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Miami International Film Festival Accepting Submissions for its Florida Focus Short Film Competition

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Miami, October 31, 2008 - The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), recently announced its first Florida-based film competition. Festival organizers will begin accepting submissions for the Florida Focus Short Film Competition beginning Nov. 1 until Dec. 19, 2008.

Winners will be announced during the 26th Annual Miami International Film Festival being held March 6-15, 2009. The competition is open to amateurs as well as professionals and includes two specific categories – Miami Minis Shorts and Student Social Shorts.

“Florida Focus is an important part of our Festival so we can continue to provide a platform for Florida-based filmmakers to highlight their work,” said Valeria Sorrentino, assistant director of production for the Miami International Film Festival. “The Florida Focus Program helps to showcase the film industry in Florida and we wanted to take it to the next level by showcasing new and emerging filmmakers in their own competitions.”

Florida Focus is a multi-layered program within the Festival which showcases, promotes, and encourages the development of films and filmmakers within the State in general and South Florida specifically.  It is sponsored by The Florida Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment. Other programs being offered by Florida Focus include: a feature film presentations shot in Florida; The Miami Coalition for the Homeless PSA Competition; as well as seminars and classes.

“Florida has a long history as a major player in this value-added industry,” said Graham Winick, President of Film Florida and Film Commissioner for the City of Miami Beach. The Festival’s Florida Focus platform is an important vehicle to show the world what the State can do, in terms of locations, weather, infrastructure, film and digital arts schools and top notch cast and crew. We are very excited about these two competitions.”

Competition Categories:

Student Social Short Film Competition (maximum 15 minutes)
Open to any student in Florida at the high school and college/university levels. The submission must include a socially relevant theme or message. Films submitted may be part of a class project or an independent piece.

Miami Mini Short Film Competition (maximum 20 minutes)
Open to any filmmaker in Florida. However, submissions from Miami-Dade filmmakers are encouraged. The film can be of any genre and/or theme but must have a South Florida focus. Submissions in this category are open to filmmakers who have completed fewer than four films.

Submissions will be accepted between Nov. 1 and Dec. 19. The submission fee for the Student Social Short Competition is: $5, high school students and $10 for college or university students. The Miami Mini’s submission fee is $15. Each submission packet must include three copies of the films on DVD.

The Miami International Film Festival brings the best of world cinema to South Florida and plays a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and American films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema. The Festival has presented films from more than 60 countries, including 200 East Coast, U.S. and World Premieres, scores of Oscar winners and nominees, and many international prizewinners.

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, nine visual arts galleries including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 165,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 200 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate degrees in education and public safety management. 

For more information about the Miami International Film Festival or submission details about the Florida Focus Short Film Competition, visit, or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

Media-only contacts:
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Miami International Film Festival Press and Publicity Department, Dorothy Karvi, 305-237-7693,
Carlos Garcia, 305-237-3456,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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