Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), a program of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture, recently unveiled the official poster for the 32nd edition, featuring legendary writer, producer and director Orson Welles strolling the Miami Beach boardwalk in 1943.
Adding a layer of Welles-ian mystery, the photographer of this remarkable 70-year-old image is unknown. So whodunit? The festival invites the public to help solve this mystery as it gears up for its international film premieres and festival activities taking place Mar. 6-15, 2015.
The image of Welles walking in Miami Beach is a multi-dimensional thrill-ride of potential descriptors for locals: pride, nostalgia, iconography, legends, celebrities, classics, vintage, and the beauty of our beaches. The festival’s dynamic slate of films and distinguished filmmakers featured in the past 32 years illustrates that Miami has long been a mecca for the greatest artists of our time, filing in for inspiration, collaboration and relaxation, following in the footsteps of the giants who have come before.
Says Jaie Laplante, festival executive director, “When we found this photograph of Orson, it was like multiple lightning bolts of yes; yes, let’s all bow to his mastery; yes, Miami’s allure has always attracted the famous, and, yes, it would be an honor for the festival to associate this vintage image with Miami’s passion for the arts and quality films.”
Renewed interest in Welles’s career and remarkable body of work — over an acclaimed theater, television and radio career, plus an unparalleled feature film slate that includes Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Othello, Touch Of Evil, The Trial and Chimes Of Midnight — has surged of late. In spring 2015, documentarian Chuck Workman is releasing Magician: The Astonishing Life And Work Of Orson Welles, featuring pristine film clips and behind-the-scenes video of the artist’s entire career.
And in May 2015, Welles’s last unfinished film, The Other Side of the Wind, will be released after four decades of behind-the-scenes drama; a film which cinema buffs consider to be the most famous movie never released. A movie within a movie, The Other Side of the Wind chronicled the comeback attempt of an aging maverick director played by John Huston, with a supporting cast including Susan Strasberg, Lilli Palmer, and Dennis Hopper, with Peter Bogdanovich playing an up-and-coming director.
While Welles obsessively worked on the film during the last 15 years of his life, successfully assembling 45 minutes of edited work print, original producer Frank Marshall and Peter Bogdanovich will finally finish cutting the film based upon Welles’s own notes, utilizing over 1,000 canisters of impeccably directed film Welles left in Paris before his death in 1985.
The blessing for Marshall and Bogdanovich to do so finally earned Welles’ heirs permission when producers successful argued that the films release would properly celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Orson Welles’s birth.
For membership opportunities or more information about the Miami International Film Festival, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456). The festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university.