Jasmila Žbanić’s film based on the true events of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, “Quo Vadis, Aida?,” took home the top prize at the Miami Film Festival.
The Balkan war drama earned the $25,000 Knight Marimbas Award for its richness and resonance for cinema’s future, in addition to the Rene Rodriguez Critics Award. Representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is also shortlisted for the Oscars and is nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards and British Academy Film Awards.
The 38th year of the Miami Dade College festival ran March 5-14 both virtually and in-theater. Making its North American premiere, Roberto Salinas’ documentary “Cuban Dancer” won the Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award. The film earned the $45,000 prize for its use of setting in its story about a Cuban ballet dancer’s culture shock upon relocating to Florida. The jury singled out Edson Jean’s “Ludi” for a special mention calling out its “beautiful filmmaking that captures the truisms and mores of the Haitian community in Miami, succinctly and tenderly, that moved all of us.“
The festival’s other feature awards went to Sabrina Doyle’s “Lorelei” and Henry Rincón’s “The City of Wild Beasts.” Doyle’s working-class fable won the $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award in recognition of her feature narrative film debut. Rincón also received $10,000 for the Warner Media Ibero-American Feature Film Award. “The City of Wild Beasts” editor, Raphael Lubzanski, also won the trailer award earlier in the festival. The jury mentioned four other films in the Ibero-American shorts category as runners-up: “Calladita,” “For Rosa,” “The Insomnia Plague” and “The Name of the Son.”
Looking at short film categories, “The Present,” directed by Farah Nabulsi, won the Miami Intl. Short Film Award. Brit Fryer and Caro Hernandez’s “Caro Comes Out” received the Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award. “The Saint of the Impossible” was a runner-up in the trailer category. The poster prize went to “Apples,” by Christos Nikos, while “1991” was a runner-up.
Applauding the power of music in film, “Mogul Mowgli” composer Paul Corley earned the $5,000 Alacran Music in Film Award. The British drama starring Riz Ahmed is particularly carried by music, given it centers on a punk rock drummer who becomes deaf.
The Miami Film Festival previously named “Asi en la Tierra” by Joel Vázquez Cárdenas as the winner of the $5,000 WarnerMedia Ibero-American Short Film Award and will announce winners for documentary achievement and the audience awards for feature and short on Tuesday.