10 Things You Didn’t Know About Miami Film Festival
There are a lot of things happening during the ten days of the Miami Film Festival. From celebrity sightings, local screenings, and parties upon parties, the series of international screenings flood the city with some of the best culture around. But there are quite a few facts you probably never knew about our cinema gem. Take a look at these treasures we found, straight from the archives:
1. Legendary animator Chuck Jones – best known for his work on “Looney Tunes” – designed the Festival’s 1989 Poster Art.
2. The Freedom Tower is the hub of the Festival’s year-round operations. This beautiful and historic building they call home was previously the headquarters and printing facility of The Miami News. During the 1960s, the Freedom Tower served as a processing center and health clinic for Cuban refugees.
3. Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university. The Festival is proudly presented by Miami Dade College, an institution which enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other college or university in the United States and provides unique support to first-generation scholars.
4. Miami Dade College’s fearless leader, Dr. Eduardo J. Padron, was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor – in November 2016.
5. Pedro Almodóvar premiered his film “Kika” at Miami Film Festival in 1994, an experience which paved the way for his rise to prominence among U.S. audiences.
6. The Queen of Salsa herself, Celia Cruz, and Marisa Tomei graced the Festival with their presence in 1994 in conjunction with their film “The Perez Family”.
7. In the Festival’s early seasons, screenings occurred exclusively at the historic Olympia Theater. While the Olympia still plays host to all of their gala screenings, the Festival has expanded to five additional screening venues throughout the city.
8. Miami-Dade College’s Tower Theater in Little Havana is the Festival’s year-round home base for enjoying the city’s best popcorn & programming. The Tower Theater, which opened its doors for the first time in 1926, reopened to the public under MDC’s management in 2002 after eighteen years of lying dormant.
9. ¿Sabían qué? After a large influx of Cuban refugees arrived to Little Havana in the 1960s, the Tower Theater altered its programming to include English-language films with Spanish subtitles, and eventually Spanish-language films.
10. Miami Film Festival leads the nation in supporting Ibero-American filmmakers seeking assistance with global financing, development, distribution and theatrical release. Each season, the Festival awards more than $95,000 to its winning filmmakers!