Directors Ross Kauffman and Alejandro Brugués Join Award-Winning Industry Creatives on the Jury List for 2014 Miami International Film Festival, a Program of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Directors Ross Kauffman and Alejandro Brugués Join Award-Winning Industry Creatives on the Jury List for 2014 Miami International Film Festival, a Program of Miami Dade College’s MDCulture  
Competition Categories Include Knight Competition, Knight Documentary Competition, Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition, Miami ENCUENTROS, Miami + Shanghai CinemaSlam, Papi Shorts Competition presented by Macy’s, MTV/Tr3s REEL Music Video Art Competition, Miami Future Cinema Critics Program, and SIGNIS
Miami, FL — Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College’s MDCulture, today announced the members of the jury for nine competition categories including Knight Competition, Knight Documentary Competition, Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition, Miami + Shanghai CinemaSlam, Miami ENCUENTROS, Papi Shorts Competition presented by Macy’s, MTV REEL Music Video Art Competition, and Miami Future Cinema Critics program. Special to MIFF this year is the SIGNIS Jury (World Catholic Association for Communication) which is comprised of professionals in the communications industry with a focus on universal human and spiritual values. The jury will choose a film this year that embodies the ideals of SIGNIS.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the line-up of jurors this year.” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante.  “The diversity of each of their profiles is parallel to the incredible slate of films they will be judging.”

The Knight Competition, open to dramatic works from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, as well as Latino-themed works produced in the United States, will feature 10 films eligible to receive $40,000 in achievement recognition from the Festival, courtesy of James L. & John S. Knight Foundation. The members of the jury include:

  • Enrique López Lavigne, Producer, Apaches Entertainment (Spain): After ten years working as executive producer for Sogecine, Koan Films, and his own production company, Apache Films, Lavigne joined Belén Atienza in 2008 to found Apaches Entertainment. The company has produced eight feature films – Verbo by Eduardo Chapero Jackson, Intruders by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Extraterrestrial by Nacho Vigalondo, The Impossible by JA Bayona, The End (Fin) by Jorge Torregrosa (MIFF 2013), People in Places by Juan Cavestany, and most recently, Three Many Weddings by Javier Ruiz Caldera and Open Windows by Nacho Vigalondo, both featured in this year’s Miami International Film Festival.
  • Agustina Chiarino, Producer, Control Z Films (Uruguay): Chiarino was born in Montevideo in 1977. She spent time in Mexico and Barcelona before returning to Uruguay in 2007 and joining Control Z Films, where she produced the feature film Giant, directed by Adrián Biniez (Silver Bear, Alfred Bauer, and Best Opera Prima Awards at the 2009 Berlinale), Hiroshima (a 2009 Toronto IFF Premiere), and 3 (Quinzaine des Realizateurs Premiere, Cannes 2012), directed by Pablo Stoll, and Tanta Agua (Berlinale Panorama, MIFF Knight Ibero-American Competition Grand Jury Prize and MIFF Jordan A. Ressler Screenplay Award, 2013), directed by Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge. In 2011, she formed Mutante Cine along with Fernando Epstein, with the intention of continuing to produce and distribute narrative and documentary feature films in Uruguay. Mutante Cine has hosted events such as the Puentes workshop for executive producers associated with EAVE and financed by MEDIA (2012 and 2013).
  • Alejandro Brugués, Director (Cuba): Brugués was born in Buenos Aires and is of Cuban descent. He graduated from Cuba’s International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños. His feature film directorial debut was Personal Belongings (MIFF, 2008). His latest film, the Cuban zombie comedy Juan of the Dead (MIFF 2012), is the recipient of 18 awards in film festivals all over the world, including Spain’s Goya Award as Best Iberoamerican Feature in 2013. He is one of the 26 directors taking part in the horror anthology The ABC’s of Death Part 2 to be released later this year.
Knight Documentary Competition, open to engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and inspiring people, will feature 10 films eligible to receive $10,000 in achievement recognition from the Festival, courtesy of James L. & John S. Knight Foundation. The members of the jury include:
  • Ross Kaufman, Filmmaker, Red Light Films (USA): Kauffman is the director, producer, cinematographer and co-editor of Born Into Brothels, winner of the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Other projects include the award-winning feature documentary In a Dream(Executive Producer) and the Academy Award nominated Postergirl (Consulting Producer). In 2001 Kauffman formed Red Light Films, a New York based Production Company specializing in narrative and documentary films. His latest film E-Team (with co-director Katy Chevigny), a documentary feature about three intrepid human rights workers, debuted at Sundance Film Festival 2014 and took home the Best Cinematography Award for a U.S. Documentary Feature. Projects in development include Boy Boy Girl Girl, a comedic narrative feature film about a gay couple trying to adopt a newborn baby from a drug-addicted pregnant woman and her abusive girlfriend.
  • Adriana Bosch, Filmmaker (USA) : Bosch was born in Cuba. She served as series producer of Latino Americans, a six-part series on the history of Latinos in the United States, which she co-produced with WETA/Washington D.C. and aired recently to critical acclaim. Her other credits include writing and directing “The Great Fever,” a film on Cuban doctor Carlos Finlay, as well as the critically acclaimed two-hour special, Fidel Castro (2005), aired on PBS’s “American Experience.” Also for “American Experience” she made “Jimmy Carter”, a three-hour documentary biography, and served as series editor and writer/producer for American Experience’s presidential biographies “Reagan” (1998) and “Ike” (1993). She has been honored with a Hugo Award, a Christopher Award, a Peabody Award, an Erik Barnouw Award, and an Emmy Award, and has been nominated for three Writer’s Guild Awards. Bosch holds a PhD in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
  • Laura Kim, Founder, Inside Job: Kim’s company Inside Job provides marketing and public relations services and distribution consultation for motion pictures during production, at festivals, and for theatrical and awards campaigns. Kim is currently working on Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, the award-winning Gloria, directed by Sebastián Lelio, and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Recent campaigns include Academy Award nominated films Albert Nobbs, Margin Call, Restrepo, Winter’s Bone and the Academy Award-winner for Best Documentary, Undefeated. In 2010, Kim and Paul Federbush co-founded Red Flag Releasing and have released a number of films. From 2003-2008, Kim was EVP of Marketing for Warner Independent Pictures, marketing a number of highly successful films, and prior to that was at MPRM Public Relations. Kim is a consultant for Sundance Institute, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Board of Directors for Film Independent (FIND). Kim co-wrote “I Wake Up Screening: What to Do Once You’ve Made that Movie” with noted film critic John Anderson, which was released by Billboard Books.
The Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition for first-time feature filmmakers emerging from Spain, Portugal and Latin America will feature four films eligible to receive $5,000 in achievement recognition from the Festival, courtesy of Lexus; and an additional $5,000 in achievement recognition for screenwriting from the Festival, courtesy of Jordan A. Ressler Foundation. The members of the jury include:
  • Jessica Huppert Berman, Independent Feature Producer and Head of Newstead Films: Berman studied film at Brown University and is an independent feature producer in the U.S. and Spain. She worked in the development and production of Mira Nair’s The Perez Family and Monsoon Wedding, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester, among others. She has produced many of Fernando Trueba’s films, including the Latin jazz documentary Calle 54 (MIFF 2001) and The Dancer and the Thief, which was chosen as the Spanish submission to the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2009. As David Trueba’s production partner, she has produced Soldados de Salamina (Cannes, Un Certain Regard), the Canal+ series “What Ever Happened to Jorge Sanz?” and Madrid,1987 (Sundance World Dramatic Competition and MIFF 2012). She currently heads Newstead Films.
  • Dana Keith, Founder & Director of the Miami Beach Film Society (MBFS) and Cinematheque (MBC): Keith has a B.A. in Cinema Studies and a B.F.A. from UC Santa Barbara, combining his interests in cinema with art. He worked in the art department at Paramount Studios for Production Designer Robert Boyle (designer of Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie). His film exhibition background includes management of the Arlington Center in Santa Barbara, and theatres in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He then lived in Europe for a decade (1982-92), working as a photographer and model/actor while independently researching and consulting. Since moving to Miami in 1993, Mr. Keith has been a consultant in film programming and exhibition at The Wolfsonian and Bass Museums. He has been named one of the “50 Most Influential People in South Florida,” one of the “Power Players Moving Florida Forward,” and recently the recipient of the Golden Orange Award, given by the Florida Film Critics Circle for “outstanding contribution to film…for tireless championing of foreign, independent, and alternative film in South Florida for over twenty years.”
  • Lisa Gottlieb, Associate Professor in the Motion Pictures Program in the Department of Cinema & Interactive Media, University of Miami: Gottlieb has directed three award-winning feature films: Just One of the Guys, Cadillac Ranch and Across the Moon, as well as a number of cable and network TV episodes. While a student, Lisa wrote, produced and directed the multi-award winning short film, “Murder in a Mist”. Her most recent work includes three award-winning web series and the micro budget feature comedy, Black Friday.
Miami ENCUENTROS presented by Moviecity: The purpose of this competition is to facilitate completion of feature films produced partially or entirely by Latin-American based production companies, or from US Hispanic filmmakers, that are currently in post-production and will not be completed by March 2014. Miami ENCUENTROS aims to propel these projects towards their eventual debuts on the international stage. MIFF ENCUENTROS and Moviecity will be awarding a pre-sale contract offer worth USD$ 35,000 to the winning project as selected by a jury of industry professionals. The members of the jury include:
  • Sandro Fiorin, Co-Founder, FiGa Films: Fiorin was born in Brazil. He founded FiGa Films in Los Angeles on January 2006 with partner, Cuban-American Alex Garcia, to discover and distribute Latin American content in North America, as well as represent them worldwide. Positions at the Film Forum, Universal, and First Look Films are part of his 18-year career in the industry. He is a Programming Associate for the Latin American Film Festival at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Artistic Director of the IndieBrazil Film Festival in Los Angeles.
  • Silvia Iturbe, Managing Director, Latido Films: Iturbe started her career in Sogepaq, in the DVD/Video department. She then moved to El País as Product Manager, developing Marketing Promotions linked to audiovisual product. In 2006 she joined Latido Films as Managing Director, becoming responsible for the company’s development. She has been invited to many production and coproduction events as a specialist in international markets. Since 2011, she has been an invited teacher of international sales classes in the Master in Audiovisual Business Administration at Carlos III University in Madrid.
  • Camille Neel, Head of International Sales, Le Pacte: Neel worked as a marketing executive and a television and international sales agent at BAC Films. In 2007, he was named head of BAC’s International Sales Department. In 2011, he joined Le Pacte as head of International Sales.
  • Diana Salcedo, Acquisitions Manager, Moviecity/Fox International Channels Latam: Salcedo’s team at Moviecity/Fox International Channels Latam is responsible for the acquisitions of films for Moviecity’s six premium channels and FIC Latam’s four basic channels.
  • Ryan Kampe, Founder, Visit Films: Kampe spent a number of years in International Distribution at Focus Features before founding Visit Films. With Visit Films, he has been responsible for the worldwide sales and development of a number of important American independent and international films that have premiered in festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, and Toronto from filmmakers as diverse as Harmony Korine, Werner Herzog, the Duplass Brothers, Valérie Donzelli, Joe Swanberg and David Robert Mitchell.
Miami + Shanghai CinemaSlam is a competition which aims to discover, showcase, and celebrate the work of undergraduate and graduate students in Miami and Shanghai film schools. Florida participating schools include Barry University, Center of Cinematography, Arts & Television Florida International University, Miami Dade College, Miami International University, New World School of the Arts (University of Florida), St. Thomas University and the University of Miami. Shanghai schools include East China University, East China Normal University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai Theatre Academy, and Shanghai University. The members of the jury include:
  • Bernardo Britto
  • Xiaoda Chen
  • Ling Jiang
  • Jesse Miller
  • Wei Nie
  • Wei Qi
  • Julian Yuri Rodriguez
  • Xiaokun Wu
  • Xinxun Wu
  • Han Zheng
Papi Shorts Competition presented by Macy’s will present 10 accomplished short films from around the globe, eligible to receive $1,000 in achievement recognition from the Festival, courtesy of Papi and Macy’s. The members of the jury include:
  • Diliana Alexander
  • Rachel Bleemer
  • Nicolas Calzada
  • Tatyana Chiocchetti
  • Luis F. Hernandez
  • Ileana Orozo
  • Jacqueline Proctor
  • Kevin Sharpley
  • Lisa Sloat
Ten original artistic music videos were selected from over 150 video submissions to compete in the MTV Latin America/ Tr3s REEL Music Video Art Competition. The winner will receive the REEL Music Video Art Award and will be broadcasted on MTV and Tr3s’ websites. Members of the jury include:
  • Andres Castillo
  • Trevor Lafargue
  • Jaie Laplante
  • Xavier Romani
  • German Verdi
Miami Future Cinema Critics (MFCC) program provides Miami-based film aficionados with a unique opportunity to discover new cinema – outside of the roughly 600 films that are commercially released in the U.S. annually, and learn new ways to develop their voice and attract new audiences for their own critical work. Through an application process, a group of 4 Miami writers (between the ages 21 to 30) will blog (written, audio or video) about films from a select playlist of eight titles, curated by MIFF’s 2014 programming team. In addition to blogging, the MFCC will designate one film to win the MFCC Best Film of 2014 Award. Members of the jury include:
  • Zoe Brown
  • James Paul Duran
  • Raychel Lean
  • Anna M. Xigues
SIGNIS awards are bestowed upon films which inspire spiritual values, motivate humanitarian discussions, and raise audience consciousness about the meaning of existence and life. The films should have themes relevant to human responsibility in modern society and have a universal impact. Members of the SIGNIS jury include:
  • Gustavo Andújar, Director of the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center: Andújar is the Director of the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center in Havana, the Director of the Cuban Catholic magazines Espacio Laical and Ecos and a member of the Commission for Communication of the Cuban Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is also a Vice President of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, and Chairman of the SIGNIS Cinema Desk. He has served on SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries in international film festivals in Amiens, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Havana, Hong Kong, Mar del Plata, Venice, Washington DC and Zanzibar, among others.
  • Jose Rodriguez, Professor, South East Pastoral Institute: Rodriguez earned his MD degree in Havana, specializing in Neurology. Later he obtained his MA in Pastoral Ministry for Hispanics from Barry University. Formerly a professor in the Catholic Seminary in Havana, he is currently a professor at the South East Pastoral Institute (SEPI) in Miami, FL, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. With the Archdiocese of Havana he was a member of the founding editorial board of a leading Cuban Catholic magazine, the monthly Palabra Nueva, and also a video producer and writer with the Media Department of the Archdiocese. He collaborates with the Cuban Catholic magazine Ecos.
  • Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, Founding Director, Whitehead International Film Festival: Suchocki is the founding director of the Whitehead International Film Festival held in Claremont, California, and now in its 14th year. A member of Interfilm and SIGNIS, she has served on film juries in Montreal, Berlin, and Washington D.C. Professor Emerita at Claremont School of Theology, she has published a number of books on theology, as well as a number of articles and reviews on film. Her first book on film is now finished, and it is being considered for publication.
The 31st edition of Miami International Film Festival runs March 7-16, 2014. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 305-237-FILM(3456).
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Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 31st anniversary March 7 – 16, 2014, 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. 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 2014 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more, visit or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).

MDCulture is the Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC). Comprising the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, Tower Theater, the Center for Literature and Theatre, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design, MDCulture is committed to providing everyone the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDCulture 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. For more, visit

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