Cultural Compass

Miami Film Festival in Downtown

A tour through Latin America, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, and an exploration of the life and work of master jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Also the work of local filmaker Aaron Glickman.

The 2019 Edition of the Miami Film Festival continues this coming week with feature films, short films, and documentaries from all over the world. Since Miami increasingly claims a spot in the middle of the world, the Festival presents a number of locally produced entries.

A festival without parties can’t be called a festival, we all know. Accordingly, movie aficionados will have the opportunity to party all week long at the Olympia, the Freedom Tower and PAMM. There are master classes and even an acting seminar. Most of the screening will be at the historic Olympia Theater and the new and gorgeous Silverspot Cinema. For a full schedule, click here. For the Downtown NEWS curated compass, continue reading.


Photo courtesy of Miami FIlm Festival.


DIRECTED BY Aaron Glickman

Country: USA
Language: English

Running Time: 71min
Film Year: 2019
Category: Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award, Documentary Achievement Award.

It was the year 2002 when Miami Beach welcomed the arrival of Art Basel with arms wide open, a bright and invigorating breath of fresh air for Miami’s cultural landscape, which had for so long been described as a stagnant, unexciting wasteland in the art world. Art Basel turned out to be a game changer, having enormous economic, social, and cultural repercussions that have transformed all of South Florida.

Miami Basel: Art’s Winter Playground explores the origins of the fair, going as far back as the ’80s and ’90s to paint a picture of the disheartening art scene in Miami in those days. Art collectors, curators and politicians explain the true stroke of genius it was, and the sheer force-of-will it took, to bring the world’s most famous art fair to Miami Beach — and how this one outlandish idea was all it took to conjure up a cultural phenomenon that has grown well beyond a single fair and into an arts happening that brings the entire art world to a single location for a week.

Aaron Glickman is a director and producer native to Miami. He has worked in South Florida media for the past 13 years, a time which he has spent documenting a regional transformation predicated on art and design. Aaron is currently a board member of Miami Theater Center and in 2015 was honored as a Miracle Maker by the Women’s Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami. Miami Basel: Art’s Winter Playground(2019) marks his directorial debut.


Director: Aaron Glickman
Producer: Dana Rubin, Jordan Levy
Executive Producer: Joshua Liemer
Production Company: Vista World Link

Music: Afrobeta, Haute Tension, Alec Kreisberg, Aramis Lorie
Cinematographer: Jordan Levy
Editor: Aaron Glickman

Cast: Craig Robins, Norman Braman, Bonnie Clearwater, Sarah Arison, Jorge Perez, Rosa de la Cruz, Sam Keller


Monday March 4th @ 7:00 PM Silverspot Cinema



DIRECTED BY Leticia Tonos Paniagua

Country: Dominican Republic, Spain
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English

Running Time: 95min
Film Year: 2018
Category: Knight Marimbas Award, HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award

Juanita (Cheddy García) is a Dominican immigrant who has been living illegally in Madrid for some years, but as trouble closes in on her, she flees into hiding in the countryside. There she meets Mariano (played by the always-popular Tito Valverde), a lonely Spanish farmer. One thing leads to another, and Mariano soon brings Juanita out of the shadows as his new life partner!

Soon, Juanita pressures Mariano to bring her home for a long overdue trip to Santo Domingo for Christmas. Not only is Mariano visiting a country and culture that is new to him, he is about to experience the adventure of having Dominican in-laws, beginning with Juanita’s skeptical mother (played by La Reina de Bachata, Milly Quezada). With Juanita, a poignant dramedy on immigration, love and survival, director Leticia Tonos rewards us with a beautifully modulated combination of pathos and laughter.


Sunday March 3rd @ 6:30 PM Silverspot Cinema ADD TO SCHEDULE

Tuesday March 5th @ 9:00 PM Silverspot Cinema ADD TO SCHEDULE


Director: Leticia Tonos Paniagua
Producer: Leticia Tonos Paniagua
Screenwriter: Leticia Tonos Paniagua, Juan Carlos Campos Sagaseta (Koldo) 
Executive Producer: Juan Carlos Gomez, Alberto Esteban

Music: Kaelo Del Rio
Cinematographer: Luis Enrique Carrion
Editor: Teresa Font

Cast: Cheddy García, Tito Valverde, Milly Quezada, Carasaf Sanchez, Ruth Emeterio



DIRECTED BY Rubén Mendoza

Country: Colombia, France
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Original Title: Niña Errante

Running Time: 82min
Film Year: 2018
Category: HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award

Two weeks after meeting her much older step-sisters for the first time, 12 year old Ángela is on a road trip across the country with them. Meeting on rather dire circumstances after the sudden death of their ne’er do well father, the only parent Ángela has ever known and stumped as to what to do with this little girl, the three sisters decide that Ángela should be taken to live with an aunt, over 900 miles away from everything she has ever known.

As the four of them mourn a father they each saw in very different ways, from charismatic liar, to cheater and carer, the sisters share beds, clothes, food, and stories of lives so intertwined yet so far apart from each other. Through her sisters, Ángela is introduced to the world of womanhood, to the intimacy of bodies laying next to each other, to their safety and comfort. Heartwarming and kind to its core, Wandering Girl is a carefully crafted film about self-discovery at a difficult age, and under extraordinary circumstances.


Saturday March 2nd @ 6:15 PM Coral Gables Art Cinema ADD TO SCHEDULE

Wednesday March 6th @ 9:45 PM Silverspot Cinema ADD TO SCHEDULE


Director: Rubén Mendoza
Producer: Daniel García
Screenwriter: Rubén Mendoza 
Executive Producer: Daniel García, Fabian Otero
Production Company: Día Fragma Fábrica De Películas SAS

Music: Las Áñez
Cinematographer: Sofia Oggioni
Editor: Andrea Chignoli

Cast: Sofía Paz Jara, Carolina Ramírez, Lina Marcela Sánchez, María Camila Mejía



DIRECTED BY Gonzalo Tobal

Country: Argentina, Mexico
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Original Title: Acusada

Running Time: 108min
Film Year: 2018
Category: CineDwnTwn Galas, Knight Marimbas Award, HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award

Dolores Dreier (Lali Espósito) is a typical fun-loving high school student — but when her best friend is brutally murdered and Dolores is accused of the crime, her carefree and privileged existence comes to a hard stop. As Dolores awaits trial, the sensationalistic, tabloid-type media coverage (with global star Gael García Bernal playing a TV talk show host with a particular interest in the case) seems to result in a pre-determined judgement by the court of public opinion.

Dolores sequesters herself at home with her protective family closing ranks around her, but as murky evidence and her own hazy memories increase their substantial pressure, Dolores and her loving father Luis (veteran star Leonardo Sbaraglia, who nearly steals the movie) will have to face their own doubts about what really happened.

Gonzalo Tobal’s second film is a tension-filled drama that looks critically at society’s morbid fascination with crime. During its development stage, The Accused was a recipient of the Miami Film 2016 Award, a financial support initiative of The Related Group and MDC’s Miami Film Festival, and we are proud to present the US premiere of this breathtaking achievement.

Photo Courtesy of Miami Film festival


Thursday March 7th @ 7:00 PM Olympia Theater


Director: Gonzalo Tobal
Producer: Leticia Cristi, Benjamín Doménech, Santiago Gallelli, Axel Kuschevatzky, Matías Mosteirín, Matias Roveda, Hugo Sigman, Julio Chavezmontes
Screenwriter: Ulises Porra, Gonzalo Tobal 
Executive Producer: Javier Braier, Micaela Buyé
Production Company: K&S Films, Rei Cine, Telefé, Piano

Music: Rogelio Sosa
Cinematographer: Fernando Lockett
Editor: Alejandro Carrillo Penovi

Cast: Lali Espósito, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Daniel Fanego, Gael García Bernal



DIRECTED BY Stanley Nelson

Country: UK, USA
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Running Time: 115min
Film Year: 2019
Category: Marquee Series, Documentary Achievement Award

Jazz trumpet player and composer Miles Davis was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century. Starting with his 1957 breakthrough album Birth of the Cool, he never stopped innovating all the way until his death in 1991. This wide-ranging biography maintains an admirable balance in probing his artistic highs and his personal lows. Filmmaker Stanley Nelson has a long track record of documenting African-American history, including his major work The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution that demonstrated his ability to navigate highly contested and complicated subject matter.

Nelson puts those skills to great use, covering Davis’ recording career along with his marriages and struggles with addiction that included a five year hiatus from performing. Nelson interviews friends and colleagues close to Davis as well as writers who eloquently put him in a historical context. The rich archival footage and careful selection of Davis’s music will deepen your appreciation whether you’re an old fan or a newcomer.


Thursday March 7th @ 6:45 PM Silverspot Cinema ADD TO SCHEDULE


Director: Stanley Nelson
Producer: Stanley Nelson, Nicole London
Executive Producer: Terry Shand, Geoff Kempin, Michael Kantor
Production Company: Firelight Films, Inc.

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