Miami natives and beloved couple, Gloria Estefan (musician, singer),  Emilio Estefan (director, producer, musician), and director Kenny Ortega celebrated the World Premiere of their film A CHANGE OF HEART at the 34th edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival on March 10, at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami.
The celebration included the drumline of University of Miami’s Frost Band of The Hour marching band.  The MC of the night was the dynamic Roxanne Vargas from the local NBC show “Six in The Mix” who presented the film and moderated the Q/A. Also making an appearance were several actors from the movie, including Mauricio Sanchez, Vincent de Paul and Miami’s famed drag Queen Elaine Lancaster. Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, President of Miami Dade College (MDC), and Jaie Laplante, executive director of MDC’s Miami Film Festival were also in attendance.

Gloria Estefan at the Party ” Behind the Curtain”

Left to right: Jaie Laplante executive director of MDC's Miami Film Festival Gloria Estefan, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón President of Miami Dade College, and Emilio Estefan
Left to right: Jaie Laplante executive director of MDC’s Miami Film Festival
Gloria Estefan, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón President of Miami Dade College,
and Emilio Estefan. Photo: Courtesy of  Cristian Lazzari.
The film was embraced by the audience and during the Q&A session, it was apparent that the films message about love and diversity struck a chord within those in attendance, causing a roaring of applause.  Following the screening, the Estefans and Kenny Ortega along with other guests attended the Party “Behind the Curtain”
Since the start of the Festival, film buffs were treated to 140 feature narratives, feature documentaries, and short films from 41 countries, including 22 world and international premieres, which ran through March 12, 2017.
The Festival, which started on March 3, closed the following night with the Awards Night screening of the International premiere of FOR YOUR OWN GOOD from Spain, starring José Coronado, Javier Cámara and Roberto Alamo, followed by the EL COTO RIOJA Awards Night Party at Miami’s Centro Cultural Español.

Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival

Emilio & Gloria Estefan and director Kenny Ortega at the The Red Carpet for the World Premiere of A CHANGE OF HEART
Director and choreographer Kenny Ortega. Photo: Courtesy of Cristian Lazzari.
Celebrating its 34th anniversary March 3 – 12, 2017, Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival (MDC) 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 cinema. 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. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres.

Educational opportunities to film students

The Festival’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Additionally, every October, the Festival hosts a mid-season festival titled GEMS, showcasing the season’s finest new cinematic works. Major sponsors of the 2017 Festival include Knight Foundation, The Related Group and Miami-Dade County.

Culture at Miami Dade College

The Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC) is composed of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, Tower Theater Miami, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design. MDC is committed to providing its community with the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDC offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. MDC’s arts programming is considered by many one of the best in the nation. For more information, visit

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