Ten Films To Compete for 2012 Miami International Film Festival’s Knight Ibero-American Grand Jury Prizes

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Festival Contact:
Danny Diaz
Phone: +1 305-389-8986

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

For Immediate Release: 

December 08, 2011


Ten Films To Compete for 2012 Miami International Film Festival’s Knight Ibero-American Grand Jury Prizes


Four North American Premieres, Two U.S. Premieres in Competition 


Veteran Directors Carlos Sorin, David Trueba and Andrés Wood headline strongest line-up in years


Miami, FL —  The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College, announced today a powerhouse line-up of ten Ibero-American premieres  that will compete for $45,000  in jury prizes at its 29th annual event, March 2 – 11, 2012.  The Festival’s signature Knight Ibero-American Competition boasts its strongest lineup in years, with four International/North American premieres and two U.S. premieres, including new films from acclaimed veteran directors Carlos Sorin, David Trueba and Andrés Wood.


“The Ibero-American films submitted to our competition this year are of exceptional quality,” said MIFF’s executive director Jaie Laplante. “With an intriguing mix of thrillers, dramas, romances and cutting-edge work, the competing films are rich, impactful and brilliantly engaging.”


Laplante noted the difficulty of narrowing the selection down to the ten titles announced today, and indicated MIFF would be making a new announcement in the near future regarding an additional competition for Ibero-American filmmakers at the 2012 Festival.


“The new vision for this year’s Ibero-American competition signals the increasing quality and diversity in films from the region, as well as the consolidation of the careers of many of Ibero-America’s most talented filmmakers and the emergence of new, distinctive voices,” added MIFF’s Senior Ibero-American Program Consultant Diana Sanchez.  “It also signals MIFF’s continuing dedication to films from Latin America, Portugal and Spain, by creating a vibrant competitive section where the films will have a chance to be appreciated and lauded by Miami audiences.”


The $45,000 in cash prize money in the competition is courtesy of the Knight Foundation and Ressler Foundation.   The Festival’s signature category is unique among U.S. film festivals and serves as a gateway to U.S. audiences for feature films by directors from Spain, Portugal and Latin America seeking distribution and theatrical release. Competing 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, and a $5,000 prize for the Jordan A. Ressler Screenwriting Award to the best screenplay in the competition.


“As of today, only one of the films in the competition has U.S. distribution secured – Strand Releasing will be releasing Bonsai later in 2012,” noted Laplante.  “It is our hope that U.S. buyers attending the Festival will discover many more riches– and see through our MIFF audiences how U.S. audiences respond to these amazing films.”


2012 MIFF Knight Ibero-American Competition films:


The Porcelain Horse (Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas) (Ecuador, directed by Javier Andrade): In Javier Andrade’s startling debut, two brothers steal a porcelain horse from their parent’s home in order to buy drugs, leading to a fight that will haunt the family for the rest of their lives.  North American Premiere


I’d Receive the Worst News From Your Beautiful Lips (Eu Receberia As Piores Notícias De Seus Lindos Lábios) (Brazil, directed by Beto Brant and Renato Ciasca): Set against a steamy Amazonian backdrop, a sensual melodrama of a beautiful woman caught in an unstable situation between two men. North American Premiere


Blood of My Blood (Sangue do Meu Sangue) (Portugal, directed by João Canijo): Two  adult sisters struggle fiercely to hold their family together in the harsh world of a Lisbon slum, but the ticking time bomb of the situation is in grave danger of exploding. East Coast Premiere


Pescador (Ecuador/Colombia, directed by Sebastián Cordero): After a drug shipment miraculously washes up on a beach, Blanquito (Andrés Crespo) has the opportunity to finally leave his small fishing village and go to the big city, in this major tonal new direction for acclaimed director Cordero. North American Premiere


Bonsái (Chile/Argentina/Portugal/France, directed by Cristián Jiménez):  Based on the seminal novel by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra. Julio, a struggling writer, pens a book about his first experience with love, in order to keep up a lie he’s told his lover.  Bonsai marks director’s Cristián Jiménez second appearance in MIFF’s Iberoamerican competition. Florida Premiere


Zoo (Zoológico) (Chile, directed by Rodrigo Marín): Set in an affluent Santiago suburb, a social commentary on today’s youth follows three teens (Alicia Rodríguez, Luis Balmaceda and Santiago de Aguirre) consumed in Americanized customs: malls, the Internet, pornography, skateboarding and angst. North American Premiere


The Cat Vanishes (El gato desaparece) (Argentina, directed by Carlos Sorin): When Beatriz (Beatriz Spelzini) picks up her husband Luis (Luis Luque) from the sanatorium, she doesn’t quite believe the psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is cured. But after the family cat vanishes, she questions her sanity as well as her husband’s in Sorin’s unsettling psychological mystery. U.S. Premiere


Madrid, 1987 (Spain, directed by David Trueba): The balance of power and desire shift during the meeting of an older journalist (José Sacristánand a young student (María Valverde) in a beautifully-written, dusk-to-dawn meditation on youth, age and the music of the spheres. East Coast Premiere


Violeta Went to Heaven (Violeta se fue a los cielos) (Chile, directed by Andrés Wood): portrait of famed Chilean singer, folklorist and multifaceted artist Violeta Parra (Francisca Gavilán) filled with her musical work, her memories, her loves and her hopes. East Coast Premiere


The Sleeping Voice (La voz dormida) (Spain, directed by Benito Zambrano): In Benito Zambrano’s portrayal of the dark days following the Spanish Civil War, two sisters (Maria Leon and Inma Cuesta) find themselves caught up in the frightening politics of the divided country. U.S. Premiere


All 10 directors in MIFF’s Knight Ibero-American Competition are expected to attend the Festival and present their works to Miami audiences in person.


The Knight Ibero-American Competition films are the first titles released for the Festival’s 2012 edition.  Approximately 100 films from 40 countries are anticipated for the annual 10-day event.  A complete schedule of press conferences, red carpets, and celebrity guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit miff2020.wpengine.com for more information.


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 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. MIFF’s 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 miff2020.wpengine.com or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).   Major sponsors of the 2012 Miami International Film Festival include: Lexus, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority, FPL, EGEDA, Downtown Development Authority of the City of Miami, Comcast, Miami New Times, The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building, ABC Management Services, Screen International.  The official headquarter hotel of MIFF 2012 is The Standard Spa, Miami; and the Festival is produced with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.


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! Performing Arts 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. It has admitted nearly 2 million students since it opened its doors in 1960. More at mdc.edu.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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.