Miami 2019: Documentary Overview

The 36th Miami Film Festival

March 1-10

The Florida event plays host to nearly 100 features, with nonfiction making up almost a third of the lineup, which often focuses on Ibero-American work.


Among the world premieres at the fest this year are Billy Corben’s MAGIC CITY HUSTLE, about local football players who attempt to turn pro in the sport of jai alai; Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson’s SINGULAR, a portrait of rising jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant; Aaron Glickman’s MIAMI BASEL: ART’S WINTER PLAYGROUND, on the origins of the influential art event; Lex Gillespie’s THE MAMBONIKS, about 1950s mambo fanatics who are keeping their passion alive to the present day; Amanda Sans Pantling’s LAST STREET, focusing on violence interrupters in Jamaica’s dangerous and drug-ridden West Kingston area; and Mark Goodnow’s KENBE FEM: A HAITIAN STORY OF SURVIVAL, UNITY & STRENGTH, which follows a Haitian-American man’s mission to provide direct aid to earthquake victims in his mother’s homeland.


Other docs screening include: Tyson Conteh, Mungo Benson, and Sam Liebmann’s STANDING AMONG THE LIVING, a harrowing personal experience of Ebola in Sierra Leone; Cynthia Biestek’s ELIADES OCHOA: FROM CUBA TO THE WORLD, about one of the founding members of the Buena Vista Social Club; Don Millar’s BOTERO, on the renowned Colombian artist; Gaspar González’s ERROL FLYNN’S GHOST: HOLLYWOOD IN HAVANA, tracing the impact of Hollywood film culture in Cuba; Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin’s CHASING THE THUNDER, which follows environmental activist ship the Sea Shepherd as it attempts to stop an infamous poacher; and Michael Brown’s THE WEIGHT OF WATER, about a blind adventurer who attempts to kayak down the Grand Canyon’s white water rapids.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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