The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) announced the lineup this morning for its 31st incarnation. A program of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture, the festival will take place from March 7th through March 16th and will include North American premieres, career tributes, awards galas and more.

“The programming team of Miami International Film Festival believes the selection of films showcased in the Festival this year is a reflection of our passion for film,” noted MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante, “and we hope that it will strengthen our community’s love and appreciation for the art of filmmaking.”

Academy Award-nominated director Michael Radford’s latest feature, Elsa and Fred (a remake of a popular Chilean film), has been chosen as the festival’s Opening Night selection. The film, a romantic tale featuring two elderly leads, stars Christopher Plummer, Shirley MacLaine, Marcia Gay Harden and Chris Noth.

From the director of the 2010 indie breakout City Island (which played MIFF), Raymond De Felitta’s Rob the Mob will screen following the festival’s annual Awards Night gala on March 15th. Teaming up once more with City Island star Andy Garcia, De Felitta’s film features Ray Romano, Michael Pitt, Griffin Dunne and Cathy Moriarty.  Following the screening, the Awards Night Rum Party will take place in Miami’s Freedom Tower, a site deemed a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2008.

John Turturro, highly regarded as both an actor and filmmaker himself, is the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Tribute. His latest film, Fading Gigolo, features Turturro in front of and behind the camera, aided by a notable supporting cast featuring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. The film is set for a commercial run this Spring.

In the Festival’s Knight Documentary Competition,  a sidebar which is “open to engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and inspiring people,” ten movies were selected to compete for $10,000 provided by the festival.  Both The Overnighters  (from director Jesse Moss) and Whitey: United States of America V. James J. Bulger (by the renowned Joe Berlinger) recently played at Sundance, where The Daily Buzz was on hand to speak with the men about their latest endeavors.

“The trial was great theater but it was a dissatisfying trial,” Berlinger told The Daily Buzz. “He had a 33 count racketeering. People wanted to hear the level of corruption and how high it went to Washington, but he wasn't allowed to testify. They narrowed the count. This movie is the trial Whitey never got. That level  of corruption has never been allowed to be exposed.”

For more information on the Miami International Film Festival's lineup and ticket information, feel free to consult the festival's official website.