October 15, 2010 - Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) and Miami Dade College (MDC)unveiled its programming team for the 28th edition of the annual festival, which runs from Friday, March 4, to Sunday, March 13, 2011.
Joining newly appointed Executive Director Jaie Laplante will be Thom Powers, Diana Sanchez andAndres Castillo, with former MIFF director Nicole Guillemet returning to provide additional guest curatorship duties.
“I am thrilled to be able to announce this superb team on my first day as MIFF’s new director,” said Laplante, who officially takes the reins of Miami’s oldest film festival today. “These programmers are among the finest film minds currently working in the festival world, and through their existing relationships with directors, producers, distributors and studio executives they are committed to delivering an incredible line-up of films and special programs for Miami audiences in 2011."
Thom Powers, new senior program consultant for documentaries, currently serves as an international documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, which he joined in 2006. He is also artistic director for the weekly documentary series, “Stranger than Fiction” at Manhattan’s IFC Center and for DOC NYC, a new festival launching in November, 2010. Powers, a Detroit native currently residing in Canada, also has family connections in the South Florida area and travels frequently to the region.
Diana Sanchez, new senior program consultant for Spanish- and Portuguese-language films, will also reprise her role as director of the festival’s industry-renowned Encuentros initiative, a mentorship and film development program for emerging filmmakers and projects from Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Sanchez launched Encuentros in 2003 and managed the program through 2008. Now entering its 9th year, Encuentros will bring six new projects to MIFF under Sanchez’s direction in 2011. Sanchez, a native of Canada, currently serves as an international programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, specializing in Latin American cinema, a role she has held since 2002. She is also a programming consultant for the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and has been involved in a variety of other festivals and cinematic presentations, notably in Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador.
Nicole Guillemet, guest curator, has worked in the arts for more than 25 years, including 15 years as the vice president of the Sundance Institute and the co-director of the Sundance Film Festival and five years as Director of the Miami International Film Festival (2002-2007). She recently founded the Salt Lake City Film Center, has recently developed a new film festival, the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, and serves on the national boards of a number of arts organizations. In 2005, Guillemet, a native of France, was decorated as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by France’s Minister of Culture.
Andres Castillo, programmer, has worked with Miami International Film Festival since 2007. He previously served as a film services coordinator and contributed to MIFF’s program in 2010, including the very popular REEL Music Scene series of films and live-music and performance videos. Promoted to the role of official programmer this year, the Ecuador native represented MIFF during the 2010 San Sebastian International Film Festival in September.
The complete program of the 2011 Miami International Film Festival will be announced in January 2011.
About Miami International Film Festival
The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 28th edition March 4-13, 2011, is considered the preeminent Ibero-American film festival in the U.S. The annual festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 70,000 film enthusiasts and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, actors and industry professionals. During the past five years, the festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 East Coast, U.S. and world premieres. ThroughEncuentros, the festival’s mentorship and film development programfor emerging filmmakers and projects from Spain, Portugal and Latin America, MIFF has become the natural gateway for the discovery of Ibero-American talent. Additionally, the festival’s REEL Education Seminar Series for film students, industry professionals and the community at large, consistently attracts top Hollywood and independent film executives from Sony Pictures Classics, Warner Bros., IFC Films, Fox Searchlight, DreamWorks Animation, HBO Films/HBO Latino and William Morris Endeavor, among many others. For more, visitwww.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).
About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, the Cultura del Lobo performance series, The Cuban Cinema Series, nine visual arts galleries, including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology, in addition to the renowned Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 170,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer nearly 300 distinct degree programs, including baccalaureate degrees.