Marimbas From Hell, The Piano In A Factory and The Interrupters were among the big winners as the 28th Miami International Film Festival came to a close at the weekend.
Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas From Hell (Las Marimbas Del Infierno), a Guatemala-France-Mexico co-production, won the Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize in the Ibero-American Competition and received a $20,000 cash prize from the Miami-based John S and James L Knight Foundation.
Honorable Mention went to the Spain-Cuba entry Half Of Oscar (La Mitad De Oscar) from Manuel Martin Cuenca.
In the Knight Foundation World Competition the $20,000 Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize went to Zhang Meng’s Chinese film The Piano In A Factory (Gang De Qin). Nir Bergman’s Israeli entry Intimate Grammar (Hadikduk Hapnimi) earned a special mention.
The $10,000 Knight Foundation Dox Competition’s Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize went to Steve James’ US entry The Interrupters (pictured), while Marshall Curry’s US entry If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front earned an honourable mention.
The $2,500 University Of Miami Grand Jury Award For Best Short Film was presented to Blokes (Blockes) from Marialy Rivas of Chile. Yuri Lennon’s Landing On Alpha46 (Switzerland-Germany) from Anthony Vouardoux collected a special mention.
The $5,000 Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award open to films in the Ibero-American Competition went to the husband-and-wife directing and screenwriting team of Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman for Jean Gentil.
Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold took the inaugural Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority Innovation In Industry Award and the Venemovies audience award for best feature went to Oren Kaplan’s Hamill while the short film audience award went to Yuri Lennon’s Landing On Alpha46.
The winner of the Florida Focus Competition: Cinemaslam For College Filmmakers In Miami was Bobby Douge of Miami International University of Art & Design for Augustus. Nurse Interrupted from Lara Fuchsbrauner of Miami International University of Art & Design earned an honourable mention.
Homelessness: Just Look Aroundfrom Kasey Gonzalez, Emily Galvez And Lauren Thermes, South Dade Senior High Won The Florida Focus Competition: Miami Coalition For The Homeless For High School.
A special screening of Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar nominee Incendies followed the ceremony on Saturday night  at the Gusman Center For The Performing Arts.
The festival ran from Mar 4-13 and opened with Chico & Rita. Organisers staged a career achievement award to Susanne Bier, who brought her foreign language Academy Award winner In A Better World.
“This year’s films were fierce, and, therefore, so was the competition,” executive director Jaie Laplante said. “Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to all the filmmakers who shared their dreams and visions with us this year.”
“This has truly been a memorable festival,” Dr Eduardo J Padron, president of Miami Dade Colleg, said. “Congratulations to the competition winners and also to Jaie, the entire MIFF and college teams, and all the volunteers who make our beloved festival possible.”
As previously announced festival sponsor Lexus presented the Lexus Pursuit Of Perfection Award to Magic City Memoirs director Aaron Salgado, producer Jaydee Freixas and executive producer Andy Garcia.