30th Miami International Film Festival Presents Two Lexus Audience Awards at the Closing Night Gala

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For Immediate Release:
March 11, 2013



30th Miami International Film Festival Presents Two Lexus Audience Awards at the Closing Night Gala
Miami, FL – Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), celebrated its milestone 30th anniversary with filmmakers, talent, and guests who gathered at the National Historic Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College (Freedom Tower) this past weekend to hear the announcement of the popular Lexus Audience Award presented to two films. The winners were Gideon’s Army directed by Dawn Porter who also received the Grand Jury prize in the Knight Documentary Competition category and 7 Boxes (7 cajas) directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori.

7 Boxes follows the story of Victor, a wheelbarrow transporter, who must deliver seven mysterious boxes to a recipient, while avoiding a treacherous path along through the Municipal Market in Asunción, Paraguay.

Gideon’s Army follows several public defense lawyers working in the South and passionately fighting for their clients despite being overworked and underfunded. First time director Dawn Porter exposes the ways in which the law is unequally applied by race and class.

After the Awards Night Ceremony at Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts earlier in the evening, hundreds of party-goers strutted into the Freedom Tower for the Pyrat Awards Night Party. The evening was surrounded by food stations including savory Italian hors d’oeuvres from Cibo Wine Bar and sweet rice krispie French toast from FIX. Pyrat also hosted interactive cocktail stations where guests mixed their own concoctions.

“Everything about the Festival this year was a true celebration. From the events to the screenings, we all could feel the incredible energy and excitement this year,” said MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante. “We look forward to gearing up for the 31st Festival in 2014.”

Thousands of guests attended the 30th annual Festival, which screened 117 feature films and 12 short films from 41 countries. For more information, please visit miff2020.wpengine.com or call 305-237-FILM(3456). MIFF is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university.


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Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 30th anniversary March 1 – 10, 2013, 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 70,000 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. MIFF’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. Major sponsors of the 2013 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more, visit miff2020.wpengine.com or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including the Miami Book Fair International, the Center @ MDC, the Miami International Film Festival, the MDC Live Arts Performing Arts Series, the Cuban Cinema Series, the Miami Leadership Roundtable speakers’ series, numerous renowned campus art galleries and theaters, and the nationally recognized School of Entertainment and Design Technology. With an enrollment of more than 174,000 students, MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is a national model for many of its programs. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate, associate in arts and science degrees and numerous career training certificates leading to in-demand jobs. MDC has served nearly 2,000,000 students since it opened its doors in 1960.

Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. In every vehicle, Lexus incorporates innovative technologies, high-quality designs and luxury materials. With numerous models featuring Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader and is dedicated to developing vehicles that are kinder to the Earth. Lexus’ current vehicles incorporate outstanding driving dynamic characteristics and feature a new design language that includes a spindle grille and distinctive lights, creating a signature look and feel for the luxury brand. In the United States, Lexus models are sold through 232 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.
MIFF Contacts:
Jessica Wade Pfeffer, Jessica Wade Inc., +1 305-804-8424, jessica@jessicawadeinc.com

Janice Roland, Falco Ink,  +1 212-445-7100,  janiceroland@falcoink.com
Shannon Treusch, Falco Ink, +1 212-445-7100,  shannontreusch@falcoink.com

MDC Contacts:

Juan Mendieta, +1 305-237-7611,  jmendiet@mdc.edu

Sue Arrowsmith +1 305-237-3710,  sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu

Alejandro Rios  +1 305-237-7482,  arios1@mdc.ed