Director Murilo Benicio Wins Big in New York with “The Kiss”

The 7th International Filmmaker Festival of New York, organized by Mrika Krasniqi, handed out prized during the Awards Gala on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The festival jury headed by Jotti Ejlli, comprised of Ibër Deari, Margherita Peluso, Kendrick Merdani and John Blenn announced the Grand Jury Prize at the prominent Kaufman Astoria Studios. “The Kiss” directed by Murilo Benicio took home the big win with “Best Feature Film” Award, “Best Actor Award” Nomination for Lazaro Ramos, “Production Award” Nomination and won the Festival Grand Prize for “Outstanding Achievement in Acting” for lead actor Lazaro Ramos. Mr. Pablo Ribeiro and Ms. Débora Falabella attended the Red Carpet as VIP Guests, Q&A and the Awards Gala Special Events.


Photo Credit: ©Ilir Rizaj Photography

Actress Debora Falabella accepting the Best Feature Film Award at IFFNY (Photo Credit: ©Ilir Rizaj Photography)

Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Director Murilo Benicio

NY Elite: Congratulations on being an official selection at the prestigious International Filmmaker Festival of New York. What are your thoughts about being accepted at IFFNY 2018 film festival and having your film screen in New York City?

Murilo Benicio: Everyone involved in the project and I are glad to receive the news about the festival. Both, festival and the New York City are huge! We are very honor for being invited.

NY Elite: Out of the 500 submissions world-wide, your film was selected as the top 40 for IFFNY. What does this mean for you in terms of representing your country/city at this international film competition?

Murilo Benicio: When you do your first film, you don’t know how the public will receive your ideas. When you are selected to a festival like IFFNY, it is like an award already. It is very important for the confidence of the fist time directors to continue to tell others stories.

NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?

Murilo Benicio: The Kiss.  Is a story about how the press and the police destroy Arandir’s (main character) life after he kissed a dying man.

NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?

The “Kiss” is a play form Nelson Rodrigues, one of the most important Brazilian’s playwrights. Besides the story itself, it is very important to show the world how amazing and important Nelson Rodrigues is.

NY Elite: The Red Carpet Opening Ceremony and the Awards Gala will take place at the renowned Kaufman Astoria Studios of New York. What do you want the audience at IFFNY to take away from this film?

Murilo Benicio: Unfortunately I won’t be able to be at the ceremony because I am about to start shooting my second film. I hope that “The Kiss” will have a good acceptance and wish to be able to participate this Festival again.

NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

Murilo Benicio: I think that what makes a good film is a good story with good acting and a good directing. 

Photo Credit: ©Ilir Rizaj Photography

Photo Credit: ©Ilir Rizaj Photography

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?

Murilo Benicio: Start directing and testing your ideas even if is with your phone.

NY Elite: What’s next for you?

Murilo Benicio: I start shooting my second film, “Pearl”.

NY Elite: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…agency, website

Murilo Benicio: Nowadays because of the Internet we can be next to the public from all around the world.


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