NiteTalk: Isabelle Lambert Brings Us Romance in a Can

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Spring may have already sprung, but that doesn't mean there isn't some love in the air. Come May 5th that love will be on the screen too. Why? Well, the Romance in a Can Film Festival, which takes place in various locations on both sides of the causeways. Niteside sidled up to Fest Founder Isabelle Lambert for the lowdown.

For those who don't know, what's Romance in a Can? Romance in a Can is an Independent film festival dedicated to European cinema. It was born five years ago and its mission is to bring awareness to indies from Europe. The festival continues its commitment of being at the center of discovery, promotion and projection of the very best independent filmmaking talent from Europe and will take place from May 5 to May 10 in Miami and the Beaches,

Three categories of films will be shown this year: contemporary and more commercial films at the Colony Theater (Romanian, Hungarian and French with Sophie Marceau) and Coral Gables Art Cinema (Italian film selection), young filmmakers indie selection at the MB Cinematheque, short films from Israel at the Alper JCC and local films at Miami Beach High.

This year you've got some kinda tie in with Cannes. Care to fill us in? Yes. At the 2010 Cannes ACID (Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema) presented a selection of nine acclaimed international full-length films made by young European filmmakers.

What are the nine films slated to screen? Donoma (France) with filmmaker Djinn Carrenard in attendance; Pursuit (France); Flowers of Evil (Iran, France); Fix Me (Palestine, France); The Drifter (Germany); Chicks (France); Robert Mitchum is Dead (France, Poland); Between our Hands (France); Cuchillo de Palo (Spain, Paraguay).

Aren't there a couple classics on tap too? We picked two interesting films according to our programming committee: The Year of the Quiet Sun, written and directed by Polish filmmaker K. Zanussi, and Saint Clara by Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman, two great European filmmakers who were both awarded prizes in European film festivals.

In addition to the screenings, there's a slate of various get-togethers. Would you briefly give us the line-up?
We will open at the Anglers Hotel, which has been our "home" for three years. There we'll present the charming French comedy The Age of Reason. We also have a "meet and greet" with Djinn Carrenard at the Catalina Hotel on May 6, who will present his film Donoma at the MB Cinematheque on May 7. Also on May 7, after the Italian screenings released on Eurocinema VOD channel this summer, we will have an aafterparty at Da Vittorio with free drinks and bites. On Monday night we will have the privilege to celebrate twenty years of short films made by the film students of the Art Spiegel School of Jerusalem in Kendall at the Alper JCC. The closing party will be spectacular, hosted by the newly renovated Breakwater on their roof. The hotel kindly offered a complimentary shuttle service from the Colony Theater.

Doesn't the Fest also have some kinda link with Beach High? Yes, the festival always includes an educational component. We primarily list our short film competition entry form in European schools and invite them to participate at the beginning of the school year. In Oct0ber, we start receiving films which will be sorted by the students from Miami Beach High and by their teacher Gina Cunningham. At the same time, the students from Beach High will be making their own films and learn from the short films made in Europe. By the end of February, "ten best" European films will be submitted to a jury of professionals and the best three will be purchased by Eurocinema, one of our main sponsors for the festival.

The award night for the local shorts and the choice of the three best European films will take place at the main auditorium of Beach High. Five cash prizes will be given to the best local films thanks to the support of local sponsors. A documentary will also be shot and shown during the summer on Atlantic Broadband.

Would it be fair to say you're working toward a future of more and more Romance for everybody?
Next year, the festival will be growing and renamed. The reason is that we want of course to continue to include more romance but we want to stay open to themes chosen by young filmmakers who are selected by the ACID in Cannes. Therefore renaming the festival a "European film festival" will be adjusted to the audience's taste. Miami has shown a growing participation to support the young and uplifting cinema. Our mission is to show what the future of cinema is and including first made films is part of it. I believe that the festival becomes a US window for them and that is why we are here for.

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