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Miami Film Festival seeks a new director - again

For the fourth time in eight years, the Miami International Film Festival is looking for a director.

Debokay Patrick de Bokay, who took over the festival from Nicole Guillemet last year, has been shown the door by Miami-Dade College for unspecified reasons. School officials declined to comment on the decision not to renew De Bokay's annual contract, but I'd bet this year's attendance of 74,000 - which bested last year's figure of 70,000, but with 40 more movies in the lineup - had something to do with it.

No one at the school is talking, and I haven't been able to reach de Bokay on the phone, but I've also heard that de Bokay wasn't the best fit with MDC staff. Whatever the reasons, they were big enough to seem insurmountable to school officials, since they chose to let de Bokay go instead of giving him another year.

Top_logo This means another long "international search" for a director is about to begin, even though it is obvious - at least to me - that MDC should be looking to hire someone from Miami, who understands the city like a local and who has been around long enough to have a sense of where this festival has been. Or they could just try calling Nat Chediak and see what he's up to.

Here, from a statement MDC sent via e-mail, is the requirements for the job, in case you're thinking about applying:

The college seeks a candidate who can continue taking the Festival to a higher level among the world’s top film events with extensive experience in film programming, fundraising and marketing. Excellent budgetary, communications, creative, and consensus-building skills are also a must.

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Richard

The Miami Film Festival has gone completely off track. It was never better than when most (if not all) screenings were at the Gusman, and the movie selections focused on Spanish and Latin American titles. In other words, the festival had an identity and it had a niche. There are now too many films on offer and too many venues. This is another case where less is more.

tati

Bring back Nat!!

Maria G.

Glad to see him go! The festival has great potential and I hope MDC finds a nice fit for the director position (someone from Miami would be great). Cut back on the amount of films and focus on a strong program.

MiamiDreamer

Another example of how transcendental Miami, people dont stick around long enough for history, culture and growth to take place and with the negative consequence of making this city the tropical paradise which has nothing to offer but booze, boobs and sun.
As a dreamer I would like to see back to back championships (any of our teams), cultural growth with strong arts programs and a solid political foundation where corruption is punished and not endorsed.
Dreamer

miguel

Although she's busy produing her own films now, I think local talent Ali Codina would be a perfect fit for the director job - poly-lingual, well-connected and a great MC. In other news, UM's Bill Cosford is screening Van Sant's Paranoid Park staring April 25th!

filmteacher

My feelings are twofold---first, deBokay DID NOT understand the Miami community as evidenced by the fewer number of Spanish language films as compared with all others. It would be very difficult for MIFF to become a major "general" film festival. There are way too many. Its niche would have been as the "gateway" to Iberoamerican and Iberian films with a smattering of films from the rest of the world.
However, second, is the comment that, unless there were other issues that we're not privy to, de Bokay should have been given a chance to right his wrongs. We all can learn from our mistakes.
This is so bad for PR!

Charles

Frankly, I thought this past year's festival was an improvement. There were more films on offer that represented a wider variety of film tastes other than latin america. No offense, but I prefer more chioces other than spanish. A focus on Spanish cinema may have been ok during the early development of the festival but I think Miami has eveolved into more than that.

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