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Front Page » Profile » Tiziana Finzi Takes Over Miami International Film Festival With Goal Of Expanding Its Reach Strengthening Miami Dade College Ties

Tiziana Finzi Takes Over Miami International Film Festival With Goal Of Expanding Its Reach Strengthening Miami Dade College Ties

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Written by on February 5, 2009

Over the past 25 years, the Miami International Film Festival has presented films from more than 60 countries. More than 75,000 people attended last year’s festival. In any given year, the festival draws between 250 and 450 out-of-town guests, including filmmakers, industry experts and talent.

This year, in its 26th installment, expect another high-quality event — with some twists thanks to a new director who brings a European flavor and more than 20 years of film festival experience.

Only three months into her new gig as director here in Miami, Italian-born Tiziana Finzi is to present her first US festival. For the past nine years, she served as head of programming for Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival, working as deputy director since 2005.

Ms. Finzi was head of programming for the Pesaro and Taormina film festivals in 1999 and before that served as a programmer for the Venice Film Festival. She has acted as a consultant and curator for several other international film festivals.

In Miami, her plan is to broaden the spectrum of films presented at the festival and, along with it, the audience. In the past, the Miami International Film Festival "was known more for South America than as an American film festival," Ms. Finzi says.

Her idea is to expand on the already well-known event. "Now it’s a film festival that helps Latin American production, but it is an international film festival," she says. And to capitalize on the festival’s tie to Miami Dade College, Ms. Finzi plans to emphasize film as an education tool and reach out to young people.

The 26th installment of the Miami International Film Festival runs March 6 to March 15. Ms. Finzi shared her vision for a new-and-improved Miami International Film Festival with Miami Today staff writer Risa Polansky. This is an excerpt from the weekly profile article published in Miami Today. To read the entire article in full, order this issue or subscribe to the print edition of Miami Today.