Miami Film Festival is a world-class platform for International and Ibero-American films. Presenting its 38th edition from March 5 -14, 2021, the Festival showcases the work of the world’s best emerging and established filmmakers to the diverse cosmopolitan community of Miami. Cash awards totaling more than $100,000 are given in competition categories. The Festival is the official partner and host of VARIETY's annual list of the 10 Latinxs To Watch.

The 2019 Miami Film Festival attracted approximately 45,000+ people and 300 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals from around the world. In all, the Festival presented more than 170 feature narratives, documentaries and short films of all genres, from more than 40 different countries. Though the 2020 Festival ended prematurely after day six due to COVID-19 concerns, 80% of the programmed films were able to be screened and all jury prizes were awarded remotely. Highlights of the 2020 Festival included the Mercado de Cine Frances y Europeo, which brought together over 40 buyers and sellers from Europe and Latin America; numerous World and International Premieres; and Marquee Conversations with Oscar Winner Juan Jose Campanella and internationally renowned directors Stella Meghie, Joe Talbot, and Lulu Wang, among others.

The Festival has had the privilege of hosting a noted group of filmmakers and talent, including Pedro Almodóvar, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Andy Garcia, Patricia Clarkson and many more. In 2019 and 2020, Miami Film Festival was also chosen to host the brunch and panel discussion honoring Variety’s 10 Latinxs to Watch, an annual list which highlights breakthrough Latinx talent in the world of cinema, television, and music.

Major trade publications such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Screen and Indiewire attend for coverage and reviews of the films. Miami Film Festival was declared in 2018 as “One of the 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” by Moviemaker Magazine.

$25,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected U.S. or international narrative feature film (60 min or longer) that best exemplifies richness and resonance for cinema’s future. The cash prize will go to the lead producer (production company), but is eligible to be split with a US distributor, if there is a US company that has made a commitment to release the winning film in US theaters prior to a VOD release

$45,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected feature film of any genre that features a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and/or Monroe counties) and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance. The jury will have the option to award $22,500 each to two films that represent different genres (narrative, documentary, hybrid), or may elect to award the entire prize to one film.

$10,000 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award is a cash competition for the jury-selected short film under 30 minutes of any genre that features a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and/or Monroe counties) and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance.

$10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award presents $10,000 cash to the filmmaker (director, or writer/director) of the jury-selected best film made by a filmmaker making his or her feature narrative (60 min or longer) film debut. The Award is courtesy of the South Florida family of the late Jordan Ressler, an aspiring screenwriter whose life was tragically cut short before he could realize his dream.

Ibero-American Feature Film Award is a prize given to a jury-selected best U.S. Hispanic or Ibero-American narrative feature film (60 min or longer) in the Official Selection, awarded to the lead producer (production company).

Ibero-American Short Film Award for short films 30 minutes or less with Spanish dialogue and featuring primarily Hispanic, Latino or Ibero-American stories. Open to any genre – narrative, documentary, hybrid, animation, experimental.

Alacran Music in Film Award
Highlights the power of music in film and celebrates the role of the film composer. This award celebrates the artists behind the music composition, which often stays in the shadow, for their contribution to the film industry with a $5,000 cash prize for Best Original Score of all opt-in feature films in the Festival.

Documentary Achievement Award
Prize given to one documentary film as voted upon by the Festival audience, awarded to the film’s lead producer (production company). All feature-length documentary (50 min or longer) playing in the Festival’s Official Selection are eligible for this Award.

Short Film Award
Miami Film Festival Short Film Award is given to a jury-selected short film (30 min or less) of any genre from anywhere in the world.

Toyota Narrative Feature Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary feature (60 min or more) of the entire Official Selection.

Toyota Short Film Audience Award
Presented to the filmmaker(s) of the Festival audience’s choice of best non-documentary short (30 min or less) of the entire Official Selection.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award
Presented to the filmmaker of one film of any genre and any length voted on by all accredited film critics covering the annual Festival, for the film they consider the best of that year’s selection.

Miami Film Festival Trailer Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning editor will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

Miami Film Festival Poster Award presented by Oolite Arts
The winning designer will receive an invitation and honorarium as a guest of the 2021 Miami Film Festival as an Oolite Arts Skills Master Class Lecturer.

1. For all Competition categories, World premiere must have occurred no earlier than January 1, 2020. For Non-Competition categories (Cinema 360 and Reel Music), there is no specific regulation regarding the date of a film’s World premiere.

2. For all Competition categories, the Festival will give programming preference to films that offer a World, International, North American or US premiere status. However, for the 2020-21 season only, due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the film industry, there will be no minimum premiere requirement, so films of all premiere statuses will be eligible for consideration. Films that have received specialized or temporary online exposure prior to our Festival will not be disqualified, so long as they will not be available online in the United States from March 1 – 15, 2021.

3. However, films that are in commercial circulation (theatrical, broadcast, commercial VOD or domestic airline entertainment system) in the USA prior to March 19, 2021 will not be eligible for the Festival.

4. The Festival’s Competition categories have different eligibility rules - the length, genre (narrative or documentary) and origin regulations can all change from category to category. For example, some categories accept films of any running time, while other categories may require a minimum running time of 60 minutes or a maximum running time of 30 minutes. For other examples, some categories accept both narrative and documentary films, while other categories are restricted to one or the other; some categories accept films from any country in the world, while others only accept films from the Ibero-american diaspora or specific counties in Florida. Please read each category description carefully before submitting. If you mistakenly submit to a category for which your film is not eligible, the Festival will not disqualify your entry, but our programmers will instead consider your submission for a category where it will be eligible.

5. Our Festival’s audience-voted awards are determined by the audience of each screening being invited to rate the film on a numeric scale on a paper ballot. The average of the audience’s scoring will be multiplied by the fractional audience participation in the voting process (that is, the number of people who choose to vote out of the total attendance at each screening) in order to come up with a final score. At the conclusion of the Festival, the film with the highest over-all score in each audience-voted category will win that category’s award. Should two top final scores be separated by less than 1/10 of a percentage point, a tie will be declared. Ratings and final scores are confidential and not published or shared.

6. Films selected for the Festival will be required to provide a DCP format file for Exhibition.

Overall Rating
  • Randy Valdes

    Miami Film Festival continues to improve every year. With a well curated balance of local films, international premieres, and already successful independent films expanding their tour to the Florida market, Miami Film Festival is a worthy experience for both its audience and the participating filmmakers.

    March 2021
  • Farah Nabulsi

    Amazing! So well organised and excellent selection of films, but sad I could not be there.

    March 2021
  • Jose Navas

    Amazing festival. Best networking events. Prepare to meet industry professionals. This festival is becoming one of the fastest growing festivals in the nation and we had the honor to screen here. A true dream screening at the Miami Film Festival.

    March 2021
  • Prashant Thakker

    Miami is home and we were fortunate enough to premiere our film, The Woman Under The Tree, at this years festival. Unfortunately, Covid 19 cancelled the festival midway, but we were able to screen our film once. Jaie Laplante and his team are stellar organizers, kind, caring and really care about the filmmakers. We look forward to participating in future festivals. Thank you team for having us!

    December 2020
  • Beautiful festival, amicable staff, diversity in projects, and the biggest latino film family & community to support you, 100% recommended. Espero volver muy pronto!

    September 2020