For Immediate Release:

March 13, 2011

Vanguard Portrait of Hearing-Impaired UFC Fighter
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill Wins VeneMovies Audience Award at Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival

Miami, FL — The incredible true story of Ultimate Fighting Championship gladiator Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, captured for the big screen by first-time feature film director Oren Kaplan, last night won the 2011 Miami International Film Festival’s Audience Award, sponsored by VeneMovies. The award is the final one issued during the Festival, which is produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC).

The film, starring hearing-impaired actor Russell Harvard, whose credits include TV shows Fringe and CSI: NY and the Oscar-winning feature film There Will Be Blood, won accolades for breaking new ground in the cinematic treatment of the deaf and hearing-impaired while also depicting the physical and emotional tests Hamill faces to pursue his dreams.

Hamill is a compelling portrait of the athlete’s early years and his eventual rise as one of the UFC’s most beloved and respected fighters. The film was an Official Selection of the Festival’s World Competition.

It is the final award announced during the Festival, which ends today. For a complete list of all winners, go to in the Press section.

The 28th Annual Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), which is produced and presented annually by Miami Dade College (MDC), runs March 4-13, 2011.

Additional MIFF media contact: Danny Diaz, 305-389-8986,

Additional MDC media contacts: Tere Estorino, director of media relations, 305-237-3949,; Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,; Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,; or, Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,