November 2015, Volume 19, Number 5

Cultural Spotlight

GEMS Revs Up Audience for 33rd Film Festival

MDC’s Miami International Film Festival recently presented GEMS 2015, its permanent fall event to whet festivalgoers’ appetites for next year’s exciting 33rd edition running March 4-13, 2016. The four-day fall movie blitz premiered highly-touted films from the Cannes, Berlin and Sundance film festivals along with Oscar hopefuls and international box-office sensations from the U.S., Spain, Chile, Italy, France and Colombia, to name just a few. MDC’s Tower Theater Miami served as the exclusive venue for all screenings and seminars.

GEMS opened with director John Crowley’s Brooklyn, a film adapted by Nick Hornby (An Education) from the Colm Toibin bestselling novel starring Oscar nominee for Atonement, Saoirse Ronan. The festival came to a powerful close with Warner Bros’ highly-anticipated The 33. The epic film about the international rescue effort to save 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet underground for 69 days starred Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Rodrigo Santoro, Mario Casas and Lou Diamond Phillips.

“Film festivals are dazzling times, when the brightest lights of the current cinema are collected in one place for a concentrated moment,” said Jaie Laplante, Festival executive director. “So it was with this year’s GEMS selection, when film lovers of all types experienced las joyas de la corona – the crown jewels – of the season.”

GEMS also included:

  • The Assassin (Taiwan), directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, named best director at Cannes 2015
  • The Club (El club) (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín
  • Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) (Colombia), directed by Ciro Guerra, winner of a Directors’ Fortnight Award at Cannes 2015
  • Havana Motor Club (USA/Cuba), directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
  • It’s Now or Never (Ahora o nunca) (Spain), directed by Maria Ripoll
  • Krisha (USA), directed by Trey Edward Shults
  • Mia Madre (Italy), directed by Nanni Moretti
  • My Golden Days (France), directed by Arnaud Desplechin, winner of a Directors’ Fortnight Award at Cannes 2015
  • A Perfect Day (Spain), directed by Fernando León de Aranoa
  • Trash (U.K./Brazil), directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Yona (Israel), directed by Nir Bergman
  • Youth (Italy), directed by Paolo Sorrentino

In addition to a full slate of premieres, GEMS hosted a heartfelt master class tribute to the late Hollywood composer James Horner, who died in an aircraft accident in June not long after completing what would turn out to be one of his final great scores – the music for The 33, which closed the GEMS festival this year.

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