Fernando Coimbra's O Lobo atrás da Porta / Wolf at the Door (pictured left) was the top winner at the 31st edition of the Miami Film Festival winning the Knight Grand Jury Prize for Best Film, and the prize for Best Director. Miami's main Knight competition focuses on debut feature films from Latin America, Spain and Portugal.
Starring Antonio Saboia, Emiliano Queiroz, Fabiula Nascimento, Wolf at the Door is a suspenseful thriller inspired on a true story. Set in Rio de Janeiro, the film is the story of a kidnapped child and the terror of the parents left behind. When Sylvia discovers her six year-old daughter has been picked up at school by an unknown woman, police summon her husband Bernardo to the station for questioning. There Bernardo confesses his extra-marital affair with Rosa, whom detectives believe to be involved in the kidnapping.
Wolf at the Door, which has been acquired by U.S. distribution by Outside Pictures, had previously won the award for Best Brazilian Film (ex aequo) at the 2013 Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, as well as the Best Film in the New Horizons competition at the 2013 San Sebastian Film Festival.
María Gamboa's directorial debut Mateo (pictured right) from Colombia was awarded the Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Award at Miami, while Mexican film Somos Mari Pepa / We Are Mari Pepa, by Samuel Kishi Leopo won a Special Honorable Jury Mention.
Gamboa's film, which was also the winner of the Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriiting Award, follows Mateo, a teenager who collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle and uses his pay to help out his mother that grudgingly accepts the ill-gotten money out of need. They live by themselves in the poor, violent neighborhoods alongside the Magdalena River valley. To prove his worth, Mateo agrees to infiltrate a local theater group in order to uncover its members’ political activities. As he becomes enthralled with the free-flowing creative lifestyle of the troupe, his uncle escalates demands on him to produce incriminating information on the actors. Under pressure, Mateo must make difficult choices.
The winner of the Encuentros competitive industry section was the Chilean film project Aurora by Rodrigo Sepúlveda. Starring Amparo Noguera, the film tells the real story of a woman who finds a dead baby girl in a landfill. Another Chilean film, Matar a un hombre / To Kill a Man by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras was the winner of the Miami Future Cinema Critics Award. The 31st edition the Miami Film Festival ran March 7-16.