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'A Wolf at the Door' and 'Mateo' are big winners at Miami Film Fest

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The 31st edition of the Miami International Film Festival featured a fantastic lineup that included films about depressed vampires, geriatric lovebirds and old gaming systems used as musical instruments. MIFF wrapped things up Saturday night with its annual Awards Night that took place at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Fernando Coimbra’s “A Wolf at the Door,” a Brazilian kidnapping thriller garnered two awards: the Knight Grand Jury Prize and the Grand Jury Best Director award. Another film from the festival that won two awards was “Mateo,” a coming-of-age story about a young loan shark who joins a local theater group. The movie won the Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting award and the Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima award.

Nora Navas’ performance as a woman with a permanent disability who slowly return to her normal routines thanks to support of her husband, family and friends in “We All Want What’s Best For Her” earned the Grand Jury Best Performance award.

There was a tie in the Knight Documentary Competition between “Finding Vivian Maier” and “The Overnighters.” The former is a portrait of one of the most accomplished street photographers and the latter is about a local pastor in Williston, North Dakota that allows strangers looking for a job to sleep in his church until they find a home for themselves despite dissent from his congregation, the press and his neighbors.

This year’s Miami Future Cinema Critics award their pick of the best film in the festival to the Chilean revenge thriller, “To Kill A Man,” which won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance.

The Lexus Audience Award winners were announced at Pyrat Gold Rum Awards Night Party at the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami. “Fading Gigolo,” the latest film from actor-director John Turturo about a plumber who becomes an hustler, won the Audidnece Award for best narrative. Turturro was the recipient of the festival’s annual Career Achievement Tribute last Sunday. “The Mountain,” a documentary that follows three young Dominicans on their quest to climb Mount Everest, won the documentary Audience Award.

Here is the complete list of the winners:

Knight Competition - Grand Jury Prize: “A Wolf at the Door” (Brazil, directed by Fernando Coimbra).

Knight Competition - Best Performance: Nora Navas of “We All Want What’s Best For Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella)” directed by Mar Coll (Spain).

Knight Competition - Best Director: Fernando Coimbra of “A Wolf at the Door” (Brazil).

Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award: “Mateo” written by Maria Gamboa (Colombia/France).

Knight Competition – Best Documentary: (tied) “Finding Vivian Maier,” directed by Charlie Siskel and John Maloof (USA) and “The Overnighters,” directed by Jesse Moss (USA).

Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Award: “Mateo” directed by Maria Gamboa (Columbia/France).

Honorable Mention: The jury would also like to give recognition to “We are Mari Pepa” directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo (Mexico).

Miami Future Critics’ Jury Award: “To Kill A Man” (Chile/France, directed by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras).

Lexus Audience Award – Narrative Film: “Fading Gigolo” (USA, directed by John Turturro).

Lexus Audience Award – Documentary: “The Mountain” (Dominican Republic, directed by Taba Blanchard).

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