The Obscure Spring (Las oscuras primaveras), the Mexican drama about a destructive affair between a married man a divorced single mom, won the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation Grand Jury Prize at the 32nd Miami International Film Festival. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance, awarded to the film’s entire cast. Panamanian filmmaker Abner Benaim snagged the Grand Jury Best Director honor for his work on Invasion, about the U.S. military invasion in 1989 that resulted in the removal of Gen. Manuel Noriega from office. A cash award of $40,000 was split between the winners.
Tea Time, director Maite Alberi’s study of six Chilean women who have been friends for more than 60 years and get together once a month to catch up with the latest gossip, won the Knight Documentary Achivement Award, which carries a $10,000 prize. For the first time in the festival’s history, this award was decided by votes cast by festival audience members instead of a jury.
The Lexus Audience award for Favorite Feature Film went to Spain’s Kamikaze, the comic-drama about a suicide terrorist planning to blow up a plane who starts to get second thoughts after the flight is waylaid by a storm and he has to spend the night in a hotel with his 322 would-be victims.
Other winners announced at the closing night ceremonies Saturday at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts by Miami Dade College, which presents the annual event:
▪ In the Grayscale (En las gamas del gris), director Claudio Marcone’s Chilean drama about a married man who embarks on an illicit gay affair, won the Lexus Ibero-American Prima Competition, which also carries a $10,000 cash award.
▪ Theeb, the story of a young Bedouin boy who serves as a guide for a British officer in the Arabian desert during World War I, won the Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award.
▪ Jonas Carpignano’s Young Lions of Gypsy won the Park Grove Shorts Competition as well as the Lexus Audience Award for Favorite Short Film.. Honorable mentions went to Shahir Zag’s A Tree in the Sea and Alba Baptista’s performance in Simão Cayatte's Miami.
For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com.