For the first time in 32 years, there is no artist’s name associated with the poster for the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), but it’s unlikely there will be any complaints because the image is a striking portrait of iconic director Orson Welles strolling the Miami Beach boardwalk, it was announced Monday.
“When we found this photograph of Orson, it was like multiple lightning bolts of yes; yes, let’s all bow to his mastery; yes, Miami’s allure has always attracted the famous; and yes, it would be an honor for the Festival to associate this vintage image with Miami’s passion for the arts and quality films,” MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante told the clearly delighted theater lovers who flocked to the Tower Theater in Miami for the annual poster unveiling.
Snapped in 1943, the striking photograph shows a seemingly happy and relaxed Welles striding the Miami Beach boardwalk. Since there is no photographer’s name was attached to it, the MIFF has proclaimed the photo a mystery and the film festival officials are hoping that someone will come forward with information so the image can be appropriately credited.
Although Welles appears carefree in the photographer, 1943 was likely one of mixed emotions for Welles, who had already received amazing success in his field. That particular Miami Beach visit came two years after the 1941 release of “Citizen Kane,” which had increased Welles’ notoriety, but that triumph was followed by bitterness as his next work, “The Magnificent Ambersons,” released the following year, was done so after Welles’ control of that film had been wrested away.
Now Welles, who died in 1985, is once again in the headlines, thanks to the recent surprise announcement that his last unfinished film, “The Other Side Of The Wind,” will be released this May after 40 years of wrangling. The film is considered to be the most famous movie never released.
In addition, Chuck Workman’s impending release of new documentary about Welles entitled “Magician: The Astonishing Life And Work Of Orson Welles, will be released in May.
Film buffs look forward to the annual unveiling of the MFF poster every year because it means that the Miami International Film Festival is just a few months away. The festival, which will run March 6-15, is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary film. The annual festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals.
More info: Miami International Film Festival