The 25th annual Miami International Film Festival closed on Saturday night (March 8) with the presentation of $77,500 in grand jury prizes to five films.

The prizegiving, held at the Gusman Center For The Performing Arts, saw the Knight Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema Competition go to Andrzej Jakimowksi's Tricks from Poland about a fatherless boy who tries to tempt fate.

Special mentions were made to both It's Hard To Be Nice, Srdan Vuletic's Bosnian fairytale, and Itshak (Tzahi) Grad's Foul Gesture from Israel.

Two films shared the Knight Grand Jury Prize in the Ibero-American competition section - Cochochi directed by Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia from Mexico and Eat, For This Is My Body directed by Michelange Quay from Haiti.

Special mention was made to Rodrigo Marin's The Girls from Chile and Ernesto Contrera's Blue Eyelids, also from Mexico.

In the documentary features competition, the winner was Joao Moreira Salles' Santiago from Brazil; special mentions were made to Carmen Castillo's Calle Santa Fe from Chile and Luis Ospina's A Paper Tiger from Colombia.

Connie Diletti's film Homecoming won the Knight Grand Jury Prize in the shorts competition, with an honourable mention to Daniel Sanchez Arevalo's Traumology and a special mention for best animated short film to Chris Lavis and Maciek Szcerbowski's Madame Tutli Putli and a special mention for best first-time director to Viv Koh for Overnight A Rose.

Audience award winners at the festival were Abdullah Oguz's Bliss from Turkey in the world cinema competition, Rodrigo Pla's La Zona in the Ibero-American cinema competition and Gonzalo Arijon's Stranded: I've Come From A Plane That Crashed In The Mountains in the documentary feature competition.

The FIPRESCI award went to Foul Gesture.

Presented by Miami Dade College, the festival had a new festival director this year in Patrick de Bokay who told Screen that general audience admission had risen this year.

'That was one of my goals,' he said. 'I wanted to ensure that the whole community of Miami enjoy and participate in the festival. Programming is the key element of the festival but I chose not to be head programmer, leaving that to Eleonora Granata (world cinema), Monika Wagenberg (Ibero-American) and Karina Rotenstein (documentary and shorts). My job is to set a tone, a spirit, a pace and position the festival stronger towards the industry'

He said that he wants to build the festival in the future, stressing the media power of Miami and its position as the gateway to the Ibero-American world. He added that he wants to create other events throughout the year such as a media summit in Miami and the contunation of the MIFF Abroad programme which heads to Mexico this year.

The festival also hosted the popular Encuentros programme which selects projects from Spain and Latin America and presents them to industry professionals. One of last year's projects - Gonzalo Justiniano's Lokas from Chile had its world premiere at the festival this year.