Zeno Mountain Award


 The Zeno Mountain Award is a $5,000 cash prize open to all Festival entries (features, narratives, documentaries and shorts) courtesy of Fringe Partners. This jury-selected award celebrates the diversity of abilities and disabilities and seeks to reward the film which helps 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 documentary “Becoming Bulletproof“.



DIRECTED BY Maite Alberdi

The winner of the inaugural $5,000 Miami Film Festival Zeno Mountain Award in March 2017 was The Grown-Ups (Los niños). The subjects of Maite Alberdi’s documentary are four middle-aged students at a Chilean school for Down’s Syndrome children. The quartet studies and works in their catering department, but to what end? This winsome, opinionated group feels ready for a life of greater autonomy, yet financial independence is elusive in a system that marginalizes them as disabled. Those who caught Alberdi’s previous film Tea Time (La once) at the 2015 Festival know hercapacity for generating tremendous charisma, but the infectious warmth of The Grown-Ups is balanced with indignation over its subjects’ dearth of options. The Grown-Ups doesn’t dismiss the innate challenges faced by those with Down’s Syndrome; rather, it merely urges us to consider their desires and abilities on a case-by-case basis.