2019 Call for Entries

2018 HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Competition winner LA FAMILIA

Declared in 2018 as “One of the 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” by Moviemaker Magazine, Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival closed its open submission process (on October 15, 2018) for its 36th annual edition, March 1 – 10, 2019. Miami film students wishing to enter a project in Cinemaslam should visit miamifilmfestival.com/cinemaslam-2019/.

The following category rules will apply universally to all competition and non-competition categories, unless specifically noted in the individual category description:

  1. World premiere must have occurred no earlier than January 1, 2018
  2. There is a minimum Florida premiere requirement for films (60 min or more, 50 min or more for documentaries) to compete in all Feature Film Award categories. However, all things being equal, the Festival will give programming preference to films that offer a World, International, North American or US premiere status.
  3. There is no specific premiere requirement for short or medium length films of less than 60 minutes submitted to Made in MIA Award or Zeno Mountain Award categories, or films of 30 minutes or less submitted to IMDbPro Short Film Award. Films of these lengths that are actively streaming online are eligible to submit and compete in these categories, so long as they are in compliance with rule #1.  However, all things being equal, the Festival will give programming preference to World, International, North American and US Premieres or to works that will not yet be available online during the Festival dates.
  4. There is no specific premiere requirement for films in non-competition categories.
  5. Exhibition format must be delivered on DCP, with the exception of Virtual Reality projects that are accepted to the IMDbPro Short Film Competition (these will be exhibited in the VR format).


The $40,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award* is Miami Film Festival’s top award, presenting $40,000 cash to the jury-selected feature film (60 min or longer) that best exemplifies richness and resonance for cinema’s future. The cash prize will go to the lead producer (production company), but is eligible to be split with a US distributor, if there is a US company that has made a commitment to release the winning film in US theaters prior to a VOD release.

The $10,000 Documentary Achievement Award is a cash prize given to one documentary film as voted upon by the Festival audience, awarded to the film’s lead producer (production company). All feature-length documentary (50 min or longer) playing in the Festival’s Official Selection are eligible for this Award.

HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award presents $10,000 cash, courtesy of HBO, to the jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American feature film (60 min or longer) in the Official Selection, awarded to the lead producer (production company).

Jordan Ressler First Feature Award presents $10,000 cash to the filmmaker (director, or writer/director) of the jury-selected best film made by a filmmaker making his or her feature narrative (60 min or longer) film debut. The Award is courtesy of the South Florida family of the late Jordan Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter whose life was tragically cut short before he could realize his dream.

The $40,000 Knight Made in MIA Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected best feature film ($30,000) and the jury-selected best short film under 30 minutes ($10,000) of any genre that features a qualitatively/quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida, from West Palm to the Keys, and that most universally demonstrates a common ground of pride, emotion, and faith for the South Florida community.

Zeno Mountain Award presents $5,000 cash, courtesy of Fringe Partners, to the filmmaker of a jury-selected film of any genre and any length that best celebrates the diversity of abilities and disabilities and helps to break down barriers to our understanding of people living with disabilities. The award is named after Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, VT, and inspired by the actors and filmmakers in the 2016 documentary film Becoming Bulletproof.

IMDbPro Short Film Award presents $5,000 cash, courtesy of IMDbPro, an Amazon company, to the filmmaker of a jury-selected short film (30 min or less) of any genre.

The $2,500 Poster Design Award is a cash prize split between the producer and the poster designer of the jury-selected best poster (representation of its film for marketing purposes) of all films, regardless of genre or length, with completed posters in the Official Selection.

The $2,500 Trailer Award is a cash prize split between the producer and the trailer editor of the jury-selected best trailer (representation of its film for marketing purposes) of all films, regardless of genre or length, with completed trailers in the Official Selection.

Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation CinemaSlam Competition is a cash-competition prize open to all Miami-area film students. The Festival will detail prizes and entry requirements, as well as open submissions, beginning in October 2018, until January 11, 2019.

Feature Film Audience Award and Short Film Audience Award are two separate awards presented to the filmmakers of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) and best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award is presented to the filmmaker of one film of any genre and any length voted on by all accredited film critics covering the annual Festival, for the film they consider the best of that year’s selection.

*A marimba is a variation of a xylophone that produces a deeper, richer and more resonant tone that a traditional xylophone. The marimba originated in Guatemala and Central America approximately 400 years ago and remains popular to this day in a wide variety of musical disciplines. The name of Miami Film Festival’s top award is inspired by the 2011 winner of the Festival’s top award, Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas from Hell, which embodies the spirit of forward-looking cinema.


Cinema 360° features narratives (30 min or more) from both masters and up-and-coming filmmakers from every country in the world, including an international selection of dramas, comedies, suspense thrillers, neo westerns, and innovative docudramas.

REEL Music Scene features narrative or documentary films of any length with music-themed content.


Friday, June 29, 2018 | Early Deadline | $45.00 – $55.00 (range)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | Regular Deadline | $55.00 – $65.00 (range)

Friday, August 31, 2018 | Late Deadline | $65.00 – $75.00 (range)

Monday, October 15, 2018 | Extended Deadline | $100.00