The Festival

Miami Film Festival is a world-class platform for International and Ibero-American films. Presenting its 37th edition from March 6 -15, 2020, the Festival showcases the work of the world’s best emerging and established filmmakers to the diverse cosmopolitan community of Miami. Cash awards totaling more than $150,000 are given in competition categories.

The 2019 Miami Film Festival attracted approximately 45,000+ people and 300 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals from around the world. In all, the Festival presented more than 170 feature narratives, documentaries and short films of all genres, from more than 40 different countries. The Festival has had the privilege of hosting a noted group of filmmakers and talent, including Pedro Almodóvar, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Andy Garcia, Patricia Clarkson and many more.

Major trade publications such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Screen and Indiewire attend for coverage and reviews of the films. Miami Film Festival was declared in 2018 as “One of the 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” by Moviemaker Magazine.

FESTIVAL COMPETITION CATEGORIES

$40,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award* is Miami Film Festival’s top award, presenting $40,000 cash to the jury-selected feature film (60 min or longer) that best exemplifies richness and resonance for cinema’s future. The cash prize will go to the lead producer (production company), but is eligible to be split with a US distributor, if there is a US company that has made a commitment to release the winning film in US theaters prior to a VOD release

$40,000 Knight Made in MIA Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected best feature film ($30,000) and the jury-selected best short film under 30 minutes ($10,000) of any genre that features a qualitatively/quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida, from West Palm to the Keys, and that most universally demonstrates a common ground of pride, emotion, and faith for the South Florida community.

$10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award presents $10,000 cash to the filmmaker (director, or writer/director) of the jury-selected best film made by a filmmaker making his or her feature narrative (60 min or longer) film debut. The Award is courtesy of the South Florida family of the late Jordan Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter whose life was tragically cut short before he could realize his dream.

$10,000 HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award presents $10,000 cash, courtesy of HBO, to the jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American feature film (60 min or longer) in the Official Selection, awarded to the lead producer (production company).

$10,000 HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award presents $5,000 cash, courtesy of HBO, to the jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American short film (30 min or less) in the Official Selection, the four runner-ups will each receive a cash prize of $1,250, courtesy of HBO.

$5,000 Alacran Music in Film Award highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. Alacran would like to celebrate the artists behind the music composition, which often stays in the shadow, for their contribution to the film industry with a $5000 prize for Best Original Score.

$5,000 Zeno Mountain Award presents $5,000 cash, courtesy of Fringe Partners, to the filmmaker of a jury-selected film of any genre and any length that best celebrates the diversity of abilities and disabilities and helps to break down barriers to our understanding of people living with disabilities. The award is named after Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, VT, and inspired by the actors and filmmakers in the 2016 documentary film “Becoming Bulletproof.”

Documentary Achievement Award is a prize given to one documentary film as voted upon by the Festival audience, awarded to the film’s lead producer (production company). All feature-length documentary (50 min or longer) playing in the Festival’s Official Selection are eligible for this Award.

Short Film Audience Award is presented to the filmmaker(s) of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Short Film Award is a  jury-selected short films (30 min or less) of any genre for the best short film not in the Spanish language.

Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation CinemaSlam Competition is open to all eligible film students across the State of Florida, and this year there will be $42,500 awarded in cash prizes. For details visit miamifilmfestival.com/cinemaslam-2020.

Feature Film Audience Award and Short Film Audience Award are two separate awards presented to the filmmakers of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) and best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award is presented to the filmmaker of one film of any genre and any length voted on by all accredited film critics covering the annual Festival, for the film they consider the best of that year’s selection.

Miami Film Festival Trailer Award presented by Oolite Arts – the winning editor will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

Miami Film Festival Poster Award presented by Oolite Arts – the winning designer will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

*A marimba is a variation of a xylophone that produces a deeper, richer and more resonant tone that a traditional xylophone. The marimba originated in Guatemala and Central America approximately 400 years ago and remains popular to this day in a wide variety of musical disciplines. The name of Miami Film Festival’s top award is inspired by the 2011 winner of the Festival’s top award, Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas from Hell, which embodies the spirit of forward-looking cinema.