U.S. Theatrical Distribution Incentive

These are challenging times for artists; funding for independent films is scarce all over the world and distribution agreements are harder to secure; which is exactly why Miami will continue to support new cinematic creations, as an artistic outlet for filmmakers and a passport to cultural escape for audiences.

Jaie Laplante
Festival Director

Miami Film Festival’s Marimbas Award presenting $40,000 cash to the jury-selected narrative feature film (60 minutes 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 U.S. distributor, if there is a U.S. company that has made a commitment to release the winning film in U.S. theaters prior to a VOD release.

Festival 2019
A Grand Jury consisting of Francesa Silvestri, René Sampaio and Tabaré Blanchard selected Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) as the Knight Competition Grand Prize winner of the 36th Miami Film Festival. U.S. distribution was secured by 1091 Media.
Festival 2018
A Grand Jury consisting of Ciro Guerra, Manuel Martín Cuenca, and Ximena Camino selected Diego Lerman’s A Sort of Family (Una Especie de Familia) as the Knight Competition Grand Prize winner of the 35th edition of Miami Film Festival. The film was purchased for streaming VOD rights worldwide by Netflix and did not receive a theatrical release, thus the full $30,000 award went to lead producers El Campo Cine of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Festival 2016
A Grand Jury consisting of filmmakers Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Trey Edward Shults and Selton Mello selected Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan as the Grand Prize winner of the 33rd edition of the Festival, marking Dheepan’s second top international award – after first winning the Palme d’Or of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Already secured for US distribution by IFC Films, $15,000 of the $30K prize was forwarded to the New York City-based company, while the remaining $15,000 went to lead producer Why Not Productions of Paris, France.
Festival 2017
A Grand Jury consisting of filmmaker Michel Franco, Dublin International Film Festival director Grainne Humphreys and Knight Foundation Arts Program Director Bahia Ramos selected Cristián Jiménez and Alicia Scherson’s Family Life (Vida de familia) as the Grand Prize winner of the 34th edition of Miami Film Festival. Sold by Ryan Kampe’s Visit Films, the company’s U.S. distribution label Monument Releasing released Family Life in theaters around the United States with the support of the $30,000 cash Grand Prize.
Festival 2014
Internationally-awarded debut feature, A Wolf at the Door (O Lobo atrás da porta), by Fernando Coimbra was the Grand Prize winner at the 31st edition of the Festival, and its US distribution was secured by Paul Hudson from Outsider Pictures. The film will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles either in late-Fall or early in 2015, and will then play art-houses across the country. The prize allowed for a “test release” of the film in Miami over the summer garnering positive results, giving Outsider Pictures the confidence to push for a wider release. Coimbra also took home the Festival’s $5,000 Best Director Award.
Festival 2013
Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge’s debut film So Much Water (Tanta agua), Grand Prize winner of the Knight Ibero-American Competition at the 30th Miami International Film Festival, locked a North American distribution deal with the New York-based company Film Movement.
Festival 2012
The second feature film directed by Cristián Jiménez, Bonsaí was the big winner at the 2012 Festival, winning the $30,000 Grand Prize sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. U.S. distribution was secured by Strand Releasing. Jiménez also took home the Festival’s $5,000 Jordan A. Ressler Screenwriting Award.