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Miami Festival closes with The Heart of the Earth

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), closes the 24th annual Festival Sunday, March 11 with the World Premiere of The Heart of the Earth (Spain/UK/Portugal) from director Antonio Cuadri and starring Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace). Scheduled to attend the 8:30 p.m. screening at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts are director Antonio Cuadri, actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, executive producer William Dietrich, producers Louis Angel Bellaba and Juan Carlos Orihuela, and sales representatives Guy Collins, Joe Cohen and José Antonio Suarez.

Heart of the Earth director Antonio Cuadri studied audiovisual communication at the University of Madrid. He produced his first documentary, Canal Sur, before helming Lo + Plus, a satirical news magazine, and Las noticias del guiñol, a comedic news show, for Canal + in Spain. He also developed the children's program Al salir de clase. His films include La gran vida (starring Salma Hayek), Eres mi héroe, La buena voz (MIFF 2006) and his latest, The Heart of the Earth.

World Premiere of
THE HEART OF THE EARTH (El Corazón De La Tierra)
GUSMAN, Sunday, Mar. 11, 8:30 p.m.

Gorgeously shot and beautifully rendered, The Heart of the Earth is an epic saga about a defining moment in history. Set against the rugged backdrop of southern Spain, the film centers on the deep friendship between two young women who become entangled in the political upheaval of the world’s first “environmental” protest and is based on actual historical events.

The film opens in 1887 in the mining town of Riotinto, Spain. Owned and operated by a British consortium, the open-cast copper mines of Riotinto are massive, gaping subterranean infernos. The smoke emitted from their mounds of burning ore has devastated the town, wreaking havoc on the land and jeopardizing the health of thousands of miners and other locals. When enigmatic radical Maximiliano arrives in town inciting workers to strike against the establishment, the townspeople are moved to take action against their employers. Their efforts are, however, met with resistance. What results is a terrible tragedy forever remembered as the “Year of the Shooting.” Shifting back and forth between 1887 and 1902, the story is told through the friendship between Blanca, a Spaniard, and Katherine, the British niece of the consortium’s local officer. Young girls when the events of 1887 take place, the two are pulled apart as adults when turmoil once again takes hold of the volatile Riotinto.

Captured in rich hues of gold and brown that beautifully complement the dusty, craggy splendor of the land, the film vividly depicts a turn-of-the-century village ensnared by the vestiges of imperialism. The film’s stellar cast includes Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Sienna Guillory and Joaquim de Almeida.

Awards Night Film and Celebration SATURDAY March 10
The Awards Night film will be Ira & Abby (USA, 2006) by director Robert Cary (7:00 p.m., Gusman). Neurotic Ira and free-spirited Abby are a mismatched Manhattan couple who impulsively get engaged just six hours after first meeting. Bliss is short-lived, however, when meddlesome parents and ineffective therapists become involved. This warm, witty relationship comedy penned by actress-screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) took home the Audience Award for best narrative feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt, Frances Conroy, Judith Light, Jason Alexander, Robert Klein, and Fred Willard. Following the screening of Ira & Abby is the Awards Night Celebration “On the Eve of 25” Saturday, March 10 at the Alfred I. DuPont Building located directly across the street from the Gusman Theater.

Festival Grand Finale of Films SUNDAY March 11
The Festival will close with a grand finale of films on the final day including the World Premiere of The Heart of the Earth (Spain/UK/Portugal, 2006) by director Antonio Cuadri and starring Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Sienna Guillory and Joaquim de Almeida. Also, among the twenty films closing out the Festival on Sunday, March 11 are Red Like the Sky (Rosso come il cielo) (Italy) by Cristiano Bortone; The Only One (Vidange perdue) (Belgium) by Geoffrey Enthoven; Red Road (Scotland) by Andrea Arnold; God Willing (Om Gud vill) (Sweden) by Amir Chamdin and Erik Eger; Sweet Mud (Adama Meshuga’at) (Israel) by Dror Shaul; The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years (Lo más bonito y mis mejores años) (Bolivia/USA) by Martín Boulocq; Satanas (Colombia/Mexico) by Andi Baiz; A Grave-keeper’s Tale (Maati Maay) (India) by Chitra Palekar; and a special screening of the winner of the Latin America Caribbean FedEx Express Audience Award.

More than 300 filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, and industry executives have attended the 2007 Festival to actively participate in screenings, panels and sales meetings including Damián Alcázar, Alberto Arvelo, Andi Baiz, Emily Barclay, Michael Barker, Steven Barron, Luis Bellaba, Luc Besson, Tammy Blanchard, Cedella Marley Booker, Carles Bosch, Matt Brodlie, Jim Brown, Zita Caivallosa, Robert Cary, Andres Cepeda, Antonio Cuadri, Veronica Cura, David D'Arcy, Oded Davidoff, Joaquim de Almeida, Ira Deutchman, Agustin Diaz Yanes, Serge Elissalde, Geoffrey Enthoven, Howard Feinstein, Mark Fergus, Eduard Fernández, John Fiege, Alex Garcia, Nancy Gerstman, Anita Grabowski, Julie Goldman, Octavio Gomez-Berrios, Mike Goodridge, Olga Guillot, Quim Gutiérrez, Adam Guzinski, Megan Hammitt, Justine Henzell, Todd Hitchcock, Ted Hope, Samantha Horley, Anne Hubell, Sheila Johnston, Gonzalo Justiniano, Daniel Katz, Julia Kaufman, Peter Keough, Philippa Kowarsky, Sarah Lash, Patrick Leblanc, Jérome Lemonnier, Diego Lerman, Ilana Levine, Caroline Libresco, Kirsi Marie Liimatainen, Cynthia Lopez, Mike Maggiore, Oliver Mahrdt, Elba McAllister, Selton Mello, Maria Merlino, Kirill Mikhanovsky, Viggo Mortensen, Takayuki Nakamura, Bertha Navarro, Frances Negron, Sabrina Nudeliman, Benjamin O'Dell, Loris Omedes, Matt Orley, Veronica Orozco, Hsiao-hung Pai, Chitra Palekar, Raoul Peck, Mike Plante, Tahani Rached, Steven Raphael, Rie Rasmussen, Barry Rebo, Jason Resnick, André Ristum, Rene Rodriguez, Eileen Rodriguez, J.B. Rutagarama, Veronica Sanchez, Daniel Sánchez, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Josefina Sartora, Issaka Sawadogo, Dror Shaul, Tali Shemesh, Steve Solot, Ugo Sorrentino, Jim Stark, Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg, Cecilia Suarez, Rodrigo Triana, Tonny Trimarsanto, Ela Troyano Tristán Ulloa, Christine Vachon, Francisco Vargas Quevedo, Carice van Houten, Francis Veber, Eduardo Veràstegui, Paul Verhoeven, Margarethe von Trotta, Lois Vossen, Bruce Weber, Douglas Wellbat, Ryan Werner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Fred Willard, Rob Williams, Marco Williams, Sean Wolfinghton, Vanessa Wranger, Norma Yolí, Markus Zimmer, and Bernardo Zupnik.

The Miami International Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support it receives from its sponsors, including its Producing Sponsors, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, American Airlines, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Premiere Sponsors include America Filmworks, Comcast, del Rivero Messianu DDB, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Regal Cinemas, University of Miami and Venevision International. Principal Sponsors are 2150 Editorial, ABC Management Services and The Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building, AméricaEconomía, CBS4 and MY33, Clear Channel Radio, Diario Las Americas, Eastman Kodak Entertainment Imaging, Entertainment Partners, FedEx Express, Florida Power & Light, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Heineken, Hertz Radio, Jaman, Lava Studio, Magna-Tech Electronic Company, Miami Parking Authority and Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Movado, Premiere Magazine, Selecta Magazine, Shore Club, Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema, Telefutura 69, Terra Group, Univision 23, Univision Radio, Vanidades, Wachovia and Warren Henry Automobiles. The Festival’s Supporting Sponsors include Astoria Communications, Blue Capital Management, BMI, Books & Books, Carlton Fields, Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, Cineworks Digital Studios, Inc., Consulado de México en Miami, Continental New Art Digital, Cultural Services Department of the French Embassy in the U.S., Digital Devoid, Dorchester Hotel, El Argentino, FilmFinders, The Garner Foundation, Inc., Hotel Victor ICAA, Lion Video, Manhattan Transfer, Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami New Times, Midtown Video, Personal Music, Pinnacle Housing, Raleigh Hotel, River Oyster Bar, SAGIndie, SocialMiami.com, TownHouse Hotel, Universal Casting, Univision Online, View Premium, LLC, 88.9 FM Serious Jazz (WDNA), WLRN Public Radio and Television, and WPBT TV-Channel 2.

The 2007 Miami International Film Festival is sponsored in part with the support of the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; the City of Miami Mayor’s Office of Film and Cultural Affairs; the Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; Miami-Dade Transit; the City of Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority; the City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Program; Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, Inc., and Florida International University – Latin American and Caribbean Center.

The Miami International Film Festival brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and US films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema.

• More than 67,000 people attended the Festival in 2006
• In addition, more than 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry representatives from around the world attended the 2006 Festival to introduce their work to Miami audiences and industry professionals
• The 2006 Festival held more than 250 screenings, including features, shorts, Outreach and press

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 Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the 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 163,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 200 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety management and nursing.

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Chatelin Bruno
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