Miami International Film Festival Reveals GEMS Line-Up
Don’t want to wait until 2016 for your film festival fix? Thankfully, you don’t have to. From October 22-25, the Miami International Film Festival will be bringing back their mini fall season festival, this time under a new name: GEMS. Now set to be an annual event, GEMS is a mid-season festival that will showcase the best that international cinema has to offer exclusively at MDC’s Tower Theater, featuring some award-winning titles coming straight off the heels of their debuts at festivals like Cannes, Berlin and SXSW. Over the course of four days, GEMS will premiere 14 acclaimed films from all over the world, including Taiwan, Colombia, France, and Israel.
Highlights include Opening Night film “Brooklyn,” an Irish coming-of-age film starring Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleason, and Closing Night film “The 33,” which boasts a star-studded cast made up of Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Rodrigo Santoro in the cinematic retelling of the Chilean miners disaster that dominated the media in 2010.
Other noteworthy titles include “The Assassin,” a Taiwanese martial arts film that won Hou Hsiao-Hsien the prestigious Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, and “Youth,” starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, whose previous film “The Great Beauty” won the Best Foreign-Language Oscar in 2014.
In addition to the much-anticipated films that will make their Miami premiere at GEMS, there will also be a Master Class Tribute for late composer James Horner, who is best known for creating “Titanic”’s iconic score.
Check out the full line-up below:
Brooklyn (USA / Ireland), directed by John Crowley *OPENING NIGHT FILM – FOLLOWED BY OPENING NIGHT PARTY
Adapted by Nick Hornby (An Education) from the Colm Toibin bestselling novel, this 1950s story follows the life of a young Irish woman caught between tradition and passion, between two countries and two futures. Starring Oscar nominee for Atonement, Saoirse Ronan, the cast also includes Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Emory Cohen, and Domhnall Gleason.
The 33 (USA / Chile), directed by Patricia Riggen *CLOSING NIGHT FILM – FOLLOWED BY CLOSING NIGHT PARTY
An international rescue effort to save 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 foot underground for 69 days in the Copiapó mine riveted over a billion people in 2010, and now a superb international film adaptation recreates the details of that unprecedented event. The epic list of cast names includes Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Rodrigo Santoro.
The Assassin (Taiwan), directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien *WINNER OF BEST DIRECTOR AT CANNES 2015
In 9th century China, 10-year-old Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who transforms her into an impressive warrior. One day, she is sent back to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man whom she was promised, and Nie Yinniang must choose: assassinate the man she loves or break forever from the sacred honor of her training.
The Club (El club) (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín
Director Pablo Larraín’s follow-up to his global success and Oscar-nominated No, (starring Gael García Bernal), is a tough, scathing and psychologically sobering indictment on the Catholic Church’s handling of moral failings within the institution.
Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) (Colombia), directed by Ciro Guerra *WINNER OF TOP DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT AWARD AT CANNES 2015
Guerra’s previous film, The Wind Journeys (2009), was an international hit and one of the 2010 Festival’s most popular films in Miami. For his new film, Guerra travels deep into the wilds of the Amazon jungle, and into the dangerous territory of the historical past. This is an epic and thrilling journey, capped with velvety, rich black & white cinematography, confirming Guerra’s status as one of Latin America’s most confident talents.
Havana Motor Club (USA / Cuba), directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
One of the most fascinating events of Miami International Film Festival in 2014 was filmmaker Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s special presentation on his creative process in constructing his portrait of Cuba’s top underground drag racers of classic American cars. A year later, the film is now complete, and GEMS is delighted to bring Perlmutt back to Miami to share the finished work.
It’s Now or Never (Ahora o nunca) (Spain), directed by Maria Ripoll
This summer’s biggest homegrown box office hit in Spain, It’s Now or Never pairs Spain’s newest film star, Dani Rovira, whose charms help propel Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos) to become Spain’s all-time box office champion, with the luminous Goya winner María Valverde, who gets a rare opportunity to demonstrate her comedic gifts. The result is a frothy, frisky comedy of first-class creative power, expertly timed and filled with joyous performances, from the leads to the delightful character actors found in even the smallest roles. Clara Lago and Alicia Rubio co-star in this comedy that once again proves no one does inspired silliness quite like the Spanish.
Krisha (USA), directed by Trey Edward Shults
Winner of both the Grand Jury Price and the Audience Award at SXSW earlier this year, Trey Edward Shults’ highly personal and compelling hypnotic drama was also selected at this year’s Critics Week in Cannes. Shults has already drawn comparisons to the work of legendary American independent director John Cassavetes for their use of family members in the cast and also their maverick avant-garde style of shooting favoring characters and scenes that envelop the viewer in both observation and emotion.
Mia Madre (Italy), directed by Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre is possibly his most personal film, and a master class on autobiographical cinema. It displays without question why Moretti is considered one of the most skilled living filmmakers to create powerful universal drama out of our smallest little big tragedies. John Turturro co-stars.
My Golden Days (France), directed by Arnaud Desplechin *WINNER OF DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT AWARD AT CANNES 2015
After years working abroad, anthropologist Paul Dedalus (Mathieu Amalric) returns to France to find an explosive emotional time bomb awaits him. This epic coming of age tale portrays first love as a candid, sensual and unique experience that his alter-ego discovers could leave a mark that will last as long as life itself.
A Perfect Day (Spain), directed by Fernando León de Aranoa.
Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa makes his first English language film with this Cannes-debuting tale of 24 hours in the lives of two veteran humanitarian aid workers in the waning days of the 1995 Balkan War. Veteran Hollywood stars Benicio del Toro and Tim Robbins are in fine form as the leads, who hold on to their boyish charms even as they age with graceful wisdom.
Trash (U.K. / Brazil), directed by Stephen Daldry. *SPECIAL GEMS PREVIEW NIGHT ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.
Three-time Best Director Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader) delivers the soaring triumphs of his earlier successes, while shining a spotlight on the sobering challenges facing one of the world’s most closely-watched cities, Rio de Janeiro. The high-powered cast includes Brazilian superstars Wagner Moura (Elite Squad) and Selton Mello (Jean Charles, The Clown), as well as Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara.
Yona (Israel), directed by Nir Bergman
Like a “living thunderbolt”, the bold and nonconformist Yona Wallach stormed through Tel-Aviv’s male-dominated political and poetry circles in the 1960s. Yona’s work eventually became recognized in the most prominent literary books and magazines of her time, and she was honored with the Israeli Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 1978. Director Nir Bergman’s biopic vividly captures Yona’s highs, lows and her brave rebellion against a chauvinistic society with her unique voice.
Youth (Italy), directed by Paolo Sorrentino
The space (and communion) between the generations is the subject of Paolo Sorrentino’s newest Fellini-tinged masterpiece. Coming off his 2014 Oscar win for Best Foreign-Language Film for The Great Beauty, the Italian auteur is on a roll, orchestrating grand themes around life’s wisdom with a phenomenal cast of actors including Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Jane Fonda.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 1st. For more information, visit www.MiamiFilmFestival.com.
Lauren Cohen was born and raised in Miami Beach and graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in Motion Pictures. She has been writing about film since 2009, with her movie reviews and features appearing regularly in Examiner.com and Miami Beach News, among others. She’s interviewed some of the most recognizable faces in the film industry, including Daniel Craig, Emma Stone, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Javier Bardem. An avid supporter of the arts, Lauren also works with the Miami Film Festival to promote the best of world cinema to the Miami community.