Chilean Trifecta at the Miami Film Festival

 Family Life by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez

Family Life by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez

Three Chilean films took top honors at the 34th edition of the Miami International Film Festival: Family Life / Vida de familia by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, Little White Lie / La mentirita blanca by the rapper and deejay-cum-filmmaker Tomás Alzamora, aka Fourd, and The Grown Ups / Los niños by Maite Alberdi.

The winner for Best Film in the main competition was the film by Scherson and Jiménez. In Family Life, adapted from his own story by author Alejandro Zambra, Bruno and his family leave their Santiago home for a three-month visit to France. Bruno’s cousin Martín is left in charge of the house and cat. The cat goes missing, which leads Martín to meet Pachi. A romance begins, albeit one based on false pretenses: Martín claims the house is his, and that he’s a father and divorcé. Martín invents a whole new life—but when happens when real life comes back from holiday?

Alzamora's directorial debut was presented with the Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Award. The protagonist of Little White Lie is a journalist struggling to maintain a career in a small Chilean town. Worrying that he’s on the verge of losing his job, he fabricates a story—a “little white lie”—that turns into a very big deal, transforming him into a hugely popular local celebrity. Should our humble hero confess his peccadillo or sacrifice his integrity at the altar of fame? 

Alberdi's documentary The Grown Ups was the winner of the inaugural Zeno Mountain Award at Miami Film Festival, a $5,000 cash prize celebrating the diversity of abilities and disabilities and rewarding the film which helps break down barriers to our understanding of people living with disabilities. 

Other Latin American winners this evening in Florida include the Uruguayan-born filmmaker Daniel Hendler who was presented with the Best Director award for his film The Candidate / El candidato from Argentina, and the Cuban film Santa & Andrés by Carlos Lechuga which was presented the Best Performance Award in the Knight competition.

The 34th edition of the Miami International Film Festival took place March 3-12.