Miami, FL — At an awards ceremony on Saturday, March 11, 2017 in downtown Miami’s Olympia Theater, Chilean filmmakers Cristian Jiménez and Alicia Scherson’s Family Life (Vida De Familia) won the Knight Competition Grand Jury Prize of the 34th annual Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival, the only major film festival worldwide produced by a college or university. The announcement was made by Jury members Michel Franco, Grainne Humphreys and Bahia Ramos, and the Award was presented by James L. & John S. Knight Foundation Vice President of Arts Victoria Rogers, representing the long term sponsor of the award. The awards ceremony, presided by the Festival’s executive director Jaie Laplante, capped a stellar edition of the Festival, with one final day of screenings still left to go, featuring a total of 140 films from 41 countries, including 17 World Premieres.

To close out the Festival, filmmakers and patrons celebrated the 34th edition at the El Coto Rioja Closing Night Party at Miami’s Centro Cultural Español.  Winemaker Inigo Echavarria of El Coto Rioja was onhand to personally toast the success of the Festival with the star of the Festival’s closing night film For Your Own Good, Goya-winning actor Javier Camara, and Festival director Jaie Laplante.

2017 MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS ARE:

KNIGHT COMPETITION:
Jurors: Michel Franco, Bahía Ramos, Grainne Humphreys
BEST FILM: $30,000 Prize Family Life / Director: Cristian Jiménez, Alicia Scherson (Chile)
BEST DIRECTOR: $5,000 Prize – Daniel Hendler for The Candidate (Uruguay)
BEST ACTOR: $5,000 prize (shared) – Lola Amores and Eduardo Martinez for Santa y Andres (Cuba)


HBO IBERO-AMERICAN FEATURE FILM COMPETITION:
Jurors: Héctor Medina, Leslie Cohen, Shrihari Sathe

BEST FILM: $10,000 PRIZE – Maria (And Everyone Else) / Frida Films – Director: Nely Reguera) (Spain)

HONORABLE MENTION: Marc Crehuet for The One Eyed King (El Rey Tuerto) (Spain)


JORDAN RESSLER SCREENWRITING COMPETITION:
JURORS: Sebastian Cordero, Ana Guevara, Brandon Harris
BEST SCRIPT: $10,000 PRIZE – Tomas Alzamora for Little White Lie (La mentirita blanca) (Chile)


KNIGHT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

BEST FILM: $10,000 PRIZE – Take My Nose…Please! / Director: Joan Kron (USA, Mexico)


ZENO MOUNTAIN AWARD

BEST FILM: $5,000 PREMIO – The Grown-Ups (Los Niños) / Director: Maite Alberdi (Chile)


AUDIENCE FAVOURITE
La Soledad by Jorge Thielen Armand (Venezuela)


AUDIENCE FAVORITE SHORT
Havana House by Gaspar González (USA)


SHORTS COMPETITION AWARD:
BEST FILM: $2,500 PRIZE – The Head Vanishes / Director: Frank Dion (Canada, France)


RENE RODRIGUEZ CRITICS AWARD:
BEST FILM: Harmonium / Director: Kôji Fukada (Japan)


ENCUENTROS AWARD (WORKS-IN-PROGRESS) PRESENTED BY KNIGHT FOUNDATION:
$10,000 PRIZE (shared) – Tigre (Argentina, Pucará Cine) & Camocim (Brazil, Ponte Produções)


MIAMI FILM 2017 presented by The Related Group $5,000 each to:
And The Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye (Y todo el cielo cupo en el ojo de la vaca) by Francisca Alegria (Chile)
Connection (CONECTIFAI) by Zoe Garcia (Cuba)
The Inconvenience (El Inconveniente) by Adriana Yurcovich (Argentina)


About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival
Celebrating its 34th anniversary March 3 – 12, 2017, Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival (MDC) is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. The Festival’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Additionally, every October, the Festival hosts a mid-season festival titled GEMS, showcasing the season’s finest new cinematic works. Major sponsors of the 2017 Festival include Knight Foundation, The Related Group and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237- FILM (3456).


About Culture at Miami Dade College
The Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC) is composed ofthe Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, Tower Theater Miami, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design. MDC is committed to providing its community with the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDC offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. MDC’s arts programming is considered by many one of the best in the nation. For more information, visit mdc.edu/arts. About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. About Related Group. Established in 1979, Related Group is Florida’s leading developer of sophisticated metropolitan living and one of the country’s largest real estate conglomerates. Its innovative residential developments, that reach crossmarket sectors, have dramatically altered South Florida’s urban landscape. Since its inception, the privately held company has built, rehabilitated and managed more than 90,000 condominium and apartment residences. Related Group has earned international status for its visionary designs and development of luxury condominiums, market-rate rentals, mixed-use centers and affordable properties – often in emerging neighborhoods that enhance the lives of all its residents.


About Jordan Alexander Ressler Charitable Fund
This special award recognizes and supports artists in their careers as professional screenwriters. It was created by the South Florida family of Jordan Alexander Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter and Cornell University film studies graduate who, during his brief entertainment career, held production positions with the Tony award-winning Broadway hits 700 Sundays with Billy Crystal and Jersey Boys.


Miami Film Festival Contacts:
Salazar PR, Andrea Salazar | Tel: +1 954-756-0652 | asalazarpr@gmail.com
Clique PR, Dina Allende | Tel: +1 305-205-1058 | dina@makeitclique.com

MDC Contacts:
Juan Mendieta | +1 305-237-7611 | jmendiet@mdc.edu
Hessy Fernandez | +1 305-237-3949 | Hfernan5@mdc.edu
Sue Arrowsmith | +1 305-237-3710 | sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu
Allison Horton | 1+ 305-237-3359 | ahorton@mdc.edu