MIFF unveils lineup and contest for audience

Organizers of Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival unveiled their complete lineup of films on Jan. 27, and followed it up by announcing that for the first time ever audience members will determine the winner of one award, and be entered in a sweepstakes for a prize sure to appeal to film lovers.

During a special presentation at MDC’s historic Tower Theater on SW Eighth Street, festival executive director Jaie Laplante gave an overview of the 2015 MIFF program which runs from Mar. 6 to 15. The annual event takes place at the festival’s traditional home, the historic Olympia Theater at Gusman Center in downtown Miami, plus six additional cinemas scattered across the county.

“This year’s festival showcases 125 films, including 94 features and documentaries, 18 short films, 11 student films in our CinemaSlam program and two works in progress presentations, produced and directed by both renowned and emerging talents from 40 countries,” Laplante said. “We are also pleased to announce 14 world premieres, six international, 22 North American and 12 United States premieres.”

MIFF-Miami Film Fest

Film programmer Andres Castillo (left) and festival executive director Jaie Laplante are pictured with the festival poster.

Laplante announced something new for the 32nd edition of the film festival. The organizers’ goal this year is to encourage the general public and moviegoers to attend documentaries, so an important change has been made.

“This year we’re opening our Knight Documentary Achievement Award prize to be an audience-voted competition,” Laplante said. “No more jury, meaning the audience will be giving away directly $10,000 to one of the 24 eligible documentaries in this year’s festival.”

As added incentive, every moviegoer who votes will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a one year pass to watch movies at any Cinépolis theater in the U.S. The pass is for the cardholder plus one guest. Cinépolis USA is a leading cinema exhibitor known for its luxury and upscale theater offerings and recently opened its Coconut Grove location at the CocoWalk shopping center.

In order to know which films are eligible for this award, attendees should look for the bright red “ballot box” next to the movie title in the program guide. Festival organizers are encouraging the community to purchase a ticket for films that are eligible, attend the screening, get a ballot and vote.

The list of documentary films is available online at www.miamiff-tickets.com/program in the section marked “Knight Documentary Achievement Award.” By clicking on each box the details of that documentary and whether it has a red ballot box can be seen, and tickets may be bought. The featurelength documentaries were made by producers in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For information about the Miami International Film Festival visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

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