Miami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by Miami Dade College, Announces Call for Entries for 2012 Edition

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Festival Contacts:

Tatyana Chiocchetti

Phone: +1 305-237-7879


MDC Contact:

Juan Mendieta

Phone: +1 305-237-7611

For Immediate Release:


Miami International Film Festival, Produced and Presented by 

Miami Dade College, Announces Call for Entries for 2012 Edition

The premier showcase for Ibero-American cinema in the U.S. will award
more than $55,000 USD in cash and symbolic prizes in major categories

Miami, Florida – July 15, 2011 – Organizers of the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College, are now accepting official entries for the 29th edition of the beloved event. Considered the top venue in the U.S. for emerging Ibero-American cinema, the Festival seeks the latest works by debut, emerging and veteran filmmakers for various competition and non-competition categories and genres, including features, documentaries, shorts, experimental cinema and Florida-centric stories. The Festival, which runs March 2-11, 2012, will include a prestigious awards ceremony to celebrate all Festival winners.

“It is an exciting time for international film festival programmers,” explains Jaie Laplante, the Festival’s executive director, “With the proliferation of new entertainment delivery systems and the upswing of the art house market in the United States, the possibilities of connecting film artists to the audiences who will appreciate them the most are expansive.  We look forward to seeing the new work this season and ultimately sharing the best of it with our Miami and international followers.”

To qualify for MIFF 2012, all films must not have had their world premiere prior to March 2011 and may not be scheduled for theatrical release or commercial broadcast in the U.S. before March 15, 2012, except for titles submitted to the CinemaSlam competition category.

Grand Jury Competition categories include: Ibero-American, Documentary and CinemaSlam. Non-competition categories include Red Carpet Galas, Cinema 360º, Doc-You-Up, REEL Music Scene, Florida Focus, Cutting the Edge and Shorts.

Cash prizes totaling $50,000 USD will be awarded by the Festival’s long-time, esteemed partner, the Knight Foundation, in the Grand Jury Ibero-American and Documentary competitions. Grand Jury Prize winners in the Knight Ibero-American competition category from recent editions of MIFF include:

  • Marimbas From Hell (Las marimbas del infierno) by Julio Hernández Cordón (Guatemala/Mexico, 2011)
  • To the Sea (Alamar) by Pedro Gonzáles-Rubio (Mexico, 2010)
  • Extraordinary Stories (Historias Extraordinarias) by Mariano Llinás (Argentina, 2009)

The cash prizes available in MIFF’s Ibero-American competition are the second-highest among the world’s film festivals for competitions specific to Latino/Hispanic/Ibero diaspora filmmakers, surpassed only by the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Horizontes Latinos prize.

Grand Jury Prize winners in the Documentary category from recent editions of MIFF include:

  • The Interrupters by Steve James (USA, 2011)
  • Sins of My Father (Pecados de mi padre) by Nicolas Entel (Argentina/Colombia, 2010)
  • Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies (Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo) by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico, 2009).

All films running longer than 40 minutes programmed in the Festival are eligible for the Feature Film Audience Award and all films running less than 40 minutes are eligible for the Short Film Audience Award.


Regular deadline:   Monday, July 25, 2011 (postmark date)
Submission fee:     $50 USD

Late deadline:        Monday, August 29, 2011 (postmark date)
Submission fee:      $70 USD

CinemaSlam competition on
Submissions deadline:     Friday, January 20, 2012
Submission fee:              $15 USD

Accepted exhibition formats:    HDCam, 35mm (DigiBeta possible only by special arrangement)

To submit:    Visit for the official submission form via Without a Box. For additional information: or +1 305-237-FILM (3456).

Competition categories include:

Knight Ibero-American Competition (Running time: 60 minutes or more)
This inspiring competition, open to all directors of any experience, features dramatic works from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, as well as Latino-themed works produced in the United States. Preference will be given to World, International and U.S. premieres, but must be at minimum a Florida Premiere at MIFF 2012. Films are eligible for a $30,000 USD Knight Grand Jury Prize that will be split between the filmmaker and the U.S. distributor of the film* (*funds will be awarded to the U.S. distributor on the condition of a minimum one-week commercial theatrical engagement in Miami-Dade County before March 11, 2013).   If no U.S. distributor is secured before April 12, 2012, then the full award will be made to the filmmaker.

The Grand Jury, in its own discretion, will also award up to a total of $10,000 additional funds to 2 other films in the Knight Ibero-American Competition for distinctions of the Jury’s selection.

Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award
Titles competing in the Ibero-American Competition category are eligible for a $5,000 USD Grand Jury Prize awarded by the Jordan Alexander Ressler Charitable Fund.

Knight Documentary Competition (Running time: 50 minutes or more)
Engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and/or inspiring people. Preference will be given to World, International and U.S. premieres, but must be at minimum a Florida Premiere at MIFF 2012. Films are eligible for a $10,000 USD Knight Grand Jury Prize. Open to all directors.

CinemaSlam (part of the Florida Focus category) via (Running time: 15 minutes maximum).  Open to any student enrolled in a participating South Florida college/university on the completion date of the film.

Non-competition categories include:

Red Carpet Galas
Films from world-renowned directors and emerging filmmakers are showcased at the historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts and given red carpet treatment. By invitation only.

Cinema 360° (Running time: 40 minutes or more)
Amazing works from both masters and up-and-coming filmmakers are showcased in this vibrant array of feature and documentary films from around the world. This category includes an international selection of dramas, poignant biographies, innovative docudramas, neo westerns, comedies and groundbreaking documentaries. Open to all directors.

Doc-You-Up (Running time: 40 minutes or more)
Engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and/or inspiring people.

REEL Music Scene (Running time: 40 minutes or more)
Includes films with music-themed content.

Florida Focus  (Running time: 40 minutes or more)
Includes films partially or wholly shot in Florida or by a filmmaker (director/producer) who is a current resident of Florida.

Cutting the Edge (Running time: 50 minutes or more)
This section showcases provocative and stirring feature-length visual experiences guaranteed to test limits and take viewers to the extreme. Open to all directors.

Shorts (Running time: 40 minutes or less)
The latest in short films from around the globe.

New for 2012, MIFF will operate an on-site digital video MIFF Marketplace during the Festival open to all Industry & Sales guests.   All official selections of MIFF 2012 will have the opportunity to participate in the MIFF Marketplace.

Additionally, producers have the option of submitting projects for consideration directly to the MIFF Marketplace, these, submissions will be accepted until January 15, 2012.
The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 29th edition on March 2-11, 2012, 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 East Coast, U.S. and World Premieres. MIFF programs such as Miami Encuentros, and a special focus on Ibero-American cinema have made the Miami International Film Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of Ibero-American talent. Additionally, the Festival offers unparalleled educational opportunities to filmmakers and the community at large. 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. More at

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. More at

MIFF Media Contact: Tatyana Chiocchetti, 305-237-7879,

MDC Media Contacts: Juan Mendieta – MDC’s director of communications – 305-237-7611,; Tere Estorino, MDC director of media relations, 305-237-3949,;  Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,; Tarnell Carroll at; or Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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