Since that March afternoon when Nat Chediak and a handful of dreamers bet to create the International Film Festival of Miami's 's been 30 years.
However this film festival, now under the baton of Miami Dade College, has achieved international recognition achieved by Art Basel, The Book Fair, The Winter Music Conference and other events organized annually in the city of the sun.
When Chediak founded the festival in 1983, Miami was a paradise of sun, sea and palms showcases coveted by birds of passage as drug dealers, tourists and traders.
Consequently, interest in the cinema was scarce among the local population dominated by immigrants in search of the American dream.
"Times have changed, the first festival exhibited only twenty films presented all in one movie theater," recalls Silvia Rios, Miami Film Society member, moviegoers organization supporting the event. "Now the festival presented 150 films in a dozen theaters."
Some pageant fans think that while it has grown in quantity has not been the same with their quality.They complain usual programming and miss the days when Chediak offered a careful selection of movies and talking to the public about them.
"Nat is a teacher who knows a lot of movies, so the list of films offered was excellent," said Rios, Coral Gables resident investor, linked to the festival since its inception. "The other reason is that not the same 20 films chosen to present 150".
One of the ghosts that have haunted the festival over the past decade has been in the direction of instability.
After holding the event through thick and thin for 18 years, Chediak left office in 2001 due to differences with the International University of Florida , an organization that had taken the sponsorship of the festival two years ago.
The journalist David Poland has replaced Chediak for a brief period that ended when FIU left the event citing lack of funds. Since 2003, when MDC took control of the festival directors have paraded as Nicole Guillemet, Tiziana Finzi and Jaie LaPlante.
According to some experts, the conflict between the artistic vision of the directors and the financial demands imposed by an event of this magnitude, explain their frights. Laplante Director reported that the budget for the festival this year is 1.4 million.
"The MDC is a public organization and the festival is one of many programs you run, so the budget, but millionaire, always limited," said Rivers. "However, MDC is doing a great job."
New this year
Amid criticism and applause, the festival kicks off its 30th release on Friday at 7 pm at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, with a screening of Twenty Feet from Stardom.