Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival kicked off Friday at the historic Olympia Theater at Gusman Center in Downtown.
Filmmakers, directors and producers, whose films will be screened throughout the 10-day festival, made their way down the red carpet to the Florida premiere of “Wild Tales,” the 2015 Oscar-nominated film for Best Foreign Language written and directed by Damián Szifron.
“Wild Tales” is a black comedic anthology that features an ensemble cast starring Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Erica Rivas. The film was also nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
Szifron’s debut feature film played at MIFF in 2004, according to the festival’s website.
Aaron Moorhead along with co-director Justin Benson were taking in all of the red carpet experience.
“It has been incredible,” Moorhead said. “We spent today lounging and soaking up Miami for the first time ever.”
Moorhead along with Benson directed “Spring,” a love story about a young man who meets a beautiful woman in Europe while trying to cope with a personal trauma. The film made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival September 2014.
Moorhead also headed the jury for the Cineslam student competition, which took place Friday night at the Tower Theater. He grew up in Tampa and went to film school at Florida State University.
“The jurists talked about how we could use what we were doing – judging the films – as encouragement for those who have voices to keep making films,” Moorhead said. “When I went to film school … it was kind of an important thing when the instructors actually made it seem like I wasn’t just one of a mass people, but someone that had something to say.”
Tyler Huyser and Luis Galvis, two UM students, competed in Cineslam.
Huyser’s seven-minute film “Emory” is about an 18-year-old who uses graffiti to escape from Miami’s Overtown. Galvis filmed his eight-minuted documentary “Romana” in Guatemala, telling the story about an illiterate mother who strives to give her daughters an education.
Awards include Miami Cineslam Champion 2015 (which includes a $500 cash Sara Fuller Scholarship courtesy of FilmFlorida), Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Drama, Best Documentary and Best Technical Achievement.
For more information on MIFF, visit miamifilmfestival.com.