Fading Gigolo and The Mountain Win Lexus Audience Awards at 31st Miami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by Miami Dade College’s MDCulture

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Fading Gigolo and The Mountain Win Lexus Audience Awards at 31st Miami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by Miami Dade College’s MDCulture


Miami, FL – Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), celebrated its 31st festival with filmmakers, talent, and guests who gathered at the National Historic Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College this past weekend to hear the announcement of the popular Lexus Audience Award presented to two films for Best Documentary and Best Feature. The winners were Fading Gigolo directed by John Turturro (USA), which won Best Feature, and The Mountain (La montaña) directed by Tabaré Blanchard (Dominican Republic), which won Best Documentary.

Fading Gigolo stars Woody Allen, who is a late-blooming pimp to John Turturro’s middle-aged junior florist-turned hustler in a hilarious NY comedy, where legendary screen sirens Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara turn up as eager clients, and Vanessa Paradis plays an orthodox Jewish widow in need of human touch. The film was part of an evening which presented John Tuturro with the Career Achievement Tribute & Award.

The Mountain is a documentary about a trio of Dominicans who contend with the harsh, freezing climate of Katmandu and made history by crowning Mount Everest with a Dominican flag in 2011, inspiring three young surfers to conquer Pico Duarte, Hispaniola’s highest mountain.

Following the Awards Night Ceremony at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts earlier in the evening, hundreds of partygoers strutted into the Freedom Tower for the Pyrat Gold: Awards Night Party. Special guests included Andy Garcia and Raymond de Felitta who previously that evening screened their latest film collaboration Rob the Mob. The evening was surrounded by food stations with savory meatballs, Chipotle’s carnitas and sofritas soft tacos, and CrepeMaker’s sweet crepes. Pyrat also hosted interactive cocktail stations where guests mixed their own concoctions.

“Every year the films that are brought into the Festival continue to amaze me. The energy and artistic excellence could be felt by all in attendance throughout the entire festival,” said MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “We look forward to what the 32st Festival in 2015 will entail.”

Thousands of guests attended the 31st annual Festival, which screened 97 feature films and 44 short films from 39 countries. For more information, please visit www.miff2020.wpengine.com or call 305-405-MIFF (6433). The Festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university.
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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 miff2020.wpengine.com 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 mdculture.org.

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. Lexus¹ 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.

The John S. and James L. 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 KnightFoundation.org.

MIFF Contact:

Jessica Wade Pfeffer, Jessica Wade Inc., +1 305-804-8424, jessica@jessicawadeinc.com


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

Tere Estorino +1 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu
Sue Arrowsmith, +1 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu

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