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Quo Vadis, Aida?, directed by Jasmila Žbanić
Quo Vadis, Aida?, directed by Jasmila Žbanić

The Balkan war drama Quo Vadis, Aida?, directed by Jasmila Žbanić, representing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s official submission shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards earned the top prize, the $25,000 Knight MARIMBAS Award at the 2021 Miami Film Festival.

Cuban Dancer, a poignant documentary directed by Roberto Salinas, won the $45,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award. The award goes to a feature film that has a substantial portion of its content in South Florida and that best utilizes its story and theme for universal resonance.

Lorelei, a U.S.-made working-class fable directed by Sabrina Doyle, garnered the $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Award and the Henry Rincón-directed film from Colombia, The City of Wild Beasts (La Ciudad de las Fieras), a World Premiere at this year’s Festival walked away with the $10,000 WarnerMedia Ibero-American Feature Film Award. This was the second Miami Film Festival award for The City of Wild Beasts, with editor Raphael Lubzanksi winning the 2021 Miami Film Festival Best Trailer Award.

Shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards Live-Action Short category, “The Present,” directed by Farah Nabulsi, took the Miami International Short Film Award. In the other short film categories, “Caro Comes Out,” directed by Brit Fryer and Caro Hernandez, took the $10,000 Knight Made in MIA Short Film Award, supported by Knight Foundation. For his work in Riz Ahmed’s British drama Mogul Mowgli, composer Paul Corley earned the $5,000 Alacran Music In Film Award and “Asi en la Tierra” by Joel Vázquez Cárdenas won the $5,000 WarnerMedia Ibero-American Short Film Award.

Other awards include internationally acclaimed Spanish visual artist Raul Monage won this year’s Miami Film Festival Best Poster Award, presented by Oolite Arts, for his work on Christos Nikou’s Apples.

In some categories, jury members noted honorable mentions or runners-up. The Knight Made in MIA Award jury cited Edson Jean’s Ludi for a special mention, for “beautiful filmmaking that captures the truisms and mores of the Haitian community in Miami, succinctly and tenderly, that moved all of us.“ The WarnerMedia Ibero-American Short Film Award jury named four runners-up, including “Calladita”, “For Rosa”, “The Insomnia Plague” and “The Name of the Son”. The Best Trailer Award runner-up was The Saint of the Impossible; and the Best Poster Award runner-up was 1991.

The winner of the Documentary Achievement Award and the Audience Award for Feature & Short, determined by a vote from members of the Festival’s public audience, will be announced on Tuesday, March 16.

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