Caldera’s Spy Time and Giroud’s The Companion Tie for Lexus Audience Award at Miami Dade College’s 33rd Miami International Film Festival

MIFF2016MIAMI — Spanish filmmaker Javier Ruiz Caldera’s Spy Time and Cuban filmmaker Pavel Giroud’s The Companion tied for the Lexus Audience Favorite Feature Film of the 33rd edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival, which concluded yesterday. The Festival, which took place March 4 – 13, was a star-studded week with Spanish recording legend Raphael, Academy Award winner Christine Lahti, and Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi in attendance at the numerous screening events.

Additionally, American filmmaker Logan Sandler’s short “Tracks” was unveiled as the Lexus Audience Favorite Short Film.

The announcements were jointly made by the Festival’s executive director Jaie Laplante, Lexus’ Chuck Dixson, and The Related Group’s Carlos Rosso, on the beautiful outdoor plaza at The Related Group‘s latest addition to the swanky Miami skyline, the newly-announced One Brickell property just “steps” away from historic Olympia Theater on the banks of the Miami River at 444 Brickell Ave. Guests enjoyed imaginative installations, an Oscar-themed red carpet photo booth, and sipped Pyrat Rum and Stella Artois all following the US premiere of Andrew Currie‘s The Steps (Canada) featuring a brilliant ensemble cast led by James Brolin and Oscar-winner Christine Lahti. Also in attendance from the film was rising star Benjamin Arthur.

The Audience Awards announcement capped an incredible edition of the Festival, which featured a total of 129 films from 40 countries.

Earlier at the Festival, Jury Awards in several categories were announced:
KNIGHT COMPETITION, presented by The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation

Jury members Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Selton Mello and Trey Edward Shults selected the winners. 

  • Knight Grand Jury Prize: Dheepan (France), produced by Pascal Caucheteux and Jacques Audiard
  • Grand Jury Award Best Performance: Zhao Tao in Mountains May Depart (China)
  • Grand Jury Award Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster (Ireland/Greece)


KNIGHT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, presented by The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation
The Award winner was selected by the Festival audience.

  • Queen of Thursdays (USA), produced by Jorge Alvarez, Orlando Rojas and Dennis Scholl



Jury members Carlos Lechuga, Leticia Tonos Paniagua and Kenny Riches selected the winning film.

  • Paulina (La patota) (Argentina), directed by Santiago Mitre



Jury members Rosa Bosch, Jorge Guerricaechevarria and Diego Lerman selected the winner. This special award recognizes and supports first-time produced screenwriters. Screenwriters from all feature films in the Festival that have a first-produced feature screenwriter credited, compete for a jury-selected cash prize of $5,000, courtesy of the family of the late Jordan Alexander Ressler.


  • Lorenzo Vigas for From Afar (Venezuela/Mexico)


Earlier in the week, four other major Festival awards were presented:


Shorts Competition

The latest in films 30 minutes or less from around the globe, the jury-selected winner received a $2,500 cash prize.


  • “The Man of My Life” (France) directed by Melanie Delloye


MIAMI ENCUENTROS presented by Knight Foundation

The winning project in post-production received the Achievement Award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize.


  • The Candidate (Uruguay), produced by Micaela Sole and Daniel Hendler


Miami Film 2016 presented by The Related Group

Three prizes were awarded to Argentine films in development.


  • Diego Lerman for A Sort of Family
  • Gonzalo Tobal for Dolores
  • Camilla Toker for The Death of Marga Maier



Jury members Carla Forte, Giancarlo Loffredo and Alouishous San Gomma selected the winner in the Miami student film competition.


  • “I Want To Beat Up Clark Peters” by Joseph Picozzi (University of Miami’s School of Communications)


For Miami Film Society membership opportunities or more information about the Festival, please visit or call 305-237-FILM (3456).


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About Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival

Celebrating its 33rd annual edition March 4 – 13, 2016, Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. Miami International Film Festival’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Major sponsors of the 2016 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit or call 305-237-FILM(3456).


About Culture at Miami Dade College
The Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC) is composed of the Miami Book Fair, Miami International Film Festival, Tower Theater, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design. MDC is committed to providing its community with the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDC offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. For more information, visit


About John S. & James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit


About Lexus

Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers seven F SPORT models and two F performance models. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 236 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.


Miami International Film Festival Contacts:

Jessica Wade Pfeffer, Jessica Wade Inc. |305-804-8424 |

Margie Sernik, Jessica Wade Inc. |305-456-0483 |