Miami Film Festival Celebrates Return of Knight Heroes with Funding and Mentoring Opportunities for Local Filmmakers



Announcing new direction for its popular Knight Heroes program, the 39th Annual Miami-Dade College Film Festival is proud to launch a new partnership with Field of Vision’s IF / Then Shorts Initiative, a fundraising and mentoring program for directors of short documentaries.

This inaugural collaboration will provide grants and direct mentorship to eight local filmmakers, as well as a large panel focused on the development of short narrative and documentary series that will be open to the entire community. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, January 24, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

“Since its inception in 2019, the Miami Film Festival’s Knight Heroes program has inspired confidence in South Florida film makers to find personal paths to realize their own cinematic visions,” said Jaie Laplante, Executive Director and Co-Director of the programming of the Miami Film Festival. “With the support of the Knight Foundation, we are delighted to bring this program to a new place of resonance by collaborating with renowned experts at IF / Then Shorts.”

Now in its fourth edition, Knight Heroes is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where bright and daring filmmakers share their ideas, observations, and advice on their creative paths and future prospects through conversations about their own creative heroes. Last year’s edition featured filmmaker Radha Blank (The Forty-Year Version) with inspiration Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, The Old Guard) and filmmaker / actress Amy Seimetz (She Dies Tomorrow) accompanied by producer Adele Romanski (Moonlight, Never Truly Sometimes Always).

The Knight Heroes 2022 program consists of two parts:

● Open Call for Applications to the Short Documentary Development Funding and Consulting Program – South Florida filmmakers are invited to submit their short documentary project ideas for development funding and consultation. experts on a wide range of topics at IF / Then Shorts co-directors Caitlin Mae Burke and Merrill Sterritt will select eight filmmaker projects to receive a development grant of $ 500 each from the Knight Heroes program. The winners will be announced in mid-February. Additionally, each filmmaker will benefit from a one-hour consultation with a leading industry expert in the tropics, tailored to their specific areas of interest.

This program is open to filmmakers living and working in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties in South Florida. Online applications open at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 10 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 24, 2022. For more information on how to apply, visit

● “Scaling a Short Film into a Short Form Series” Festival Panel – On Saturday March 5 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Miami, the Miami Film Festival will host a 120-minute public panel open to all of southern Miami. Florida cinema community. The theme of the panel is “Turning a Short Film into a Short Series” with panelists to discuss their expertise in developing, acquiring / streaming and directing short films or short series. Panelists will share what they look for in series pitches (scripted and non-fiction), how they program standalone short films for their platforms, and answer questions from audiences. A happy hour for filmmakers and registered guests of the Miami Film Festival 2022 will follow. COVID security protocols per CDC and Miami-Dade County guidelines for event gatherings will apply and be enforced.

“We are very grateful that the Miami Film Festival and the Knight Foundation recognize the value of supporting regional documentary shorts,” said Merrill Sterritt, Co-Director of IF / Then Shorts. “The Knight Heroes program has created an exciting opportunity for IF / Then Shorts to deepen our long-standing work in the South by connecting with and supporting South Florida filmmakers. As we continue our commitment to making the film happen. regionally and community-inspired films, we can’t wait to hear what stories these filmmakers want to tell and how we can be useful collaborators. ”

The 10-day Miami Film Festival is scheduled to take place March 4-13, 2022. For updates, visit



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