Florida in Miami Film Festival GEMS 2017


The Miami Herald announces films featuring Florida in the 2017 Miami Film Festival GEMS spotlight. The festival, which started yesterday, is taking place October 12-15 at MDC’s Tower Theater Miami in Little Havana. GEMS is a fall extension of the Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival that will celebrates its 35th edition next March. The Miami Herald writes:

Miami GEMS Festival features four Florida productions covering distinct areas of the state.

From Tallahassee, the moving neo-realistic drama Life and Nothing More (Friday, Oct. 13th at 9:15pm) follows Regina, an all-American matriarch struggling with the single-parent dynamic raising her adolescent son and young daughter, against a backdrop of racial tension and economic disparity in the state capital. Declared as “one of the 10 best films of Toronto International Film Festival” by entertainment-leader Variety, this humanist drama is the second film directed by Spaniard and FSU professor Antonio Méndez Esparza, who will be present at the US premiere of the film at GEMS to discuss the film with the audience.

Highlighting much of the beauty of the Florida Keys that was recently devastated by Hurricane Irma, a special screening of award-winning Italian filmmaker Paolo Virzi’s The Leisure Seeker (Sunday, Oct. 15th at 1pm) starring Donald Sutherland and Oscar winner Helen Mirren will donate 100% of its ticket sales to the Keys relief effort via United Way of the Florida Keys. A married couple in the twilight of their years takes a road trip that provides revelation and surprise along the way to their destination of Key West — filmed on location. This special benefit screening is courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, who will distribute the film in 2018.

The toast of both the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes and the recent Toronto International Film Festival, Sean Baker’s Orlando production The Florida Project will both kick-off GEMS at a special preview on Oct. 5th and play for a public screening on Sunday, Oct. 15th at 4:25pm.  Starring Willem Dafoe in a performance that is generating major Oscar buzz, this touching film features on a precocious 6-year-old girl named Moonee living on the margins of the city that hosts the most popular amusement parks in the world. Although the world of Disney princesses is far away from Moonee’s reality, her imagination makes a particular kingdom out of her highway motel world.

And from Miami comes a sneak preview (by way of a Seminar Conversation on Saturday, Oct. 14th at 1pm) of the forthcoming work of Haitian-Miamian co-creators Edson Jean and Joshua Jean-Baptiste. Imagine you have a dream to create your own episodic series. You enter your three-minute video pitch in Project Greenlight’s first post-HBO initiative—and you win the $25,000 top prize! That’s what happened last year to Jean and Jean-Baptiste. Dream come true? Not so fast. The co-creators will join Festival director Jaie Laplante in a conversation seminar entitled Don’t Take Yes For An Answer.

GEMS celebrates the best of world cinema and more than a dozen other productions from beyond the Florida borders — including the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or winner The Square, a satirical comedy from Sweden directed by Ruben Östlund, starring Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss. For the first time ever, Miami Film Festival will highlight Virtual Reality content. During the complete run of GEMS, new content from the Festival’s Puerto Rican alumnus director Angel Manuel Soto, including “After the Storm”, which takes the viewer inside the world of communities destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

For the complete line-up, schedule and to purchase tickets, visit miamifilmfestival.com

For full article, see http://www.miamiherald.com/advertise/sponsored_content/?prx_t=GhIDAI4MUAR-4DA

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