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Submissions for the 2020-21 season are currently open and will close on October 15, 2020. To request inclusion on the Festival’s Industry mailing list for alerts, please email info@miamifilmfestival.com

Important Information

Knight Marimbas Award *
$25,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected U.S. or international narrative 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

Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award
$45,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected feature film of any genre that features a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and/or Monroe counties) and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance. The jury will have the option to award $22,500 each to two films that represent different genres (narrative, documentary, hybrid), or may elect to award the entire prize to one film.

Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award
$10,000 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected short film under 30 minutes of any genre that features a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and/or Monroe counties) and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance.

Jordan Ressler First Feature Award
$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.

Ibero-American Feature Film Award
Ibero-American Feature Film Award is a prize given to a jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American narrative feature film (60 min or longer) in the Official Selection, awarded to the lead producer (production company).

Ibero-American Short Film Award
Ibero-American Short Film Award for short films 30 minutes or less with Spanish dialogue and featuring primarily Hispanic, Latino or Ibero-American stories. Open to any genre – narrative, documentary, hybrid, animation, experimental.

Alacran Music in Film Award
Highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. This award celebrates the artists behind the music composition, which often stays in the shadow, for their contribution to the film industry with a $5,000 cash prize and complimentary studio time at Alacran Group’s state-of-the-art recording studio for Best Original Score of all opt-in feature films in the Festival.

Documentary Achievement Award
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.

Short Film Award
Miami Film Festival Short Film Award is given to a jury-selected short film (30 min or less) of any genre from anywhere in the world.

Toyota Narrative Feature Film Audience Award 
Presented to the filmmaker of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) of the entire Official Selection.

Toyota Short Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker(s) of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award
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.

Miami Film Festival Trailer Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning editor will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

Miami Film Festival Poster Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning designer will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.


*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°
Narratives (60 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
Narrative or documentary films of any length with music-themed content.

1. For all Competition categories, World premiere must have occurred no earlier than January 1, 2020. For Non-Competition categories (Cinema 360 and Reel Music), there is no specific regulation regarding the date of a film’s World premiere.

2. For all Competition categories, the Festival will give programming preference to films that offer a World, International, North American or US premiere status. However, for the 2020-21 season only, due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the film industry, there will be no minimum premiere requirement, so films of all premiere statuses will be eligible for consideration. Films that have received specialized or temporary online exposure prior to our Festival will not be disqualified, so long as they will not be available online in the United States from March 1 – 15, 2021.

3. However, films that are in commercial circulation (theatrical, broadcast, commercial VOD or domestic airline entertainment system) in the USA prior to March 19, 2021 will not be eligible for the Festival.

4. The Festival’s Competition categories have different eligibility rules – the length, genre (narrative or documentary) and origin regulations can all change from category to category. For example, some categories accept films of any running time, while other categories may require a minimum running time of 60 minutes or a maximum running time of 30 minutes. For other examples, some categories accept both narrative and documentary films, while other categories are restricted to one or the other; some categories accept films from any country in the world, while others only accept films from the Ibero-american diaspora or specific counties in Florida. Please read each category description carefully before submitting. If you mistakenly submit to a category for which your film is not eligible, the Festival will not disqualify your entry, but our programmers will instead consider your submission for a category where it will be eligible.

5. Our Festival’s audience-voted awards are determined by the audience of each screening being invited to rate the film on a numeric scale on a paper ballot. The average of the audience’s scoring will be multiplied by the fractional audience participation in the voting process (that is, the number of people who choose to vote out of the total attendance at each screening) in order to come up with a final score. At the conclusion of the Festival, the film with the highest over-all score in each audience-voted category will win that category’s Award. Should two top final scores be separated by less than 1/10 of a percentage point, a tie will be declared. Ratings and final scores are confidential and not published or shared.

6. Films selected for the Festival will be required to provide a DCP format file for Exhibition.

Knight Marimbas Award *
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.

Knight Made in MIA Award
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.

Jordan Ressler First Feature Award
$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.

HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award
$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).

HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award
$5,000 cash, courtesy of HBO, to the jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American short film (30 min or less) in the Official Selection, the four runner-ups will each receive a cash prize of $1,250, courtesy of HBO.

Alacran Music in Film Award
Highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. Alacran would like to celebrate the artists behind the music composition, which often stays in the shadow, for their contribution to the film industry with a $5000 prize for Best Original Score.

Zeno Mountain Award
$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.”

Documentary Achievement Award
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.

Short Film Award
Jury-selected short films (30 min or less) of any genre for the best short film not in the Spanish language.

Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition
Open to all eligible film students across the State of Florida. Details at miamifilmfestival.com/cinemaslam-2020.

  • Best Use of Archival Footage from Wolfson Archives
  • Grand Winner
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Technical Achievement

Toyota Feature Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) of the entire Official Selection.

Toyota Short Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker(s) of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award
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.

Miami Film Festival Trailer Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning editor will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

Miami Film Festival Poster Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning designer will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.


*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°
Narratives (60 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
Narrative or documentary films of any length with music-themed content.

Visit the Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition page for information and past winners.

Completed Short Films

Prizes
The winning student project will receive $7,500 cash. Additionally, four runners-up will be acknowledged with cash prizes of $5,000 each.

Regulations

  • To be eligible, films must contain some meaningful use of archival footage, from the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College, within their film. There is NO requirement for a minimum or maximum percentage of the film’s running time dedicated to archival footage.
  • Films may be in the narrative, documentary, experimental, animated or hybrid genres.
  • Film completion date must be October 2018 or later. Films submitted to a prior year of the CinemaSlam are ineligible.
  • Students must have been enrolled at the participating school on the completion date of their finished films.
  • Films submitted may be part of a class project or an independent piece.
  • Submissions are OPEN until Friday, January 18, 2020.
  • Submissions MUST be uploaded to the FilmFreeway platform in an acceptable resolution.
  • Students must pay a submission fee of $10 to enter the competition. Winning Works-in-Progress projects from Cinemaslam 2019 may submit their completed films with a fee waiver, upon request at info@miamifilmfestival.com
  • The exhibition format of films selected must be a digital file, resolution 1920×1080 or higher. Quicktime is preferred, as Miami Film Festival will be converting it to DCP for exhibition.

Works in Progress (WIP)

Prizes
Up to 15 “seed money” awards of $1,000 cash will be awarded, to be used toward competition of the student’s project. Should the jury find less than 15 projects for consideration, the $15,000 cash awards funds will be evenly split among the jury’s selection of finalists.

Regulations

  • Projects will make any use of archival material from Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Archives in a way that is essential to the student’s content.
  • Projects may be in development, script, pre-production, production or post-production.
  • Projects may be in the narrative, documentary, experimental, animated, or hybrid genres.
  • There is no minimum or maximum required percentage of the planned production running time devoted to archival material.
  • Projects will not be finished before March 10, 2020.
  • The completed film MUST be submitted to the 2021 Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition (submission fee will be waived).
  • Submissions are OPEN until Friday, January 18, 2020.
  • Students must pay a submission fee of $10 to enter the competition.
  • Projects in development, script, pre-production and production, can submit the following material for consideration:
    • One-page Treatment (in PDF format and in English language)
    • Director and Producer Note of Intention (Max. one page in PDF format and in English language)
    • Script (in PDF format and in English language)
    • Video excerpt or scene (Max. 5 minutes as a private, shareable link)

Submit

Knight Marimbas Award *
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.

Knight Made in MIA Award
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.

Jordan Ressler First Feature Award
$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.

HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award
$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).

HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award
$5,000 cash, courtesy of HBO, to the jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American short film (30 min or less) in the Official Selection, the four runner-ups will each receive a cash prize of $1,250, courtesy of HBO.

Alacran Music in Film Award
Highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. Alacran would like to celebrate the artists behind the music composition, which often stays in the shadow, for their contribution to the film industry with a $5000 prize for Best Original Score.

Zeno Mountain Award
$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.”

Documentary Achievement Award
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.

Short Film Award
Jury-selected short films (30 min or less) of any genre for the best short film not in the Spanish language.

Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition
Open to all eligible film students across the State of Florida. Details at miamifilmfestival.com/cinemaslam-2020.

  • Best Use of Archival Footage from Wolfson Archives
  • Grand Winner
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Technical Achievement

Toyota Feature Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) of the entire Official Selection.

Toyota Short Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker(s) of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award
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.

Miami Film Festival Trailer Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning editor will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

Miami Film Festival Poster Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning designer will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.


*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°
Narratives (60 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
Narrative or documentary films of any length with music-themed content.

Visit the Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition page for information and past winners.

Completed Short Films

Prizes
The winning student project will receive $7,500 cash. Additionally, four runners-up will be acknowledged with cash prizes of $5,000 each.

Regulations

  • To be eligible, films must contain some meaningful use of archival footage, from the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College, within their film. There is NO requirement for a minimum or maximum percentage of the film’s running time dedicated to archival footage.
  • Films may be in the narrative, documentary, experimental, animated or hybrid genres.
  • Film completion date must be October 2018 or later. Films submitted to a prior year of the CinemaSlam are ineligible.
  • Students must have been enrolled at the participating school on the completion date of their finished films.
  • Films submitted may be part of a class project or an independent piece.
  • Submissions are OPEN until Friday, January 18, 2020.
  • Submissions MUST be uploaded to the FilmFreeway platform in an acceptable resolution.
  • Students must pay a submission fee of $10 to enter the competition. Winning Works-in-Progress projects from Cinemaslam 2019 may submit their completed films with a fee waiver, upon request at info@miamifilmfestival.com
  • The exhibition format of films selected must be a digital file, resolution 1920×1080 or higher. Quicktime is preferred, as Miami Film Festival will be converting it to DCP for exhibition.

Works in Progress (WIP)

Prizes
Up to 15 “seed money” awards of $1,000 cash will be awarded, to be used toward competition of the student’s project. Should the jury find less than 15 projects for consideration, the $15,000 cash awards funds will be evenly split among the jury’s selection of finalists.

Regulations

  • Projects will make any use of archival material from Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Archives in a way that is essential to the student’s content.
  • Projects may be in development, script, pre-production, production or post-production.
  • Projects may be in the narrative, documentary, experimental, animated, or hybrid genres.
  • There is no minimum or maximum required percentage of the planned production running time devoted to archival material.
  • Projects will not be finished before March 10, 2020.
  • The completed film MUST be submitted to the 2021 Wolfson CinemaSlam Competition (submission fee will be waived).
  • Submissions are OPEN until Friday, January 18, 2020.
  • Students must pay a submission fee of $10 to enter the competition.
  • Projects in development, script, pre-production and production, can submit the following material for consideration:
    • One-page Treatment (in PDF format and in English language)
    • Director and Producer Note of Intention (Max. one page in PDF format and in English language)
    • Script (in PDF format and in English language)
    • Video excerpt or scene (Max. 5 minutes as a private, shareable link)

Submit

Submissions for the 2020-21 season will open on June 1, 2020. To request inclusion on the Festival’s Industry mailing list for alerts, please email egenao@mdc.edu.

SUBMIT PROJECT ON FILM FREEWAY
SUBMIT PROJECT ON FILM FREEWAY