Dawg Fight, the latest – and best – film by the Miami-based rakontur production studio (Cocaine Cowboys, The U, Broke), will make its world premiere at the 32nd edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival, running March 6-15.
Festival organizers also revealed this year’s opening night film will be Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes), Argentina’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The dark comedy is comprised of six interlocking stories about violence, revenge and sheer bad luck, starring some of Argentina’s biggest stars, including Ricardo Darín and Leonardo Sbaraglia.
Directed by Billy Corben and produced by Alfred Spellman and David Cypkin, Dawg Fight is rakontur’s first narrative documentary, following four men who participate in the bare-knuckle backyard fight circuit in Perrine. Shot over the course of two years, the film will premiere at the festival on March 12, to be followed by a week-long engagement at O Cinema Wynwood and a digital release via iTunes and the website www.dawg-fight.com.
“This isn’t just a premiere for us; it’s the launch of our movie,” Corben said. “The Miami International Film Festival was our first and only choice and we're thrilled they've given us an opportunity to experiment with this distribution strategy, particularly because, like Cocaine Cowboys, Dawg Fight is a twisted take on the “American Dream" story -- taken literally from our own backyard.”
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“Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman are just about the coolest filmmakers anywhere in the world today,” said Jaie Laplante, executive director of the festival. “ The fact they live, work in and have now made one of the most heartfelt films I’ve ever seen about Miami makes their decision to premiere Dawg Fight at this year’s Festival one of the proudest moments of my tenure at the College.”
Wild Tales, which was produced by brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodovar, made its world premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it generated largely positive reviews. Variety’s Jay Weissberg called it “a wickedly delightful compendium of six standalone shorts united by a theme of vengeance” and added that “for pure viewing pleasure, the one wild card in the Cannes competition this year is unlikely to be beaten.”
In a press release, María Muñoz-Blanco, the new Executive Director of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture, stated she’s “excited to be a part of a film festival with a long-standing history of providing our community with the best that the film industry has to offer. Wild Tales is the perfect fit as our opening night film.”
Festival organizers will unveil this year’s complete line-up on Jan. 27. Tickets will be available in February. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-3456.