Directors Whit Stillman, Cristian Jimenez, and Alejandro Landes Join Goya & Oscar Winning Producers on the Jury List for 2013 Miami International Film Festival

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For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2013


Directors Whit Stillman, Cristian Jimenez, and Alejandro Landes Join Goya & Oscar Winning Producers on the Jury List for 2013 Miami International Film Festival, Produced & Presented by Miami Dade College
Competition Categories Include Knight Ibero-American Competition, Knight Documentary Competition, and Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition, Encuentros, CinemaSlam, and University of Miami Shorts Competition
Miami, FL — Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College, today announced the members of the jury for six competition categories including Knight Ibero-American Competition, Knight Documentary Competition, Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition, CinemaSlam, Miami Encuentros, and the University of Miami Shorts Competition. The complete line-up of films in these categories will be announced later this month.
“The stellar films being amassed for our 30th anniversary competitions deserve adjudication from the industry’s top talents,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante.  “With the amazing group of professionals we are unveiling today our 2013 artists will be in excellent hands.”
Knight Ibero-American Competition consists of dramatic works from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, as well as Latino-themed works produced in the United States. The films are competing for $40,000 in prizes courtesy of James L. & John S. Knight Foundation, and a $5,000 Screenwriting Award from the Jordan A. Ressler Foundation. The members of the jury include:
  • Juan GordonCo-founder, Morena Films: Juan Gordon co-founded Morena Films in September 1999. In Morena, Juan has been in charge of production and development for the following films: One of the Hollywood Ten, Gente Pez, Dog Days, The Best Is Yet to Come, The Carpenter’s Pencil, The Truth and Other LiesCargo, and The Appeared, among others. Recently, Gordon won a Goya award for Best Picture with his film Cell 211. The film won a total of eight Goya awards this year. He also recently produced Pablo Trapero’s White Elephant.
  • Cristián JimenezFilmmaker: Cristián Jiménez, a native of Chile, originally studied sociology at the University of Heidelberg and the London School of Economics before eventually finding his passion in film. Jimenez has made multiple short films, including Surrender, The Giant, Shoot Me, and Treasure of the Snails.  Jimenez’s debut feature, Optical Illusions, screened in competition at Miami International Film Festival in 2010 and is also representing MIFF 2010 in this year’s Countdown Retrospective. In 2012, his second feature film, Bonsai, won the Knight-Ibero American Competition Grand Jury Prize at Miami International Film Festival.
  • Whit Stillman, Filmmaker: Whit Stillman worked as a Manhattan journalist after graduating from Harvard. In the early 80’s, he worked as a sales agent for directors Fernando Trueba and Fernando Colomo, and even acted in Trueba’s Bad Taste (1984), which played at the very first MIFF in 1984.  Stillman shot to fame for writing and directing the hit film Metropolitan (1990), for which he was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award. Barcelona (1994) and The Last Days of Disco (1998) followed. After a 13-year hiatus, Stillman released his fourth film last year, Damsels in Distress, starring Greta Gerwig, through Sony Pictures Classics.
Knight Documentary Competition consists of engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and inspiring people. The films are competing for $10,000 courtesy of the Knight Foundation. The members of the jury include:
  • Anne ChaissonExecutive Director, Hamptons International Film Festival: Anne Chaisson specializes in fundraising and development for entertainment non-profits as well as having garnered awards as an independent film producer with her company Dirty Rice. Chaisson produced Jesse Eisenberg’s (The Social Network) first feature film, Roger Dodger (2002), which earned a Best First Feature award at the Venice and Tribeca Film Festivals and traveled to over 70 film festivals worldwide. She also produced Newmarket Films’P.S., Magnolia Pictures’ Diggers and All Channel Films’ Rocksteady. Chaisson has a strong affinity for film education and co-founded an independent film school called The Reel School (1996-2000) and continues to produce a student film workshop each summer in East Hampton.
  • Dan Guando, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, The Weinstein Company (TWC): During the last eight years as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at TWC, Dan Guando has overseen the acquisition of The ArtistBlue ValentineThe Tillman StorySarah’s KeySubmarine, CoriolanusUndefeated, Bully, and the upcoming QuartetThe Sapphires, and Snowpiercer, amongst others.
  • Michael LumpkinExecutive Director, International Documentary Association: With nearly three decades of leadership in the independent film community, Michael Lumpkin joined the International Documentary Association in 2009 as Executive Director. Lumpkin previously served as both Executive Director of Frameline and Festival Director for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, and co-produced the highly acclaimed HBO documentary, The Celluloid Closet. His work on the film included archival footage research and clip licensing from scores of motion pictures spanning the first 100 years of America’s film history. Lumpkin has also participated as a juror for the Sundance Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival.
Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition consists of first-time feature filmmakers from Spain, Portugal and Latin America that are competing for a $5,000 cash prize presented by Lexus. The members of the jury include:
  • Alejandro LandesFilmmaker: Alejandro Landes studied literature, economics and architecture at Brown University, and then went on to write for the Miami Herald and the syndicated- television talk show “Oppenheimer Presenta.” His first film, the documentary “cocalero,” premiered at Sundance 2007 and opened theatrically in more than ten countries. Landes’ made an international impact in 2011 with his feature Porfirio, which debuted at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes and received its US premiere at Miami International Film Festival 2012. The film has won numerous international prizes and in February 2013, it will play at the MoMA in New York City.
  • Tivi Magnusson, President & Founder, M&M Productions: Tivi Magnusson has been working in the film industry since 1962. In 1994, he founded M&M Productions. He has produced more than 50 films and TV-series, and has won numerous prizes and awards including 2 Oscars, 5 Emmys, 2 Silver Bears and numerous Danish Academy Awards. He is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, USA and the European Film Academy, and is a member of several film boards, ranging from funds to festivals.
  • Elba McAllisterCo-FounderPartner and Executive President, CinePlex: In almost 20 years, Cineplex has shown nearly 200 high quality films that have been viewed in film festivals around the world. In 2000, Cineplex increased its distribution network to the rest of Central America. Elba McAllister and her Vice President husband, Juan David McAllister, have worked tirelessly to bring the work of such acclaimed directors as Wong Kar Wai, Claude Chabrol, and Agnieszka Holland to the region.
Miami Encuentros will for the first time in the program’s history award a cash prize of $10,000 to one winning project as selected by a jury of industry professionals. The prize is sponsored by EGEDA, the Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association from Spain. In addition, Madrid/Barcelona-based International Sales Agency 6 Sales will offer a 2-year representation contract to a winning project, with the ultimate goal of securing worldwide distribution. The objective of the competition category is to help facilitate and support the completion of Latin American and U.S. Hispanic feature film projects in post-production, and propelling them towards their debuts on the international stage. The members of the jury include:
  • Mar AbadinHead of Sales6Sales: Based in Barcelona, Mar Abadin started her career in D’Ocon Films selling animation. She was a Sales Executive in Filmax for seven years where she handled the sales of animated successes like The Hairy ToothDonkey Xote, and El Cid the Legend. She also handled sales of fiction films such as DarknessThe MachinistFragileTranssinerian, and [Rec]. Since 2006 she joined 6Sales as Head of Sales selling films such as Mariah MundiBlancanievesBlackthornMagic MagicDesert Dancer, and many more.
  • Leslie Cohen, Vice President of Film Programming, HBO: Leslie Cohen is Vice President of Film Programming at HBO, celebrating 19 years with the network in 2013. She is responsible for the acquisition of Spanish language films and series for HBO Latino as well as acquisition of films from the major studios for both HBO and Cinemax.  Previously at HBO, Leslie worked on the launch of HBO’s international ventures in Asia and Central Europe and performed financial forecasting and deal analysis in HBO’s strategic planning group. Leslie serves as a Board Member of the Picture House Regional Film Center in New York and an Advisory Board Member for Florida’s Gasparilla Film Festival Cinema by the Bay.
  • Rebeca CongetVice President of Acquisitions and Distribution, Film Movement: Rebeca Conget , who holds an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU, is currently the VP of Acquisitions and Distribution at Film Movement, a distribution company that specializes in bringing foreign art house fare and American independent films to the largest possible audience, through both traditional and innovative distribution modes. Between 2002 and 2005, she was also an integral member of Cinema Tropical, the non-profit organization that distributes, programs and promotes Latin American Cinema in the U.S. She joined Film Movement in 2007 to create, develop and oversee their theatrical and non-theatrical departments.
  • Eric SchnedeckerHead of Sales & Acquisitions, Urban Distribution International (UDI): Eric Schnedecker has been collaborating with UMEDIA/UDI for almost four years representing the company internationally, with special focus on the United States. He joined the company full time in 2009. He has an extensive international experience working in the US, France, England, Italy, and Spain for major entertainment companies such as Arte, Disney, Universal, and Turner. Eric is based in New York where he is responsible for international sales along with acquisitions and international co-productions.
CinemaSlam is a component of the Festival’s Florida Focus program. The competition, aims to discover, showcase, and celebrate the work of undergraduate and graduate students in Miami’s film schools. College age film students from 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 compete for the right to be named CinemaSlam Champion 2013. The public is invited to judge and vote for their favorite online short between the dates January 4, – January 24, 2013. The remaining 50% of the vote is determined by a select group of faculty judges from each participating school. The winning 2-3 films from each school will be judged by MIFF’s esteemed CinemaSlam Jury to determine the overall grand prize winning short CinemaSlam Champion 2013 and Category Awards for (1) Best Comedy (2) Best Drama (3) Best Experimental, Documentary or Animation (4) Best Technical Achievement, (5) Best Actor (6) Best Actress and (7) Best Director. The members of the jury include:
  • Sandy Lighterman, Industries Liaison, Miami-Dade County Office of Film & Entertainment Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources Film and Entertainment: Lighterman is responsible for the growth and development of the billion dollar film, television, music, digital media, commercial advertising and still photography industry in Miami-Dade County. She is also responsible for their office providing location and logistic assistance, government liaison, production information and referral sources to the industries. Lighterman serves as an advisor to the Miami Dade College School of Entertainment and Design Technology, Film Florida’s Chairman of the Film Commission Council and Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee. She joined the Miami-Dade County Office of Film & Entertainment in 2008, enjoying a successful 20+ year career as a film and TV producer.
  • Giselle TrainorMarketing Director, SOMOSTV: Giselle Trainor has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years mostly in areas of production and marketing. For the last seven years, she has been marketing director at SOMOSTV, which owns and distributes its US based Ibero-American film channel, ViendoMovies.
University of Miami Shorts Competition will present the latest in short films from around the globe. The jury selected winner will a receive $2,500 cash prize. The members of the jury include:
  • Diliana Alexander
  • Rachel L. Bleemer
  • Nicolas Calzada
  • Maggie Drayton
  • Annalis Garrido
  • Jon Jones
  • Dia Kontaxis
  • Lula Rodriguez
  • Lisa Sloat
  • Kevin Sharpley
  • Igor Shteyrenberg
The 30th edition of Miami International Film Festival runs March 1-10, 2013. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 305-405-MIFF (6433).

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, Miami-Dade County and Lexus. For more, visit 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 Florida Center for the Literary Arts, the Cultura del Lobo performance series, The MDC Tower Theater Cinema Series, nine visual arts galleries including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology, in addition to the renowned Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 174,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer nearly 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees. For more, visit

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit
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MIFF Contacts:
Jessica Wade Pfeffer, Jessica Wade Inc., +1 305-804-8424,

Janice Roland, Falco Ink,  +1 212-445-7100,
Shannon Treusch, Falco Ink, +1 212-445-7100,

MDC Contacts:

Juan Mendieta, +1 305-237-7611,

Sue Arrowsmith +1 305-237-3710,

Alejandro Rios  +1 305-237-7482,