Miami Film Fest Announces 2017 Lineup

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival
'Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer'

Richard Gere's 'Norman' kicks off the 10-day event.

Richard Gere's Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer will open the 34th Miami Film Festival as part of its 2017 lineup, the 10-day fest announced Thursday.

Both star Gere and director Joseph Ceder, a two-time Oscar-nominated Israeli filmmaker, will be on hand to fete the film, which is set to be “one of 2017’s most talked-about,” according to festival director Jaie Laplante. “It is an honor to have both Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar present Norman.”

The fest will take place at Miami’s historic Olympia Theater and is set to run March 3-12. It will present 131 feature narratives, feature documentaries and short films from 40 countries, 22 of which are world and international premieres. Out of the 131 films, 36 were directed or co-directed by female filmmakers.

Various awards will be given to films based on their particular categories, including ones made by directors who have been featured in a prior festival, for thought-provoking documentaries, screenwriter awards and many more.

Non-competitive films also will be presented, including The Dark Wind from helmer Hussein Hassan, an Iraqi native whose entry into the U.S. may have been compromised by President Donald Trump’s executive order placing a ban on visas for citizens from predominantly Muslim countries.

Among the world premieres is A Change of Heart, produced by Emilio Estefan and directed by Kenny Ortega. It stars Gloria Estefan, Aimee Teegarden, Virginia Madsen, Jim Belushi and William Levy and was filmed in Miami.

Former Glee star and Miami-born Blake Jenner makes his feature film screenwriting debut with Billy Boy, also starring fellow Glee co-star (and soon-to-be ex-wife) Melissa Benoist (Supergirl).

Other fest highlights include an evening with Spanish actress and fashion icon Rossy de Palma and a visit from legendary actor and producer Edward James Olmos, who will present, along with director Marty Sader, their co-production of Monday Nights at Seven.

Jill Bauer, a former Miami Herald writer, and Ronna Gradus, a former staff photographer, will make their return to the festival with their new Netflix series, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, based on their 2015 feature documentary. Joining them for a screening and discussion is actor, producer, screenwriter and documentary director Rashida Jones, who worked on the episode “Woman on Top.”

For a full list of the featured films and events, visit the official website here.

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