|Miami, Feb. 24, 2021 — The 38th edition of Miami Dade College’s acclaimed Miami Film Festival today announced 17 jurors, who are recognized voices across film, music, art and culture, and will review films in the competition categories for its upcoming hybrid edition, running March 5 – 14, 2021. Winners in all top categories will be announced on the festival’s final day, March 14.
The Festival’s top award is the $25,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This is an international competition for new narrative feature films that best exemplify richness and resonance for cinema’s future. (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 award is inspired by its 2011 winner in this category, Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas from Hell, which embodies the spirit of forward-looking cinema.) The 2021 jurors are:
· Mollye Asher is a Spirit and Gotham Award winning producer and winner of the 2020 Producers Award from the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Most recently, she produced Chloé Zhao’s Golden Globe nominated film, Nomadland, which premiered at Venice (Golden Lion), TIFF (People’s Choice), Telluride, and NYFF and recently won the Audience award and Best Feature at the Gotham Awards. Other credits include Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow, which won Best Actress at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, Zhao’s The Rider, which won Best Feature in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and Best Picture at the Gotham Awards, SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner, Fort Tilden, Spirit Award nominated and Berlinale CICAE award winning film, She’s Lost Control, as well as Zhao’s debut feature Songs My Brothers Taught Me (Sundance, Cannes). She was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
· Claire Breukel is curator for Dacra and the Craig Robins Collection. South African-born, Claire was introduced to Miami in 2003 through the Rubell Family Collection. She was the first official Executive Director for the renowned alternative non-profit Locust Projects, before becoming nomadic in her role as Curator of PUMA.Creative for Sports lifestyle brand PUMA. In 2013, she co-produced the (RED) Design Auction at Sotheby’s New York curated by Jony Ive and Marc Newson, and the 2018 (RED) Auction curated by Theaster Gates and Sir David Adjaye. She has curated exhibitions in Cape Town, Vienna, Prague, New York, Miami and El Salvador, including exhibitions of work by Naama Tsabar at the Museum of Art of El Salvador, Ebony G. Patterson and Peterson Kamwathi at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Art, Rashaad Newson at the Miami Art Museum (now PAMM), among many others.
· Samuel Kishi Leopo is a filmmaker from Mexico. He studied Visual Arts at Guadalajara University. His first feature film, We Are Mari Pepa (2013) was an official selection of the Miami Film Festival. His work has been selected in more than 100 international film festivals, including Clermont-Ferrand and the Berlinale. His second feature, Los Lobos (2020), won numerous international prizes, including the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury and the Peace Film Award at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival; HBO Ibero-american Feature Film Award at Miami Film Festival; and the Audience Award, FIPRESCI Prize, Special Jury Award and Best Actress Award at Guadalajara International Film Festival. Los Lobos is currently streaming in the US on HBO Max.
The $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award is presented to the best film made by a filmmaker making a feature narrative film debut. The award is sponsored by the South Florida family of the late Jordan Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter and Cornell University Film Studies graduate who, during his brief entertainment career, held production positions on Broadway hits before passing away in a tragic accident at the age of 23. The 2021 jurors are:
· Kira Davis is a Los Angeles based film producer. She began her career at Alcon Entertainment with the movie My Dog Skip and where she oversaw the production of films such as Racing Stripes, Insomnia, Love Don’t Cost A Thing and 16 Blocks. In 2007, she started her own production company, 8:38 Productions, and set up multiple projects with Alcon, including producing Prisoners (2013) starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and directed by acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve. Kira produced both of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies and is currently in development on a third installment. She is also currently partnered with director Dave Pimentel (Head of Story on Disney’s Moana) on an animated movie titled Welcome to Darkmouth.
The $45,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award, supported by Knight Foundation, is awarded to a feature film that has a substantial portion of its content in South Florida and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance. The 2021 jurors are:
The $10,000 WarnerMedia Ibero-american Feature Film Award, a prize given to the best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American narrative feature film in the Official Selection, awarded to the lead producer (production company). The 2021 jurors are:
· Leslie Cohen is Senior Vice President of Content Acquisitions for HBO and HBO Max. She is responsible for the acquisition of films from the major studios, independent suppliers, international partners as well as LatinX content including films, concerts, comedy specials and series. She represents HBO Max at the major film festivals, judges various film competitions, serves as an Advisory Board Member for Florida’s Gasparilla International Film Festival, and emeritus Board Member of the Picture House Regional Film Center in New York.
The $10,000 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award, supported by Knight Foundation, is for a short film under 30 minutes of any genre that features a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial portion of its content in South Florida and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance. Filmmaker Dudley Alexis will also serve on this jury, joined by:
The $5,000 Alacran Music In Film Award, sponsored by Alacran Group, highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. The 2021 jurors are:
The Oolite Arts Miami Film Festival Best Poster Award celebrates the art of poster design. The 2021 jurors are:
The Oolite Arts Miami Film Festival Best Trailer Award is awarded to the winning editor and will be selected by:
Additional juries of competition categories at the Festival include HBO and Miami Film Festival programmers for the $10,000 HBO Ibero-American Short Film Award; film critics accredited to cover the Festival will select the winner of the Rene Rodriguez Critics Award; select members of Miami Film Festival’s Program Committee for the Miami International Short Film Award; and festival programmers for the Oolite Arts Miami Film Festival Best Poster Award. Members of the public audience will vote to determine the winner of the Documentary Achievement Award.
Individual tickets for all Festival events are on sale to the general public. For more information on these award categories and the festival, visit miamifilmfestival.com.
# # #
About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival
Miami Film Festival is an international film event that serves as a major film showcase for world cinema. Considered the preeminent film festival for highlighting Ibero-American cinema in the U.S, Miami Film Festival has become renowned for championing films made by the South Florida community, first-time feature filmmakers, and International Feature Film submissions to the Academy Awards. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry professionals. Since 1984, the Festival has screened over 2,500 films from more than 75 countries and given out more than $2 million USD in cash awards to filmmakers and distributors. Miami Film Festival is the oldest major festival housed in a university or college and also operates a year-round art cinema, Tower Theater Miami and Miami Film Festival GEMS in October. For more information, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit KF.org.
About Jordan Alexander Ressler Charitable Fund
The Jordan Ressler First Feature Award at Miami Film Festival recognizes and supports artists in their careers as professional screenwriters. It was created by the South Florida family of Jordan Alexander Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter and Cornell University film studies graduate who, during his brief entertainment career, held production positions with the Tony award-winning Broadway hits 700 Sundays with Billy Crystal and Jersey Boys.
About Alacran Group
Alacran Group is an independent entertainment company based in Miami and London and was born out of a deep love and passion for music and film. Alacran’s mission to turn dreams into reality and believes that the creative combination of sound and moving images deeply enriches the emotional experience.
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more, visit oolitearts.org.
NEW YORK / LOS ANGELES / TRADE
Miami Film Festival