New additions to the line-up include the North American premiere of

Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s Madre and Matt Wolf’s new documentary, Spaceship Earth 

Miami, FL — The 37th edition of Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Film Festival today announced the jurors in all competition categories for its upcoming edition, running March 6 – 15.

$30,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

  • Stephen Arboite is a New York City-born, now Miami-based visual artist who is currently exhibiting in his first solo exhibit, Dreamscapes: The Metaphor Has Shifted to Healing, at Miami’s N’Namdi Contemporary; and in the Translating Valence: Redefining Black Male Identity group show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Michigan. He has additionally exhibited in multiple national group shows and holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase.
  • Rachel Bleemer is the Director of Events for Film Independent in Los Angeles, whose work to support the independent film world includes the annual Spirit Awards and Project: Involve, which supported the 2019 Miami Film Festival Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award co-winner “Liberty”, by Faren Humes. She is originally from Miami and a former member of the Miami Film Festival leadership team.
  • Kevin Chinoy is a veteran independent film producer who has for the past few years lived and worked out of his new home base of Miami. With his partner in life and business, Francesca Silvestri, he runs Freestyle Picture Company, whose credits include the recently Academy Award-nominated The Florida Project. His projects have played at major festivals around the world including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin and New York, among others.

$40,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award, supported by the Knight Foundation:

  • Álvar Carretero de la Fuente, originally from Spain, is Director, Awards PR & Global Publicity, for Joshua Jason Public Relations in Los Angeles.
  • Rupert Lloyd is a British producer and editor. His credits include Theeb, the first film from Jordan to be nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Elena Manrique is a Spanish producer and screenwriter. Her credits include Pan’s Labyrinth, Cell 211, The Orphanage, Transsiberian and Ciudad Delirio, among many others.

$10,000 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award, supported by Knight Foundation:

  • Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas are filmmaker partners. Their debut feature documentary Pahokee won the 2019 Miami Film Festival Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award and world premiered at Sundance. Their short films include “Skip Day”, “The Rabbit Hunt”, “The Send-Off” and “Roadside Attraction”, which have been showcased and often won awards at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, AFI Fest and many others.
  • Jayme Gershen, a Miami-based photographer and filmmaker focused on portraiture, documentary and editorial work. Her short film “Six Degrees of Immigration” was the co-winner of the 2019 Miami Film Festival Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award and acquired by The New York Times Op-Docs series.
  • Gonzalo Ulivi is a Managing Partner of the Silverspot Cinemas boutique theater chain, headquartered in Miami.

$10,000 HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award:

  • Maxine Bailey is a Toronto-based creative consultant. From 2000-2018, she was VP, Advancement for Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Agustina Chiarino of Mutante Cine in Uruguay is a producer whose work includes So Much Water, which won the Miami Film Festival’s Knight Competition and Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Award in 2013, The Heiresses and Monos, both winners of multiple international awards, and Alelí.
  • Leslie Cohen is Vice President of Content Acquisitions at HBO and HBO MAX.

$10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award, 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:

  • Florencia Jimenez-Marcos is a Miami-based arts enthusiast and collector, and longtime supporter of local arts, education and civic organizations. Born in Argentina, she is additionally a seasoned marketing and strategy professional.
  • Leticia Jorge is a filmmaker from Uruguay. Her debut feature, So Much Water, co-directed with Ana Guevara, won Miami Film Festival’s Knight Competition and Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Award in 2013.
  • Naji Abu Nowar is a filmmaker from Jordan. His debut feature, Theeb, was nominated for an Academy Award, won a BAFTA Award, won Best Director Horizons Award at the Venice Film Festival, and won Miami Film Festival’s Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Award in 2015, among numerous additional international awards.

$5,000 Zeno Mountain Award presented by Fringe Partners:

  • Maite Alberdi is a Chilean producer, director, documentarian, screenwriter and film critic. Her films focus on intimate portraits of small worlds and have made her an important voice in Latin American documentary filmmaking. She has directed The Lifeguard(11), I’m Not From Here (16), Tea Time (15) and The Grown-Ups (16), both official selections of the Miami Film Festival. In 2013 she was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, and in 2018 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The Grown-Ups was the 2017 winner of Miami Film Festival’s Zeno Mountain Award.
  • Brian Blum is a Miami and New York City-based filmmaker and a member of Miami Film Festival’s program committee. His short films include “Blood and Water” and “My Daughter Yoshiko”, which was the 2019 winner of Miami Film Festival’s Zeno Mountain Award. He is Executive Director and Head of Production of AdaptLab Filmmakers.

$5,000 Alacran Music In Film Award, sponsored by Alacran Group:

  • Mowg is a Korean composer whose award-winning credits include Kim Jee-won’s I Saw the Devil and The Age of Shadows, and Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, for which he won Miami Film Festival’s 2019 Alacran Music in Film Award.
  • Jorge Villamizar is a Miami-based Colombian musician, singer and composer. He won numerous Grammy and Latin Grammy awards as leader of the band Bacilos, and has written and co-written songs with Marc Anthony, Paulina Rubio and many others.
  • Marcelo Zarvos is a composer whose credits include Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said, Denzel Washington’s Fences, Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder, Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters and many additional feature films and television series. He is originally from Brazil.

$2,500 Oolite Arts Miami Film Festival Best Poster Award:

  • Akiko Stehrenberger is an illustrator and movie poster art designer. She has designed official one-sheets for films such as Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake and numerous others.

$2,500 Oolite Arts Miami Film Festival Best Trailer Award:

  • Joe Hackman is a veteran movie trailer editor who has created trailers for films distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, Studio Ghibli, The Orchard, and many others. His trailer for Yann González’s Knife+Heart won the Miami Film Festival 2019 Best Trailer Award.

$42,500 Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation CinemaSlam Student Film Competition 2020:

  • Adriana Bosch is an independent documentary filmmaker who has produced for PBS and American Experience, and whose newest film, Letters to Eloisa, world premieres at the 2020 Miami Film Festival.
  • Carluccio is a filmmaker, photographer and painter from Venezuela, director of short films “Nostalgia” and “Klein Blue”, who has been awarded by National YoungArts Cinematic Arts and Carnegie Hall’s National Silver Portfolio Medal from The Scholastics Art and Writing Awards.
  • Barron Sherer is a time-based media artist with a background in moving image archival practice and research, launched a Knight Foundation invested project, Moving Image Alliance in 2020.

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, and select members of Miami Film Festival’s Program Committee for the Miami Film Festival Short Film Award.

The Festival also announced two major new additions to the program: the North American premiere of Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s Madre, based on his Oscar-nominated short film, and Matt Wolf’s new documentary, Spaceship Earth, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Individual tickets for all Festival events are on sale to the general public. For more information, visit

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About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival                                                      

Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university. Celebrating cinema in two annual events, Miami GEMS Festival in October and its 37th annual edition March 6 – 15, 2020, Miami Dade College’s Miami 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 45,000 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 ten years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 550 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. Miami 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 2019-20 Festival season include Knight Foundation, Miami Downtown Development Authority, Telemundo, American Airlines and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit 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.

About HBO®
HBO® is one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world, serving iconic, award-winning programming to 140 million subscribers globally. A subsidiary of WarnerMedia, HBO is the world’s most successful pay TV service with an extensive array of programming that includes some of the most notable titles to be on television, including drama series Succession®, Watchmen®, Westworld®, Big Little Lies®, Game of Thrones®, The Sopranos®, Band of Brothers® and The Wire®, as well as comedy series Barry®, Insecure® and Sex and the City®. In the United States, HBO® and sister network Cinemax® are available across multiple platforms including HBO On Demand®, Cinemax On Demand®, HBO GO® and MAX GO®, as well as HBO NOW®. Internationally, HBO branded services, including television networks and the standalone streaming product HBO GO®, are available in more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. HBO and Cinemax programming is also sold into more than 150 countries worldwide.

About Estrella Damm
140 years ago, a young August K. Damm and his wife Melanie emigrated from Alsace to escape the Franco-Prussian war. Their journey took them to the Mediterranean to realize their dreams of doing what they did best: brewing beer. In 1876 they established their own brewery, having crafted a distinctive and evolved beer, suitable for warmer climates, so different to existing central European beers: The Mediterranean Lager. To this day,Estrella Damm is brewing using their original 1876 recipe and only the best Mediterranean ingredients: barely malt, rice and hops. 

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.

MDC’s Miami Film Festival Media Relations Contacts:

Steven Wilson, Scenario PR | (310) 497-4951|


Emmanuel Genao, Miami Film Festival | (305) 237-3456 |

Lindsey Johnson, Miami Film Festival | (305) 237-3456 |