Miami International Film Festival Highlights Four World Directors

The 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) will shine a spotlight on four up-and-coming directors from around the world, most who will be presenting their films in the U.S./North America for the first time. Joong-Hyun Kim, Alejandro Landes, Pippo Mezzapesa, and Susan Youssef are this year’s featured 4 World Directors to Watch.

“Original, unique rhythms and personalities are uncommon among very young directors,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “These four directors all have found a way to speak the language of cinema with a voice that doesn’t sound like any other of their generation.”

Kim is a native of Seoul, South Korea. He graduated from the film program at the Seoul Institute of Arts, as well as the directing program at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Since 1999, he has produced a diverse filmography of shorts and documentaries. Choked, his first feature film, is about two young adults with a mentally unstable mother who bear the consequences of her bad choices.

Landes was born in São Paulo, Brazil, to a Colombian mother and Ecuadorian father. He studied literature, economics and architecture at Brown University. He went on to write for The Miami Herald and the syndicated- television talk show “Oppenheimer Presenta.” With Porfirio, he was a fellow at the Cinéfondation Residence and the Sundance Institute. Making its U.S. Premiere, Porfirio is about man in diapers, confined from his bed to a wheelchair, who sells call time on his cell phone in a faraway city on the outskirts of the Colombian Amazon and dreams of a better life.

Italian director, producer and writer Mezzapesa brings his first feature film. Annalisa, a coming-of-age story set in a Southern Italy factory town in the 1990s. Four soccer-playing teenage friends deal with dead-end prospects when Annalisa, a mysterious, tormented and beautiful woman, tries to jump off the church roof becoming an instant legend among the locals and a source of wonder and passion for the boys.

Habibi, a story of forbidden love, is the first fiction feature set in Gaza in over 15 years. Youssef, a Brooklyn-born filmmaker of Lebanese and Syrian parents, presents her award-winning film about a soulful Palestine in the West Bank who falls in love with a pretty fellow student, and shocks her family by expressing his love publicly through poetry.

In addition, this year’s festival will showcase of more than 100 films from 35 countries during the 10-day event, which runs March 2-11, 2012. Highlights include red carpet galas at Olympia Theater, parties, education seminars, international film premieres, and more!

Miami International Film Festival

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