Welcome to the 2019 Tropicult guide to the 36th Miami Film Festival. My name is Vasisth Sukul and below are my picks. What do I know about movies? Well, I studied film at the University of Miami for my Bachelor’s and I am currently getting my Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Florida. I also run a video production company, U&S Productions, that provides video production for startups and events in South Florida. Oh and I’ve made several films featured in several different film festivals, including the last edition of the Miami Film Festival. There are too many films to watch from March 1st to March 10th at the MFF (how we cool kids abbreviate Miami Film Festival), so I’ve put together a short list that I recommend, plus a few parties from the Tropi crew.
I am definitely biased in recommending “Huracán” (2019). After reading the script for Huracán (2019) during pre-production, I was seriously impressed. Here’s to hoping that it transferred over well to the big screen. Huracán follows Alonso Santos, an aspiring MMA fighter who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. It’s worth mentioning that buying the ticket to this movie includes free entry to the HBO Behind the Curtain Party.
“Divine Love” (2018) premiered at Sundance Film Festival and takes place in a futuristic Brazil where fundamental evangelicalism rules society. Civil servant Joanna works to prevent divorces from happening by capitalizing on the slow pace of bureaucracy and recruiting these couples into “Divine Love”, a group that tries to rekindle marriages through spirituality.
BUY ME A GUN
Ever read “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884) by Mark Twain? “Buy Me A Gun” (2018) is a retelling of that classic story, except that Huck is now a young girl in a futuristic Mexico who has to hide her gender to prevent abduction by any of several gangs that prey on women.
An Argentinian family vacation to the Brazilian resort, Florianópolis, leads to rediscovery and unexpected comedic turns. Not the most original concept, but don’t count this film out just yet, its trailer is full of life and energy.
“Naysayer” (2019) features Steven Yeun from “The Walking Dead” (2010) in this eight-minute short film in which he is separated from his wife, who prevents him from seeing his newborn son. This film screens as part of SHORTS 2.
Featuring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, “Hotel Mumbai” (2018) looks like quite the thriller. It is based on the true story of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack on Mumbai and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where 174 people were killed and 300 were wounded.
I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY
A documentary that’s seriously focused on the fangirls of popular boybands? Need I say more? Has anything ever sounded like more of a comedy gem?
What is your neighbor thinking when he’s spying and filming you through their window? How best to foley your movements? Pretty much and that’s pretty much all I’m gonna say about this 14-minute short film. This film screens as part of Shorts 3 HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award.
MY DAUGHTER YOSHIKO
A young girl is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and her mother has to learn how to give her the life she deserves. I’ve worked previously with the actress Mei-Lin Hosang and I believe in her ability to perform in this 15-minute short film based on true events. It is directed by Brian Blum, pictured on the right, who is from Miami.
SIX DEGREES OF IMMIGRATION
This story is Jayme Gershen’s story. She uses powerful cinematography to show us how her love was deported to Colombia because of a visa violation and how they are currently struggling to get through it. Jayme dives into her own life in this documentary and we have the honor of being part of the ride.
WISH UPON UNA ESTRELLA OPENING NIGHT GALA PARTY
Miami Film Festival’s legendary Opening Night Gala Party returns this year to its traditional home, The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building, presented by The Tilia Family of Companies. The annual scene to be seen, the 2019 Opening Night edition is sure to bring more of the epic adventures, sensational libations and wild entertainment that has become the stuff of Miami Film Festival lore.
HBO’S BEHIND THE CURTAIN PARTY
Party “Behind the Curtain” with HBO at the iconic Olympia Theater. When the screen raises, celebrations will begin on stage with cast, crew and film aficionados.
DOC NYC’S MAKE YOUR OWN DOCUMENTARY
Learn all the steps for a successful project; How to assess an idea for commercial viability, where to go for funds, how to manage production and editing, and how to bring a project into distribution. You’ll come away with up-to-the-minute insights into marketplace trends that you won’t find in other classes or books.
A TALK WITH LUIS GUZMÁN
Join this legend in a one-on-one conversation with Miami actress Maria Corina to talk about his transition from social work into acting. Guzmán will discuss his experience as a Latino artist in the industry and his experience working on iconic films.