Film fest brings best of Europe to Miami

Isabelle Lambert has learned a lot about the human condition from award-winning European filmmakers, and she’ll put the info to use as founder of Romance in a Can, a five-day film festival that starts Friday in Miami Beach and Coral Gables .

The festival will screen indies and documentaries from more than 10 countries including Lambert’s native France plus Italy, Germany, Hungary, Paraguay and Poland. The fest started as an ode to Lambert’s favorite romantic movies. As its popularity grew, she saw a need to choose films that also deal with the “social issues going on in Europe.” Not all of the film selections are heavy. Her favorite,

Age of Reason,

is a romantic comedy starring French actress

Sophie Marceau

. “It’s very cute and witty.” There’s also an educational component: On Thursday, students will compete for a winning spot in a juried competition held at Miami Beach High School. Lambert is always impressed at how her audiences are attracted to different cultures. “The curiosity of the people is something that always strikes me in this country,” she says. “And I’m happy they are getting to know more and more through film.”

For a complete list of events and films, go to Grand opening

Haven, which opens Friday on Lincoln Road, is the brainchild of Georgia native

Mike Boles

and executive chef

Todd Erickson,

former chef at ZUMA in the Epic Hotel. At the Dallas hotspot, Hector’s on Henderson, Erickson earned praise for his meatloaf and won awards for having the best deviled egg in town. His yummy American dishes wowed celebs like

Kevin Spacey, Martin Short, Ken Downing


Michael Kors.

Here in Miami, Erickson’s style has changed a bit. At ZUMA, he worked on honing his “Japanese cooking skills” and hopes to bring his love of Asian food to Haven. Erickson’s other faves include Swedish meatball skewers and South American-inspired ceviches.

Haven, 1237 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. 305-987-8885. Micaela Hood