Caldera’s Spy Time and Giroud’s The Companion Tie for Lexus Audience Award at Miami Dade College’s 33rd Miami International Film Festival

MIAMI — Spanish filmmaker Javier Ruiz Caldera’s Spy Time and Cuban filmmaker Pavel Giroud’s The Companion tied for the Lexus Audience Favorite Feature Film of the 33rd edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami International Film Festival, which concluded yesterday. The Festival, which took place March 4 - 13, was a star-studded week with Spanish recording legend Raphael, Academy Award winner Christine Lahti, and Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi in attendance at the numerous screening events.

Additionally, American filmmaker Logan Sandler’s short “Tracks”was unveiled as the Lexus Audience Favorite Short Film.

The announcements were jointly made by the Festival's executive director Jaie Laplante,Lexus' Chuck Dixson, and The Related Group’s Carlos Rosso, on the beautiful outdoor plaza at The Related Group's latest addition to the swanky Miami skyline, the newly-announced One Brickell property just "steps" away from historic Olympia Theater on the banks of the Miami River at 444 Brickell Ave. Guests enjoyed imaginative installations, an Oscar-themed red carpet photo booth, and sipped Pyrat Rum and Stella Artois all following the US premiere of Andrew Currie's The Steps (Canada) featuring a brilliant ensemble cast led by James Brolin and Oscar-winner Christine Lahti. Also in attendance from the film was rising star Benjamin Arthur.

The Audience Awards announcement capped an incredible edition of the Festival, which featured a total of 129 films from 40 countriesEarlier at the Festival, Jury Awards in several categories were announced: 


KNIGHT COMPETITION, presented by The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation

Jury members Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Selton Mello and Trey Edward Shults selected the winners.

 Knight Grand Jury Prize: Dheepan (France), produced by Pascal Caucheteux and Jacques Audiard   

Grand Jury Award Best Performance: Zhao Tao in Mountains May Depart (China) Grand Jury Award Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster (Ireland/Greece)

KNIGHT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, presented by The John S. & James L. Knight FoundationThe Award winner was selected by the Festival audience.

Queen of Thursdays (USA), produced by Jorge Alvarez, Orlando Rojas and Dennis Scholl


Jury members Carlos Lechuga,Leticia Tonos Paniagua and Kenny Riches selected the winning film.

Paulina (La patota) (Argentina), directed by Santiago Mitre


Jury members Rosa Bosch,Jorge Guerricaechevarria and Diego Lerman selected the winner. This special award recognizes and supports first-time produced screenwriters. Screenwriters from all feature films in the Festival that have a first-produced feature screenwriter credited, compete for a jury-selected cash prize of $5,000, courtesy of the family of the late Jordan Alexander Ressler.

Lorenzo Vigas for From Afar (Venezuela/Mexico)

Earlier in the week, four other major Festival awards were presented:

Shorts Competition

The latest in films 30 minutes or less from around the globe, the jury-selected winner received a $2,500 cash prize.

 "The Man of My Life" (France) directed by Melanie Delloye

MIAMI ENCUENTROS presented by Knight Foundation

The winning project in post-production received the Achievement Award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize.

The Candidate (Uruguay), produced by Micaela Sole and Daniel Hendler

Miami Film 2016 presented by The Related Group

Three prizes were awarded to Argentine films in development.

Diego Lerman for A Sort of Family    

Gonzalo Tobal for Dolores Camilla Toker for The Death of Marga Maier


Jury members Carla Forte, Giancarlo Loffredo and Alouishous San Gomma selected the winner in the Miami student film competition.

"I Want To Beat Up Clark Peters" by Joseph Picozzi (University of Miami's School of Communications)