Miami International Film Festival

Miami International Film Festival
Location Miami, Florida
Founded 1983

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is an annual film festival in Miami, Florida, that showcases independent American and international films with a special focus on Ibero-American films. The competitive film festival draws international and local attention, with films being showcased in several venues across the city center and includes features, documentaries, short films, and retrospectives. The programming is selected so as to include: premiers for both established film-makers and up-and-commers, socially relevant films, multidisciplinary and experimental films, and films showcasing international musicians.[1] The stated mission of the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is to bridge cultural understanding and encourage artistic development.[2]

The Festival debuted in November 1978, under director J. Hunter Todd. It lasted 10 days and presented approximately 100 feature films and 300 shorter works.[3] In 1983 , it went under the Film Society of Miami, and under director Nat Chendiak held its first revamped edition in February 1984. Chendiak acted as director of the festival in the early years, handpicking the films shown.[4] Control of the festival was assumed by Florida International University in 1999.[5] Conflict emerged between Chendiak and Florida International University over the direction of the festival, and when his contract ran out on 2001 Chendiak chose to leave.[4] Miami-Dade College took over in late 2003 after Florida International University lost $20 million in state funding and incurred an $800,000 deficit.[5][4]

Since 2006, the beginning of the ten-day festival has shifted to early March.[6] The Festival has now grown to become a comprehensive global festival with an annual attendance of over 70,000.[7] The Festival is held for 10 consecutive days, opening annually on the first Friday of March.[8] In 2014, the festival introduced "MIFFecito", a fall presentation.[9] The following year, the festival rebranded it to "GEMS", a 4-day event held in October to present "the jewels of the fall season".[10][11][12]

Jaie Laplante became director of programming in 2011.[13]


  1. "Mission & History". Miami Dade College. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  2. "About MDC". Miami Dade College. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  3. Clark, Roy Peter (January 6, 1979). "Return Engagement Set for Miami Film Festival". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. The first Miami International Film Festival did well enough last November that organizers have scheduled the second Miami International Film Festival for November 1979.
  4. 1 2 3 de Jesus, Carlos Suarez (2014-10-13). "Local Cinema Icon Nat Chediak Returns to the Miami Film Scene". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Miami International Film Festival". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  6. "Visiting Miami: Events". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. January 1, 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  7. "Miami International Film Festival's Latin love". Miami NewTimes. March 1, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  8. "Call For Entries". Miami Dade College. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  9. AXS: MIFF presents first ever MIFFecito film festival - AXS
  10. "What we do".
  11. Screen: MiamiFF unveils rebranded GEMS mini-fest
  12. Miami New Times: In Place of MIFFecito, GEMS Prepares the Palate for What's to Come | Miami New Times
  13. Del Busto, Carolina (2016-02-29). "Lighting Up the 2016 Miami International Film Festiva". Retrieved August 11, 2016.

External links

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