The Miami International Film Festival unveiled the first of its competition lineups Friday, with four North American premieres and two U.S. premieres among those competing in the festival's signature MIFF Knight Ibero-American Competition. Ten features will compete in the section, which spotlights feature films by directors from Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Competing films are eligible for a $30,000 USD Knight Grand Jury Prize that will be split between the filmmaker and the U.S. distributor of the film (funds will be awarded to the U.S. distributor on the condition of a minimum one-week commercial theatrical engagement in Miami-Dade County before March 11, 2013). If no U.S. distributor is secured before April 12, 2012, then the full award will be made to the filmmaker. The Grand Jury, in its own discretion, will also award up to a total of $10,000 additional funds to two other films.
"The Ibero-American films submitted to our competition this year are of exceptional quality," commented MIFF's executive director Jaie Laplante in a statement. "With an intriguing mix of thrillers, dramas, romances and cutting-edge work, the competing films are rich, impactful and brilliantly engaging."
The 29th Miami International Film Festival, produced by Miami Dade College, takes place March 2 – 11.
2012 MIFF Knight Ibero-American Competition films with descriptions and credits provided by the festival:
"The Porcelain Horse" (Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas), Ecuador, directed by Javier Andrade
In Javier Andrade’s startling debut, two brothers steal a porcelain horse from their parent’s home in order to buy drugs, leading to a fight that will haunt the family for the rest of their lives. North American Premiere
"I'd Receive the Worst News From Your Beautiful Lips" (Eu Receberia As Piores Notícias De Seus Lindos Lábios), Brazil, directed by Beto Brant and Renato Ciasca
Set against a steamy Amazonian backdrop, a sensual melodrama of a beautiful woman caught in an unstable situation between two men. North American Premiere
"Blood of My Blood" (Sangue do Meu Sangue), Portugal, directed by João Canijo
Two adult sisters struggle fiercely to hold their family together in the harsh world of a Lisbon slum, but the ticking time bomb of the situation is in grave danger of exploding. East Coast Premiere
"Pescador" (Ecuador/Colombia, directed by Sebastián Cordero)
After a drug shipment miraculously washes up on a beach, Blanquito (Andrés Crespo) has the opportunity to finally leave his small fishing village and go to the big city, in this major tonal new direction for acclaimed director Cordero. North American Premiere
"Bonsái" (Chile/Argentina/Portugal/France), directed by Cristián Jiménez
Based on the seminal novel by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra. Julio, a struggling writer, pens a book about his first experience with love, in order to keep up a lie he’s told his lover. Bonsai marks director’s Cristián Jiménez second appearance in MIFF’s Iberoamerican competition. Florida Premiere
"Zoo" (Zoológico), Chile, directed by Rodrigo Marín
Set in an affluent Santiago suburb, a social commentary on today’s youth follows three teens (Alicia Rodríguez, Luis Balmaceda and Santiago de Aguirre) consumed in Americanized customs: malls, the Internet, pornography, skateboarding and angst. North American Premiere
"The Cat Vanishes" (El gato desaparece), Argentina, directed by Carlos Sorin
When Beatriz (Beatriz Spelzini) picks up her husband Luis (Luis Luque) from the sanatorium, she doesn’t quite believe the psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is cured. But after the family cat vanishes, she questions her sanity as well as her husband’s in Sorin’s unsettling psychological mystery. U.S. Premiere
"Madrid," 1987 (Spain, directed by David Trueba)
The balance of power and desire shift during the meeting of an older journalist (José Sacristán) and a young student (María Valverde) in a beautifully-written, dusk-to-dawn meditation on youth, age and the music of the spheres. East Coast Premiere
"Violeta Went to Heaven" (Violeta se fue a los cielos), Chile, directed by Andrés Wood
Portrait of famed Chilean singer, folklorist and multifaceted artist Violeta Parra (Francisca Gavilán) filled with her musical work, her memories, her loves and her hopes. East Coast Premiere
"The Sleeping Voice" (La voz dormida), Spain, directed by Benito Zambrano
In Benito Zambrano’s portrayal of the dark days following the Spanish Civil War, two sisters (Maria Leon and Inma Cuesta) find themselves caught up in the frightening politics of the divided country. U.S. Premiere