2016 Jurors


Competing films are eligible for a $30,000 USD Knight Grand Jury Achievement Award that will be split between the lead production company and the U.S. distributor of the film. If no U.S. distributor is secured before 30 days after the close of the Festival, then the full award will be made to the lead production company. The Grand Jury will also award two $5,000 cash prizes, totaling $10,000 in additional funds, one for Best Director and one for Best Performance.


Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Kyle Patrick Alvarez was born and raised in Miami by his Cuban parents, and is currently based in Los Angeles. In 2010, he won the “Someone to Watch Award” at the Independent Spirit Awards for his writing and directorial debut Easier with Practice. In 2015, The Stanford Prison Experiment, his third feature film, was released theatrically by IFC Films after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.


Selton Mello
Actor, Filmmaker

Selton Mello was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is a renowned actor and filmmaker.  As an actor, he has appeared in such Festival selections as Jean Charles (09) and Trash (15). Bananeira Filmes produced his first feature film, the award-winning December (08) and later The Clown (11), which received more than 50 awards in Brazilian and international festivals and was selected as Brazil’s official submission to the Academy Awards. His third film, A Movie Life, is in post-production and will be workshopped at MIAMI ENCUENTROS at this year’s Festival.

Trey Edward Shults

Trey Edward Shults

Trey Edward Shults began his filmmaking career at 19, working on Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time with cinematographer Paul Atkins. After traveling extensively with Atkins and working in technical roles on several Austin-based shoots, Shults began to write and direct his own films. His first feature film, Krisha, won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Award at SXSW, played at Miami International Film Festival’s GEMS, and will be released in theaters by A24 Films this spring.


This distinguished jury selects from all U.S. Hispanic and Ibero-american films in the Festival’s Official Selection, competing for a cash Achievement Award of $10,000 presented by Lexus.


Carlos Lechuga

Carlos Lechuga was born in Havana, Cuba. He trained as a director at the University of Arts in Cuba and at the International School of Film and Television in San Antonio de los Baños, where he specialized in screenwriting. As a director he has made award-winning shorts including Cuca and the Chicken” (06) and “The Swimmers” (10). His first feature, Melaza (13)premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and was screened in competition at Miami International Film Festival.  His next project as writer-producer-director, Santa and Andrés, is currently in postproduction.


Kenny Riches

Kenny Riches is an artist and filmmaker born in Japan and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.  His first feature film, Must Come Down (12), played at numerous film festivals, and his second, The Strongest Man (15), was screened at the Festival after world premiering at Sundance. The Strongest Man received theatrical and digital distribution. Riches’ short film on artist Cara Despain is screening at this year’s Festival as part of the I’ve Never Not Been From Miami program. He is currently at work on his third feature.


Leticia Tonos Paniagua

Leticia Tonos Paniagua was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She directed several short films before becoming the first Dominican woman to solo direct a feature film with her debut film, Love Child (11). Her second film Cristo Rey (13) was an Official Selection of the Festival. Both of her films were chosen as Dominican Republic’s official submissions to the Academy Awards.


First-time screenwriters are eligible for a $5,000 USD cash prize, courtesy of the 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.


Diego Lerman

Diego Lerman was born in Buenos Aires. His directorial credits include his feature debut Suddenly (2002), which won several awards at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Mientras tanto (2006), The Invisible Eye (2010), which screened at the Festival, and Refugiado (2014). He produced Ana Katz’s My Friend From The Park (2015), screening at the Festival this year, and is the winner of the $12,500 grand prize of the Miami Film 2016 development grant from the Festival and The Related Group for his upcoming production of A Sort of Family (Una especie de familia).


Jorge Guerricaechevarría

Jorge Guerricaechevarría is from Avilés, Spain. He is one of Spain’s most renowned screenwriters and works frequently with director Álex De la Iglesia, including co-writing the Festival’s opening night selection this year, My Big Night (15). His writing credits include collaborating with Pedro Almodóvar on the script for Live Flesh (97), and he has been nominated 6 times for Goya Awards. He won the Goya in 2010 for his script with Daniel Monzón, Cell 211(09). He is a member of the European Film Academy and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). His latest film, Daniel Calparsoro’s Cien años de perdón (16), is also an official selection at this year’s Festival.


Rosa Bosch

Rosa Bosch was born in Spain and is currently based in Havana and London. Her producing credits include The Devil’s Backbone by Guillermo Del Toro,Buena Vista Social Club by Wim Wenders, Lost in La Mancha by Keith Fulton and Louise Pepe, London – The Modern Babylon by Julien Temple and White Lies by Dana Rotberg. Rosa has been a frequent tutor at EAVE, Media Business School, Sundance Mexico workshops and is currently a member of the European Film Academy and BAFTA. She runs Havana-based production company Cuban Star.


CinemaSlam represents the finest work of the year from South Florida’s Film students, as Miami’s Center of Cinematography, Arts & Television, Miami Dade College’s School of Entertainment, Design & Technology, Miami International University, and University of Miami’s School of Communications put their best foot forward in this year’s 6th Annual CinemaSlam competition. The jury will determine the following winners: Miami CinemaSlam Champion 2016, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Drama, Best Documentary and Best Technical Achievement. The final award: CinemaSlam Audience Award Winner 2016, will be determined by audience votes following the screenings on Friday, March 4 at MDC’s Tower Theater.

Ahol Sniffs Glue

Ahol, whose raw yet instantly recognizable street murals evaporate the divide between high and low art, often jumbles disparate themes from mass media, popular culture and marginalized pockets of society. He often draws inspiration from the urban environment and systems of society which dehumanize its inhabitants. Ahol’s deceptively simple, yet complex renderings both portray the veneer of our everyday surroundings and the dull, job-related conflicts often encountered in a dysfunctional workplace. The South Florida native is best known for his soaring urban murals depicting expansive fields of drowsy eyes, reflecting his unique vision of life, labor and unrequited love of the mean streets of Miami.

Carla Forte

Carla Forte is a performer, scriptwriter and film director. Forte is the Founder and Executive Director of Bistoury Physical Theatre and Film. She has directed Video-Art works featured at venues worldwide.  Her cinematographic work includes the documentary The Holders, which World Premiered at the 2015 Festival, Short films “Imaginarium” and “Reset”, selected for Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner; as well as the feature film Urban Stories, Winner of Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Feature Film at Bootleg Film Festival in Toronto; and Honorable Mention at both Los Angeles Movies Awards and Lucerne International Film Festival, Switzerland.

Giancarlo Loffredo

Classically self-trained, Latin filmmaker Giancarlo Loffredo signifies what making movies in Miami, FL should stand for. From making home based viral music videos for tons of artist in Miami Dade at a young age, to producing world renowned short films for Borscht Corp such as C#ckfight, and MTVother’s No Seasons, he now brings forward his directorial debut short film “Stripper Wars” featured at this year’s Festival.


ENCUENTROS, now in its thirteenth year, is a program of the Festival’s Industry Center, VeoMiami.  ENCUENTROS consists of 5 feature films produced partially or entirely by Ibero-American-based production companies currently in post-production stage. The films are workshopped with industry professionals and a jury will grant one project with a $10,000 cash prize in completion financing.

Agathe Valentin
Sales Agent

Agathe Valentin joined Pyramide International as Head of Sales  in 2015, and manages the extensive company library which includes over 350 titles including by acclaimed directors such as Zviagintsev, Catherine Corsini, Patricio Guzman and Lucia Puenzo. With more than 10 years in the industry, Valentin previously worked at Wide Management and then as Head of Sales for Les Films du Losange, were she handled the sales of more than 40 titles including two  Palme d’Or winners, The White Ribbon and Amour.

Agusti Villaronga

Agusti Villaronga was born in Palma, Spain.  He has directed numerous award-winning feature films, including In A Glass Cage (1986), El niño de la luna, which competed at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, and The Sea (2000). His best known work is Black Bread (Pa negre), which swept the 2011 Goya Awards, including a Best Director award.

Alfredo Calvino
Sales Agent

Alfredo Calvino has worked at Cuba’s ICAIC, Brazil’s Grupo Novo de Cinema e TV and Mexico’s Latinofusion. In 2011, he founded Habanero Film Sales, a distribution, international sales and promotion company based in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, that represents films by Latin American Filmmakers with an special focus on Cuban independent cinema. His portfolio includes Alejandro Brugues’ Juan of the Dead (11) and this year’s Festival Official Selection The Companion (El acompañante) by Pavel Giroud. Among his upcoming projects are Carlos Lechugas’s Santa & Andres and Patricia Ramos’ El sueco.


The Shorts Competition jury selects from the latest in films 30 minutes or less from around the globe, awarding the winner a $2,500 cash prize

Samuel Albis

Rachel Lauren Bleemer

Nicolas Calzada

Margaret Cardillo

Lauren Cohen

Michelle Contreras

Adam Dunshee

Alessandra Gherardi

Luis Hernandez

Oliver Mahrdt

Steve Mesa

Hector Moreno

Donald Papy

Jacqueline Proctor

Kevin Sharpley

Lisa Sloat

Jose-Antonio Valencia