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'Bonsai,' 'The Imposter' & 'Expiration Date' Take Top Prizes at Miami International Film Festival

By Devin Lee Fuller | Indiewire March 12, 2012 at 7:01PM

The 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival have announced the winners at this year's festival.
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"Bonsai" for Strand
Cristian Jimenez's "Bonsái."

The 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival have announced the winners at this year's festival.

Cristián Jiménez's "Bonsái" took the Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize in the Ibero-American competition, while Bart Layton's "The Imposter" won the award in the Ibero-American Documentary category.

"This has truly been a memorable Festival with enlightening and educational films," said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “Congratulations to the winners, [executive director] Jaie [Laplante], the entire MIFF and college teams, and all the volunteers who make our beloved festival possible."

One hundred films from 35 countries screened during the 10-day festival.

Full press release below:

The 29th Annual Miami International Film Festival
Honors Grand Jury Prize Winners in Ibero-American, Documentary and Short Film Categories at Awards Night Ceremony

Bonsái, The Imposter & Expiration Date Capture Top Grand Jury Prizes

Miami, FL – Organizers of the 29th annual Miami International Film Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, tonight celebrated 9 days (with another day of screenings still to come) of 100 films from 35 countries with the Awards Night Ceremony at the Olympia Theater of The Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.

A special screening of the US Premiere of Sebastián Borensztein’s Chinese Take-Away, starring Argentine superstar Ricardo Darín, followed the ceremony.

Juried awards were presented in the following competition categories: Ibero-American and Documentary, sponsored by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation; Short Film, sponsored by the University of Miami and Ibero-American Opera Prima, sponsored by Lexus.  

"This has truly been a memorable Festival with enlightening and educational films, said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “Congratulations to the winners, Jaie, the entire MIFF and college teams, and all the volunteers who make our beloved festival possible."  

“This year’s films were stronger than ever,” said Executive Director Jaie Laplante. “Congratulations to all the winning filmmakers whose visions unquestionably raised the bar of the art form this year at the Miami International Film Festival.”  

THE 2012 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS ARE:

KNIGHT FOUNDATION IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION:
  • Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize: Bonsái from Chile, a coproduction with Argentina, Portugal and France, directed by Cristián Jiménez –  a $30,000 USD cash prize awarded by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which will be split with US distributor Strand Releasing.

  • Grand Jury Discretionary Prize: Blood of My Blood, from Portugal, directed by João Canijo– a $5,000 USD cash prize awarded by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Grand Jury Discretionary Prize:  Violeta Went to Heaven, from Chile, a coproduction with Argentina and Brazil, directed by Andrés Wood – a $5,000 USD cash prize awarded by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

KNIGHT FOUNDATION IBERO-AMERICAN DOCUMENARY COMPETITION:
  • Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize: The Imposter from United Kingdom, directed by Bart Layton - a $10,000 USD cash prize awarded by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Honorable Mention: Unfinished Spaces, from USA, directed by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray

  • Honorable Mention: The Strawberry Tree, from Canada, directed by Simone Rapisarda Casanova

THE JORDAN ALEXANDER RESSLER SCREENWRITING AWARD:
  • Bonsái from Chile, a coproduction with Argentina, Portugal and France, screenplay by Cristián Jiménez, based on the novel by Alejandro Zambra a $5,000 USD cash prize awarded by the Jordan Alexander Ressler Charitable Fund; open to films in the Ibero-American Competition

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SHORTS COMPETITION:
  • University of Miami Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film: Catharsis, from France, directed by Cédric Prévost —a $2,500 USD cash prize awarded by the University of Miami

LEXUS IBERO-AMERICAN OPERA PRIMA competition  -
  • Lexus Opera Prima Award: Expiration Date, from Mexico, directed by Kenya Márquez$5,000 USD cash prize sponsored by Lexus, official automotive sponsor of MIFF.






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