The Miami International Film Festival concluded on Saturday nightwith the announcement of three juried awards offering cash sums of $25,000each. Presentations were made at a closing ceremony introduced by festivaldirector Nicole Guillemet and hosted by actors Alice Braga and Jose Antonio.
Life In Colour from Spain's Santiago Tabernero won the top prize in theIbero-American Cinema competition, Jacob Thuesen's Accused from Denmark and Fabienne Godet's BurntOut from France sharedthe World Cinema competition prize and Juan Carlos Rulfo's In The Pit from Mexico won the Documentary Features- World and Ibero-American Cinema section.
2006was the first year Miami was offering $75,000 in cash prizes courtesy of TheJohn S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which promotes excellence injournalism.
The Ibero-American jury, composed of film-maker Carlos Bolado,actor Javier Camara and producer Linda Reisman, also made two special mentions- to Spain's 7 Virgins directed by Alberto Rodriguez for "extraordinary vision indirecting", and to Brazilian acting trio Alice Braga, Wagner Moura and LazaroRamos for "extraordinary performances" in Sergio Machado's Lower City.
The World Cinema jury,composed of Alfredo de Villa, Beki Probst and Screen's Mike Goodridge, dividedthe prize money between the two films. In addition, Accused, a powerful story of a teenage girl who accuses herfather of sexual abuse, won the World Cinema audience award.
The documentary jury,composed of Deborah Dickson, James C Early and Lourdes Portillo, made twospecial mentions: to Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh for GITMO - The NewRules Of War from Sweden for "theircourage to pursue the truth in the face of the authority power", and to Spain'sAdan Aliaga and his film My Grandmother's House "for bringing us into agrandmother and granddaughter's world with an astounding intimacy, lyricism andhumour."
The FIPRESCI prize went tothe Polish film The Master directed by Piotr Trzaskalki. Jurors were JohnAnderson from the US, Andrea M Dittgen from Germany and Marcelo Janot fromBrazil.
In addition to Accused, thetwo other audience awards went to Rudi Lagemann's Angels Of The Sun from Brazil in the Ibero-American section and toZach Niles and Banker White's The Refugee All-Stars from Guinea, Sierra Leone and the US in thedocumentary section.
At the end of MiamiEncuentros, the three-day event during which emerging producers from Spain andLatin America met with US industry professionals, one of the projects - FraternalLove by Lais Bodanzky from Brazil- was awarded a Soundpost Music License grant valued at $130,000.