Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Independent Cuban film: A revolution in the revolution

March 6, 2015, 8:57 a.m., Posted by Fernando González

Film still from "Hotel Nueva Isla." Image courtesy of Miami International Film Festival.

One of the most intriguing series in the 32nd Miami International Film Festival is, without a doubt, the Emerging Cuban Program. Smartly made with limited means by an enterprising young generation of directors, some not yet in their 30s, the films include both features and shorts, dramatic pieces and documentaries.

Don’t expect car chases, explosions and special effects — or obvious political statements. Here, silences often speak louder than words, scenes breathe slowly, shots linger and even the lighting, more often the darkness, make subtle statements.

These are often intensely personal explorations of a country’s faded dreams (“The Project of the Century” part of the Knight Competition) and crumbling past (“Hotel Nueva Isla”); of honorable, creative lives lived in difficult circumstances (“Digna Guerra,” “Memorias del Abuelo”) , or the peculiar perversions of “a good man”  (“El Mundo de Raúl”).

Some tips on on applying for Knight News Challenge: Elections

March 5, 2015, 3:29 p.m., Posted by Lucas Hernandez

Photo by Flickr user notsosubtle.

The Knight News Challenge on Elections is open through March 19 for your ideas to better inform voters and increase civic participation. It’s your chance to share in more than $3 million.

Wednesday, we hosted our first virtual office hours. Below are seven of the most common questions we’ve received - and our answers. (You can also check out our FAQ and application tips) at

What do you mean by “innovation”?

We believe that innovation can come from anywhere: both new and established enterprises, the commercial and nonprofit sectors, as well as individuals. We look for ambition amid existing constraints. Whatever your idea, make sure it pushes boundaries to help people become better informed about the world around them.  And here are some thoughts from Knight President Alberto Ibargüen on the work we do.


Miami International Film Festival competitions showcase diverse themes, talents

March 5, 2015, 12:54 p.m., Posted by Fernando González

Film still from 'Project of the Century,' one of 11 Knight Competition entries. Photo courtesy Miami International Film Festival.

The 32nd Miami International Film Festival, which begins Friday, not only boasts an impressive schedule that includes an Academy Award nominee (Argentina’s “Wild Tales,”), programs on Asian and French film, documentaries and emerging Cuban filmmakers, but also five awards, all with cash prizes.

Two are supported by Knight Foundation: the Knight Competition and the Knight Documentary Achievement Award. The first focuses on dramatic works and awards $40,000 in prizes for the Best Film, Best Director and Best Performance, chosen by a panel of jurors. Audience members get to select the documentary prize, which is open to all documentaries in the festival and  awards $10,000.