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Miami International Film Festival, Presented by Miami Dade College, Announces Call for Entries

$25,000 Grand Jury Prizes Awarded in Three Competition Categories - Submissions Now Being Accepted for 2009 Festival
Miami International Film Festival

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2009 Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC). Grand jury prizes of $25,000 will be awarded in three competition categories. Early submission deadline is September 15 and the final submission deadline is October 15.

Miami, August 5, 2008 - The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), announced today its call for Entries for the 2009 Miami Film Festival. The 26th annual Festival, to be held March 6 -15, 2009, is now accepting submissions for films. The early submission deadline is September 15 and the final submission deadline is October 15, 2008.

Submissions for juried competition are open to first-, second-, third-, or fourth-time directors, depending on the category. The Dramatic Features – Ibero-American Cinema Competition is open to first– and second-time directors only, while the other categories are open to fourth-time directors, including the Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition and the Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition.

The Short Film Competition and non-competition categories are also open to submission, including the Festival’s Florida Focus segment.

Films must have been completed after January 1, 2008. Films must not have been publicly broadcast or exhibited commercially in the U.S. prior to the Festival.

A Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 will be awarded to each of the winning directors of the Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition and the Dramatic Features – Ibero-American Cinema Competition.

A Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 for the Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Competition and a Grand Jury Prize of $2,500 for the Short Films Competition will also be awarded to the winning directors in each category.

Within the Ibero-American Cinema Competition category, a screenwriting award will be added to the slate this year.  The Jordan Alexander Ressler Award will be presented to the winning screenwriter, and a juried prize of $5,000 will be awarded.
 
Submission fees are as follows:
• Early Submissions (Aug. 1 – Sept. 15): Features $35, Shorts $20
• Final Submissions (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15): Features $45, Shorts $25

Florida Filmmakers pay the Early Submission fees through the final submissions deadline.

Competition Categories – Open to Submissions

Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition – (70 minutes or longer)
This high-profile world competition category showcases dramatic features up to fourth time filmmakers from around the world, each film making its U.S. Premiere at the 2009 MIFF. These films are eligible for a $25,000 Knight Grand Jury Prize and a MIFF Audience Award. Past winners include: “Tricks,” Andrzej Jakimowski (Poland); “Burnt Out,” Fabienne Godet (France), “Accused,” Jacob Thuesen (Denmark); “A Way of Life,” Amma Asante (UK); “Evil,” Mikael Håfström (Sweden/Denmark); “The Edukators,” Hans Weingartner (Germany); “A Thousand Months,” Faouzi Bensaidi (Morocco); “Red Dust,” Tom Hooper, (South Africa/UK).

Dramatic Features – Ibero-American Cinema Competition – (70 minutes or longer)
This inspiring competition showcases dramatic features by first- and second-time directors from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, each film making its U.S. Premiere at the 2009 MIFF. These films are eligible for a $25,000 Knight Grand Jury Prize, a MIFF Audience Award and a $5,000 Jordan Alexander Ressler Award. Past winners include: “Eat For This Is My Body,” Michelange Quay, (Haíti); “Cochochi,” Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas, (Mexico); “Vida y Color,” Santiago Tabernero (Spain); “Days of Santiago,” Josué Méndez (Perú); “Nicotina,” Hugo Rodriguez (Mexico); “La Espera,” Aldo Garay (Uruguay); “Caja Negra,” Luis Ortega (Argentina); “Nada Más,” Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti (Cuba).

Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition – (50 minutes or longer)
Documentary feature films from around the world are screened in this prestigious competition category. Social issues, diverse cultures, icons and inspiring people are an integral part of this program. First- and second-time filmmakers and U.S Premiere status at the 2009 MIFF is encouraged. These films are eligible for a $25,000 Grand Jury Prize and a MIFF Audience Award. Past winners include: “Santiago,” João Moreira Salles, (Brasil); “En el Hoyo,” Juan Carlos Rulfo, (Mexico); “La Sierra,” Scott Dalton and Margarita Martinez (Colombia); “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni (Germany); “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks,” Lisa Gay Hamilton (USA); “Ônibus 174,” Jose Padilha (Brazil); “Balseros,” Carlos Bosch and Josep Doménech (Spain).

Short Film Competition – (maximum 20 minutes)
Each film is eligible for a $2,500 cash prize. From brooding dramas, amusing comedies, hip experimentalism, inspiring animations, provoking documentaries and jaw-dropping thrillers, this rich and exciting selection will challenge our film palette, showcasing the world’s best!

Non-Competition Categories – Open to Submissions
 
International Panorama – World Dramatic, Ibero-America Dramatic & Documentary Features
Amazing works from the masters and up-and-coming filmmakers who have created more than two features are on view in this vibrant array of films from all corners of the world. Compelling dramas, poignant biographies, innovative docudramas, neo westerns, hilarious comedies and groundbreaking documentaries premiere from Spain to Canada, the U.S. to the U.K. and Brazil to South Africa.

Florida Focus – Dramatic (70 minutes or longer) & Documentary (50 minutes or longer)
The Festival proudly celebrates the latest works from Floridian directors and producers and/or films whose subjects touch on Florida. Feature films and documentaries are showcased in this special section devoted to the Sunshine State.

Short Films Panorama – (20 minutes or shorter)
This international array of short films is presented in two dynamic, eclectic programs featuring amusing comedies, animation, tense thrillers, compelling dramas, romantic vignettes and edgy experimental works. In addition to the two Short Films Programs, individual short films will be played prior to some feature films during the 10 days of the festival.

Non-Competition Categories – Invitation Only

Gusman Premieres
Films from world renowned directors and emerging filmmakers are showcased at the historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.

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.

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.

• More than 75,000 people attended the Festival in 2008
• In addition, more than 350 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry representatives from around the world attended the 2008 Festival to introduce their work to Miami audiences and industry professionals
• The 2008 Festival held more than 250 screenings, including features, shorts, Outreach and press screenings

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, nine visual arts galleries including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College 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 165,000 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 and public safety management.

SUBMISSION FORM:
The official submission form and additional information are available online at www.miamifilmfestival.com. For more information, call 305-237-FILM (3456).

Event contacts,Media-only contacts:
Diana Salcedo, 305-237-3038, diana@miamifilmfestival.com

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist

Event contacts,Media-only contacts:
Diana Salcedo, 305-237-3038, diana@miamifilmfestival.com

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist




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