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LUC BESSON RECEIVES TOP HONOR AT 2007 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Legendary Director, Producer and Writer Honored with Career Achievement Tribute

Legendary Director, Producer and Writer Honored with Career Achievement Tribute

MIAMI, March 7, 2007 The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), honors Luc Besson with the fifth annual Career Achievement Tribute, today at 7:00 p.m. on stage at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The Tribute includes a retrospective selection of film clips and an on-stage discussion led by David D?Arcy, correspondent for The Art Newspaper, contributing editor at Art & Auction and film writer on GreenCine.com. In addition, Besson?s latest film, Angel-A will screen immediately following the Tribute and discussion.

This year, we honor world-renowned Director-Producer-Writer, Luc Besson, whose career has become synonymous with contemporary French cinema, said Nicole Guillemet, Festival Director. We are so very proud to pay tribute to a filmmaker whose critically acclaimed films such as Nikita and Léon, as well cult favorites such as The Fifth Element have stirred audiences and inspired filmmakers.

Luc Besson's films have uniquely achieved both immense international popularity and an enduring cult appeal. The Besson style?characterized by kinetic, action-filled, frequently violent narratives stylishly rendered?also reveals a unifying, consistent personal connection to visions of solitary characters struggling in very particular worlds set apart. His directorial debut at age 24 was a stunner: Le Dernier Combat, an inventively shot dialogue-free post-apocalyptic drama, signaled the arrival of a new auteur and won nearly 20 international awards. This fully imagined world was followed by a string of now well-known films that meld genre with elements of fable, fairy tale and mythology?including a literal underworld of criminals and strivers in the fluorescent-lit Subway, the contemplation of an earthly paradise set amongst deep sea divers in The Big Blue, a female government assassin fighting for her life and identity in the thriller La Femme Nikita, the unlikely soul mates of a hit man (Jean Reno) and a young girl (Natalie Portman?s debut) who survive a violent New York in The Professional, and airborne cabbie Bruce Willis fighting evil 250 years in the future in the dazzling Cesar-winning The Fifth Element. And his latest film, Angel-A (playing at MIFF), a refreshing romantic comedy-fantasy set in a real-yet-stylized Paris, is not as out-of-character as it might first seem. For his distinctive body of work that never loses sight of the audience, the Miami International Film Festival is pleased to salute Luc Besson.

Past Miami International Film Festival honorees have included Wim Wenders (2006) Liv Ullmann (2005), Carlos Saura (2004), and Hector Babenco (2003).