically debilitating hardships. Veiwes watch as Venus grapples with an energy-zapping autoimmune disease and as Serena battles a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. The tennis athletes, who are often rivals on the courts, become the other’s source of strength through this time.
Running Time: 100 minutes
When/Where: March 9. Plays at 7 p.m./Olympia Theater
Directors: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
Producers: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
VIVA CUBA LIBRE: RAP IS WAR
WORLD PREMIERE: Viva Cuba: Rap is War follows the story of the Cruz brothers, who were beaten and imprisoned for five years for listening to Los Aldeanos, a rap group that makes music that provokes a new revolution in Cuba. The film, directed by Jesse Acevedo, takes place in and around Havana, Cuba.
Running Time: 114 minutes
When/Where: Mar. 2. 3:30 p.m. Regal South Beach Cinemas
When/Where: Mar. 9. 9 p.m. Regal South Beach Cinemas
*Screens with LOST COUNTRY RT 33 minutes
Director: Jesse Acevedo
Producers:Aaron Ohlmann, Tiffany Naiman
THREE KIDS (TWA TIMOUN)
Director Jonas D’Adesky follows the lives of three orphan boys in Port-au-Prince before and after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Three Kids gives viewers a unique glimpse into Haiti’s capital city through the eyes of children whose lives remain largely unchanged before and after the devastation, even after losing their orphanage to the quake. With little to do or eat, they spend much of their time wandering the streets.
Running Time 81 minutes
When/Where: Mar. 3. 5 p.m. Tower Theater TWR1
When/Where: Mar. 4 7:30 p.m. Regal South Beach Cinemas
Director: Jonas D’Adesky
Producer: Anthony Rey
BAY OF ALL SAINTS (DA MARÉ)
A community of have-nots take up residence in the waters of the Bay of All Saints, which sits in the Atlantic Ocean and along the Brazilian province of Bahia. The unwanted guests built homes in the pristine waters using a mixture of wood stilts and trash to extend the scarce land into the bay. In an effort to move the residents to the outer edges of Salvador, the Bahia government secures a $49 million loan from the World Bank in order to tear down the pop-up community.
Running Time: 75 minutes
When/Where: Mar. 9. 4:15 p.m. Regal South Beach Cinemas
Director: Annie Eastman
Producers: Davis Coombe, Diane Markrow
NAIROBI HALF LIFE
Totted as a “breakthrough for Kenyan cinema,” Nairobi Half Life is a crime drama that follows Mwas, young man who desires to become an actor and to bring attention to the problems that plague society.
Following his dreams, he leaves his rural Kenyan home for the capital of Nairobi. Ironically, he becomes a part of the problem while working as a mule (transporting stolen radio parts) for his gangster cousin. Throughout the film, Mwas encounters struggles along the mean streets of Nairobi.
Running Time: 96 minutes
When/Where: Mar. 1. 8:30 p.m. / Regal South Beach Cinemas
When/Where: Mar. 10. 9:15 p.m. / Regal South Beach Cinemas
Cast:Joseph Wairimu, Nancy Wanjiku Karanja, Olwenya Maina
Director: Tosh Gitonga
Producers: Sarika Hemi Lakhani, Siobhain Ginger Wilson, Tom Tykwer
PARADISE: LOVE (PARADIES: LIEBE)
On the hunt for fantastic, commitment-free, easily accessible sex, recently divorced Teresa (Margarete Tiesel) travels to a paradise getaway in Kenya. She meets Munga, an attractive Kenyan man who speaks German. The tale of Paradise: Love unfolds as Teresa begins to have feelings with her vacation lover. Soon after, Teresa finds faces the threat of ending up in a more complicated web in a remote location that’s far from home and her teenage daughter who is away at weight-loss camp.
Running Time: 120 minutes
When/Where: Mar. 1. 9:30 p.m. / Regal South Beach Cinemas
When/Where: Mar. 10. 9 p.m. / Regal South Beach Cinemas
Cast:Inge Maux, Margarete Tiesel, Peter Kazungu
Director: Ulrich Seidl