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MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD RECIPIENTS OF THE 2007 FILM COMPETITIONS

Three Grand Jury Prizes of $25,000 each awarded at the 24th Annual Miami International Film Festival presented by Miami Dade College

Three Grand Jury Prizes of $25,000 each awarded at the 24th Annual Miami International Film Festival presented by Miami Dade College

By

MIAMI, March 10, 2007 – The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), presented awards to films today in three competition categories: Documentary Features, Ibero-American Dramatic Features, and World Cinema Features. Jurors in the three categories, along with the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), awarded prizes to films in competition during the 2007 Festival. The ceremony, which took place at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, was hosted by Mexican actress Gabriela Ribero and from Burkina Faso, Issaka Sawadogo, the star of Sounds of Sand by Marion Hänsel.

“Throughout the ten days of the Festival the audience connection to the films and the filmmakers has been astounding,” said Festival Director Nicole Guillemet. “The generous Knight Foundation prizes enable these talented and aspiring filmmakers to continue to create and inspire us with their art.”

IN 2006, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation contributed $250,000 to create the Knight Grand Jury Prizes. This year, three Knight Grand Jury Prizes in the amount of $25,000 each will be awarded to films in three competition categories: Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition, Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition, and Documentary Features - World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition.

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) awarded its prize to one film in Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition.

The Audience Awards, sponsored by American Airlines, were presented to filmmakers in each of the three competition categories. They each received $2,500 and a Movado watch.
New this year is the Latin America Caribbean FedEx Audience Award of $10,000 was presented to a film from a Latin American or Caribbean filmmaker or originating from the same area. The selection was for films not in competition.

The Heineken Red Star Award was presented to a film from the Ibero-American Dramatic Features competition for originality, innovation and vision in film.
In addition, recipients of the audience awards received Movie Magic Budgeting 6 and Scheduling 4 software from Entertainment Partners.
Documentary Features - World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition

For its penetrating examination of the issues surrounding a little-known, ignominious chapter in American history and for the filmmaker's skill in dealing with an incendiary subject in a compassionate and intelligent way, the Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 in the Documentary Cinema Competition was awarded to Banished (USA) by Marco Williams.

For its sensitive, moving series of love stories set in and out of prisons in Spain, Lithuania, Mexico, Argentina, and Bolivia, as prisoners struggle to sort out their romantic and familial lives, all the while preparing to compete in a singing contest that feels alternately melancholy and life-affirming, the Documentary Cinema Competition Jury awarded a Special Jury Prize to Septembers (Septiembres) (Spain) by Carles Bosch.
The jurors that determined this category were Cynthia López, Mike Maggiore and Rob Williams.

Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition

The Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 for a dramatic feature in the Ibero-American Cinema Competition was awarded to a perfect film, perfectly realized: The Violin (El Violín) (Mexico) by Francisco Vargas Quevedo.

A Special Grand Jury Mention was awarded for an exceptionally dramatic musical soundtrack to recognize the work of Vasco Pedroso in The Night of the Sunflowers (La noche de los girasoles) (Spain) by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo.

A Special Grand Jury Mention was awarded for her realistic portrait of a strong woman in difficult circumstances to actress Carla Ribas of Alice’s House (A casa de Alice) (Brazil) by Chico Teixeira.

A Special Grand Jury Mention was awarded for her brave choice to honestly reflect how another culture tells stories to Paraguayan Hammock (Hamaca Paraguaya) (Argentina/Paraguay/The Netherlands/Austria/France/Germany) by Paz Encina.
The jurors that determined this category were Tania Blanich, Bertha Navarro and Jim Stark.

Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition

For its original and precise rendition of individual characters imprisoned and isolated in a world that watch but do not see, the World Cinema Competition jury awarded the Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 to Red Road (Scotland) by Andrea Arnold.

A Special Grand Jury Mention was awarded for the original and impeccable performance of actress Bar Belfer in Someone to Run With (Mishehu larutz ito) (Israel) by Oded Davidoff.

A Special Grand Jury Mention was awarded for its sensitive and sensible rendering of an improbable love story in Sonja (Germany) by Kirsi Marie Liimatainen.

The jurors that determined this category were Raoul Peck, Christine Vachon and Bernardo Zupnik

FIPRESCI

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize was awarded to Red Road (Scotland) by Andrea Arnold, which was in competition in the World Dramatic Features category.

The jurors that determined this category were Sheila Johnston, Peter Keough and Josefina Sartora.

AUDIENCE AWARDS

World Dramatic Feature Competition: Sweet Mud (Adama Meshuga’at) (Israel) by Dror Shaul.

Ibero-American Dramatic Feature Competition: The Night of the Sunflowers (La noche del los girasoles) (Spain) by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo.

World & Ibero-American Documentary Feature Competition: To Play and To Fight (Tocar y luchar) (Venezuela) by Alberto Arvelo.

Latin America Caribbean FedEx Audience Award

The Latin America Caribbean FedEx Audience Award was awarded to Bluff (Colombia) by Felipe Martínez.

Heineken Red Star Award

For its poetic naturalism, the Heineken Red Star Award was awarded to Fish Dreams (Sonhos de Peixe) (Brazil/Russia/USA) by Kirill Mikhanovsky.
Jurors

Each of the competition categories were judged by a jury of three. In addition, FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics) awarded a prize to one film in the Dramatic Features - World Cinema category. Jurors included:

Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition

Raoul Peck

Raoul is a writer, director and producer, educated in Haiti, Congo, the US and France. His award winning feature films and documentaries include Sometimes In April, Lumumba, and the Man on the Shore. In 2003, he was awarded the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award by the Human Rights watch.

Christine Vachon

Christine is an award-winning producer and through her company, Killer Films, has produced some of the most highly acclaimed American independent films, including: Far From Heaven, Boys Don’t Cry, One Hour Photo, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and I Shot Andy Warhol.

Bernardo Zupnik

Since 1998, Bernardo has been the president of Distribution Company of Argentina. Previously he produced the award-winning films Cronica de Una Senora, Heroina, and La Truega.

Dramatic Features –Ibero- American Cinema Competition

Tania Blanich

Tania is an independent consultant in media and the arts, and the former director of the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships.

Berta Navarro

Bertha is an award winning producer of accomplished films including, Men With Guns, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronicas, and award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth.

Jim Stark

Jim is an American producer on the independent scene, who helped launch the career of Jim Jarmusch with Stranger Than Paradise. He has also produced: Coffee and Cigarettes, In The Soup, The Living End and also co-wrote Cold Fever and Factotum.

Documentary Features –World & Ibero American Competition

Cynthia López

Cynthia is the Vice President for American Documentary/P.O.V, PBS’s Emmy award winning documentary series. She is also the founding member of NALIP (the National Association of Latino Independent Producers).

Mike Maggiore

Mike programs and promotes the premieres for New York’s Film Forum, an independent, non-profit cinema specializing in exclusive openings for foreign films, American independents and documentaries.

Rob Williams

Having previously worked in distribution for DreamWorks, and in acquisitions for Wellspring, he is currently an acquisition Executive for Red Envelope Entertainment, a new division of Netflix.

FIPRESCI (International Film Critics Association)

Sheila Johnston

Sheila founded The Independent and is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the London Evening Standard, the Times, Sight and Sound, and the New York Daily News

Peter Keough

Peter has been the film editor at the Boston Phoenix, and he has also written for The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, and Sight and Sound.

Josefina Sartora

Josefina is a literature professor, focusing her studies on symbols and archetypes in image and is the cinema critic for Le Monde Diplomatique.

More than 300 filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, and industry executives attended the 2007 Festival to actively participate in screenings, panels and sales meetings including Damián Alcázar, Alberto Arvelo, Andi Baiz, Emily Barclay, Michael Barker, Steven Barron, Luis Bellaba, Luc Besson Tammy Blanchard, Cedella Marley Booker, Carles Bosch, Matt Brodlie, Jim Brown, Zita Caivallosa, Robert Cary, Andres Cepeda, Antonio Cuadri, Veronica Cura, David D'Arcy, Oded Davidoff, Joaquim de Almeida, Ira Deutchman, Agustin Diaz Yanes, Serge Elissalde, Geoffrey Enthoven, Howard Feinstein, Mark Fergus, Eduard Fernández, John Fiege, Alex Garcia, Nancy Gerstman, Anita Grabowski, Julie Goldman, Octavio Gomez-Berrios, Mike Goodridge, Olga Guillot, Quim Gutiérrez, Adam Guzinski, Megan Hammitt, Justine Henzell, Todd Hitchcock, Ted Hope, Samantha Horley, Anne Hubell, Sheila Johnston, Gonzalo Justiniano, Daniel Katz, Julia Kaufman, Peter Keough, Philippa Kowarsky, Sarah Lash, Patrick Leblanc, Jérome Lemonnier, Diego Lerman, Ilana Levine, Caroline Libresco, Kirsi Marie Liimatainen, Cynthia Lopez, Mike Maggiore, Oliver Mahrdt, Elba McAllister, Selton Mello, Maria Merlino, Kirill Mikhanovsky, Viggo Mortensen, Takayuki Nakamura, Bertha Navarro, Frances Negron, Sabrina Nudeliman, Benjamin O'Dell, Loris Omedes, Matt Orley, Veronica Orozco, Hsiao-hung Pai, Chitra Palekar, Raoul Peck, Mike Plante, Tahani Rached, Steven Raphael, Rie Rasmussen, Barry Rebo, Jason Resnick, André Ristum, Rene Rodriguez, Eileen Rodriguez, J.B. Rutagarama, Veronica Sanchez, Daniel Sánchez, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Josefina Sartora, Issaka Sawadogo, Dror Shaul, Tali Shemesh, Steve Solot, Ugo Sorrentino, Jim Stark, Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg, Cecilia Suarez, Rodrigo Triana, Tonny Trimarsanto, Ela Troyano Tristán Ulloa, Christine Vachon, Francisco Vargas Quevedo, Carice van Houten, Francis Veber, Eduardo Veràstegui, Paul Verhoeven, Margarethe von Trotta, Lois Vossen, Bruce Weber, Douglas Wellbat, Ryan Werner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Fred Willard, Rob Williams, Marco Williams, Sean Wolfinghton, Vanessa Wranger, Norma Yolí, Markus Zimmer, and Bernardo Zupnik.

The Miami International Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support it receives from its sponsors, including its Producing Sponsors, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, American Airlines, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Premiere Sponsors include America Filmworks, Comcast, del Rivero Messianu DDB, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Regal Cinemas, University of Miami and Venevision International. Principal Sponsors are 2150 Editorial, ABC Management Services and The Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building, AméricaEconomía, CBS4 and MY33, Clear Channel Radio, Diario Las Americas, Eastman Kodak Entertainment Imaging, Entertainment Partners, FedEx Express, Florida Power & Light, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Heineken, Hertz Radio, Jaman, Lava Studio, Magna-Tech Electronic Company, Miami Parking Authority and Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Movado, Premiere Magazine, Selecta Magazine, Shore Club, Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema, Telefutura 69, Terra Group, Univision 23, Univision Radio, Vanidades, Wachovia and Warren Henry Automobiles. The Festival’s Supporting Sponsors include Astoria Communications, Blue Capital Management, BMI, Books & Books, Carlton Fields, Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, Cineworks Digital Studios, Inc., Consulado de México en Miami, Continental New Art Digital, Cultural Services Department of the French Embassy in the U.S., Digital Devoid, Dorchester Hotel, El Argentino, FilmFinders, The Garner Foundation, Inc., Hotel Victor ICAA, Lion Video, Manhattan Transfer, Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami New Times, Midtown Video, Personal Music, Pinnacle Housing, Raleigh Hotel, River Oyster Bar, SAGIndie, SocialMiami.com, TownHouse Hotel, Universal Casting, Univision Online, View Premium, LLC, 88.9 FM Serious Jazz (WDNA), WLRN Public Radio and Television, and WPBT TV-Channel 2.

The 2007 Miami International Film Festival is sponsored in part with the support of the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; the City of Miami Mayor’s Office of Film and Cultural Affairs; the Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment; Miami-Dade Transit; the City of Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority; the City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Program; Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, Inc., and Florida International University – Latin American and Caribbean Center.

The Miami International Film Festival brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and US films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema.

· More than 67,000 people attended the Festival in 2006

· In addition, more than 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry representatives from around the world attended the 2006 Festival to introduce their work to Miami audiences and industry professionals

· The 2006 Festival held more than 250 screenings, including features, shorts, Outreach and press

During the last four years, the Festival has presented films from more than 60 countries, including 200 East Coast, U.S. and World Premieres, scores of Oscar winners and nominees, and many international prizewinners. Tickets go on sale to Members Feb. 2, 2007 and to the General Public Feb. 16, 2007.

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 163,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 200 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety management and nursing.

For more information bout the Miami International Film Festival visit www.miamifilmfestival.com. For more information on Miami Dade College, please visit www.mdc.edu.