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Vote for the Best Made-in-Miami Student Films at Miami International Film Festival’s New CinemaSlam Competition

MIFF

Miami, December 7, 2010 - Just like American Idol, Miami film lovers can help catapult local filmmakers to cinematic stardom through the Miami International Film Festival’s inaugural “CinemaSlam” competition—a new talent showcase for emerging college-level auteurs. Online voting begins December 7 and runs through January 28, 2011, to crown the best made-in-Miami short films created by undergraduate and graduate students attending the region’s top film schools. The competition is a new component of the festival’s long-running “Florida Focus” program, an initiative which promotes the work of Florida filmmakers.

CinemaSlam is a partnership between the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented annually by Miami Dade College, and Miami International University of Art & Design. Voters will judge the works of students enrolled at MDC and several area universities. The CinemaSlam films will be posted at www.miff.openfilm.com.

“With greater film incentives offered by the state of Florida, we expect more and more talented Miami student filmmakers to shoot right here at home,” explains Jaie Laplante, MIFF executive director.

Danette Wolpert, MIFF assistant director for programs and industry, adds: “CinemaSlam will enable the Miami International Film Festival to identify and cultivate these emerging local filmmakers and build Miami’s film community.”

The films, capped at 20-minute running times, represent a mixture of narratives, documentaries, experimental works and animation created since September 2009. Three films from each institution will be selected as CinemaSlam finalists in an American Idol-style voting contest, with 50 percent of the score determined by online public voting and 50 percent determined by a select group of faculty member judges. The winning film from each school, plus the grand prize winner of “Miami Student Film of the Year,” will be selected by MIFF’s Florida Focus jury. CinemaSlam winners will be announced and screened on March 9 at the CinemaSlam Awards Ceremony during the 28th edition of the Miami International Film Festival, which runs March 4-13, 2011.

“CinemaSlam and the film festival will open doors for these student filmmakers and will offer them the recognition and networking and professional opportunities that they deserve,” says John Maass, chairman of the film and digital production department at Miami International University of Art & Design.

The top winner will be automatically entered in Openfilm’s second annual nationwide “Get It Made” competition for $50,000 in cash, $450,000 in financing to turn the student project into a feature-length film and free professional advice from Openfilm’s board of advisors, which includes acting legends Robert Duvall, James Caan and his son, Scott Caan, star of the CBS breakout-hit remake of Hawaii Five-O

CinemaSlam Key Dates & Deadlines:

Online Voting: December 7, 2010 – January 28, 2011

Finalists Announced: February 1, 2011

Winners Announced: March 9, 2011, during the CinemaSlam Awards Ceremony of the Miami International Film Festival (venue and show times TBA).

About Miami International Film Festival

The Miami International Film Festival(MIFF), celebrating its 28th edition March 4-13, 2011, is considered the preeminent Ibero-American film festival in the U.S. The annual festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 70,000 film enthusiasts and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, actors and industry professionals. During the past five years, the festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 East Coast, U.S. and world premieres. Through Encuentros, the Festival’s mentorship and film development program for emerging filmmakers and projects from Spain, Portugal and Latin America, MIFF has become the natural gateway for the discovery of Ibero-American talent. Additionally, the festival’s REEL Education Seminar Series for film students, industry professionals and the community at-large consistently attracts top Hollywood and independent film executives from Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Classics, IFC Films, Fox Searchlight, DreamWorks Animation, HBO Films/HBO Latino and William Morris Endeavor, among many others. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).

About Miami Dade College

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: the Miami Book Fair International; the Florida Center for the Literary Arts; the Cultura del Lobo performance 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 renowned 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 170,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer nearly 300 distinct degree programs, including several baccalaureate degrees.

For more information about CinemaSlam and continuous updates, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tatyana Chiocchetti: 305-237-7879 or tatyana@miamifilmfestival.com




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