Miami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by Miami Dade College, adds a USD $10,000 Cash Prize to its Encuentros Program

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Festival Contact:
Tatyana Chiocchetti
Tel: +1 305-237-8979

MDC Contact:
Juan Mendieta
Tel: +1 305-237-7611

For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2012
MIami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by Miami Dade College, adds a USD $10,000 Cash Prize to its Encuentros ProgramThe Reimagined Program reaffirms the Festival’s Commitment of Propelling Latin American Feature Film Projects Onto the International Stage
Miami, FL — Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College, announced today that the 10th edition of its popular industry-focused development program, Miami Encuentros, will return to the Festival in 2013, reinvented with a new USD$10,000 cash prize.

Created with the objective of facilitating and supporting 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, Miami Encuentros 2013 will, for the first time in the program’s history, award a cash prize of USD$ 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.   

“After a one-year hiatus, giving us time to strengthen and renew our avenues to support high-caliber Latin American and U.S. Hispanic film artists, it is time for us to open a new chapter of Miami Encuentros,” said MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante.

MIFF’s inaugural Miami Encuentros project was held in 2003, created by MIFF’s then-director Nicole Guillemet, and Toronto-based programmer Diana Sanchez, one of the world’s most influential experts on Latin American cinema.  Sanchez will return to program Miami Encuentros in 2013.

“EGEDA is proud to sponsor the Miami Encuentros project,” said Raul Vazquez, EGEDA’s Miami-based head of Latin America.   “With our new headquarters in Miami serving as a fulcrum of our service to Latin American film producers, we are pleased to align with the Festival’s renewed initiatives.”

Submissions to Miami Encuentros 2013 are open to all 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 2013. Films must have a minimum running time of 60 minutes and maximum of 120 minutes and must be subtitled in English (temporary subtitles are accepted) even if editing and post-production are not finalized. Projects must be submitted no later than Friday, December 7, 2012.

Five (5) projects will be selected to be part of Miami Encuentros 2013 and will be announced in mid-January together with the official announcement of MIFF’s Official Program.  One main producer from each project will be invited to attend the Miami Encuentros screenings (open only to industry invitees) and outline the completion details for the film.  The selected projects will be screened to a Jury comprised of members of distinction from the international film industry.

MIFF’s Miami Encuentros Program was created in 2003 to offer key development participation for noteworthy film projects from Spain and/or Latin America and U.S. Hispanic filmmakers in varying stages of completion in order to “match” them with financiers, sales agents, U.S. distributors and other professionals who would provide the critical financial and business support to ensure the films would reach completion and move on to the most advantageous sales channels strategies in multiple territories.

In the course of the last decade, Ibero-American films have become more and more popular across the globe. At the same time, Ibero-American countries have produced a significant number of talented filmmakers and producers. MIFF has been on the leading edge of this trend, successfully identifying and assisting more than 60 films, many of which have gone on to premiere and win awards at significant film festivals and from the Film Academies of their respective countries.

Examples of Miami Encuentros success stories include:

2003:  The Holy Girl (La Niña Santa) by Lucrecia Martel, (Argentina) – World premiere as Official Selection at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival; screened at MIFF 2005; nominated for four Argentina Film Critics Association Awards.

2005:  7 Virgins (7 Virgenes) by Alberto Rodríguez (Spain) – World premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival; Won Best New Actor Goya Award and nominated for five other Goya awards; won Silver Seashell at San Sebastian 2005.

2005:  Madeinusa by Claudia Llosa (Peru) – World premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2006, screened at MIFF 2006.

2005:  Satanas by Andi Baiz (Colombia) – World Premiere at MIFF 2007.

2007:  Dog Eat Dog (Perro Come Perro) by Carlos Moreno (Colombia) – World Premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival; was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2008 Ariel and 2008 Goya Awards, and was Colombia’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film for the 2009 Oscars.

2009:  Jean Gentil by Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas (Dominican Republic/Mexico) – World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival 2010 and won Best Ibero-American Screenplay Award at the 2011 Miami International Film Festival.

2010:  The Invisible Eye (La mirada invisible) by Diego Lerman, Argentina – World Premiere at Director’s Fortnight, 2010 (sidebar to the Cannes Film Festival); Porfirio by Alejandro Landes (Colombia/Spain/Uruguay) – World Premiere at Director’s Fortnight, 2011 (sidebar to the Cannes Film Festival).

2011:  Pescador, by Sebastián Cordero (Ecuador/Colombia) – Nominated for Grand Jury Prize at MIFF

2012; Won Mayahuel Award for Best Actor and Director at Guadalajara Film Festival 2012.

MIFF 2012 witnessed the evolution of the Miami Encuentros program into a digital marketplace called VeoMiami; an innovative and unique industry component that facilitates the ability to view Ibero-American works in progress by industry guests attending MIFF. VeoMiami 2012 projects included: Red Princesses (Princesas rojas) by Laura Astorga (Costa Rica) and Package #3 (Paquete #3) by Alfredo Hueck (Venezuela).

For more information on Miami Encuentros Program:

Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 30th anniversary March 1 – 10, 2013, is considered the preeminent Ibero-American film festival in the U.S. 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 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 MDC Live! 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.

EGEDA (Spanish acronym for the “Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association”) is a non-profit association and collecting society which manages the rights of the producers, collecting on their behalf the royalties than cannot be collected on an individual basis. In addition, EGEDA provides services to producers and the audiovisual industry as a whole. The Association represents and defends the interests of Spanish and Latin American audiovisual producers and is very active in the field of intellectual property rights management. EGEDA serve as a major link between the Spanish film industry and the American and Latino film industries.

Additional MDC media contacts:

Tere Estorino, director of media relations, 305-237-3949,

Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,

Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,