Dwight Casimere with Grammy-winning Jazz Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant. The World Premiere of SINGULAR, a documentary film on her life on the festival's opening weekend, which began in her native Miami, is followed by a live performance at Miami's Olympia Theatre
by Dwight Casimere
The Miami Film Festival is underway with a full roster of challenging films that explore the roles of women and those of the Latin and African diaspora. Nearly a third of the 171 feature-length, documentary and short films are produced by local artists, many of them representing diverse communities. This is the 17th edition of the Miami Film Festival, presented by Miami Dade College.
Opening Night features the documentary This Changes Everything, is a bold call for gender equality in the film industry. It cites devastating statistics that measure women's participation in some roles as low as 2 and includes testimony from directors, producers, television network executives, and women actors from Meryl Streep to Amandla Stenberg. Throughout its 97-minute run, the message is clear: Gender parity isn't merely possible — it's easy to achieve if you're genuinely interested in doing so.
The success of two filmmakers, born and raised in Miami, who are now racking up Oscars and success: Writer-director Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight,” “If Beale Street Could Talk”), who will appear at this year’s festival on as part of the first-ever Knight Heroes masterclass and symposium, and Phil Lord (“21 Jump Street,” “The Lego Movie”), who also shared the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar for writing and co-producing “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, another Miami native is showcased in the documentary which wil
l have its world premiere at Miami Dade College’s 36th Annual Miami Film Festival, accompanied by a concert by , on the stage of downtown Miami's ornate Olympia Theatre.
Below: Novelist Toni Morrison
Tony Morrison: The Pieces I Am is a Marquee Presentation from acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, in which the Nobel Prize-winning author turns the camera and her mesmerizing words on her own life and culture-shaping career. In the film, she traces her path from Ohio to Howard University and to publishing world of Manhattan. As a single mother, she raised two sons, maintained a job as a book editor and secretly wrote her own novels on the side. Starting with “The Bluest Eye” and through books like “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved,” she made an enormous contribution to literature.