Festival to screen 131 films, of which 36 are directed or co-directed by women.

Richard Gere

Richard Gere will kick off festivities with the opening night gala screening of Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer. The festival runs from March 3-12.

The 34th annual Miami Film Festival (MFF) will close with the international premiere of Carlos Theron’s For Your Own Good from Spain starring José Coronado, Javier Cámara and Roberto Alamo.

Cuba is prominently featured in the programme. Kenny Ortega’s A Change Of Heart gets its world premiere and filmed in Miami and stars Gloria Estefan, Aimee Teegarden, Virginia Madsen, Jim Belushi and William Levy.

Fernando Perez’s Last Days In Havana (Últimos Días En La Habana) will receive its North American premiere. Uruguayan-Argentinian director Adrián Caetano, who competed in Cannes in 2006 with Chronicle Of An Escape, will debut The Lost Brother (El Otro Hermano) starring Leonardo Sbaraglia and Daniel Hendler.

They join the previously announced world premiere of Miami-born Blake Jenner’s feature and screenwriting debut Billy Boy, co-starring Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist.

Álex de la Iglesia’s Berlinale selection The Bar and Christopher Murray’s Venice hit The Blind Christ get their North American premiere in the Ibero-American feature film competition 

Two directors will receive spotlight Marquee Evenings. Romanian-French director Radu Mihaileanu, winner of Miami Film Festival’s Audience award in 1999 for Train Of Life, will present the North American premiere of The History Of Love starring Derek Jacobi, Elliott Gould, and Gemma Arterton.

Denmark’s Lone Scherfig will present Their Finest also starring Arterton in addition to Jeremy Irons, Richard E Grant and Jack Huston.

Festival programmers will present 131 features, documentaries and shorts from 40 countries, including 22 world and international premieres. Women directed or co-directed 36 films.

“Richard Gere began his career with brave choices that catapulted him into stardom, and after nearly 40 years of acclaimed performances, his most recent acting has demonstrated a new force - deeper, more personal and even more profound,” festival director Jaie Laplante said

“With Joseph Cedar’s brilliant take on power and responsibility in today’s political arena, Gere creates one of his most indelible characters with Norman Oppenheimer. It is an honour to have both Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar present Norman, which will be one of 2017’s most talked- about films, to open the 34th Miami Film Festival.”

Festival films will compete in the following categories: Knight Competition; Knight Documentary Achievement Award Competition; The HBO Competition – open to Ibero-American and US hispanic narrative feature films in official selection; Jordan Ressler Screenwriter Award Competition; Shorts Competition; and Cinemaslam - Miami Film Schools Competition.

Two new prizes are: the Zeno Mountain Award to a film in the festival that best helps to break down barriers to our understanding of people living with disabilities; and the Rene Rodriguez Critics Award selected by all accredited critics at the festival and named after the Miami Herald film critic.

Click here for the full line-up.