The seventh annual edition of Gems will be held virtually from Oct. 8-11. The juried prize, which carries a $25,000 award, is given for a film that best exemplifies richness and resonance for cinema’s future.
“Black Bear is a U.S. film, directed by Lawrence Michael Levine and starring Aubrey Plaza, Sara Gadon and Christopher Abbot. It premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Kokoloko” (Mexico), directed by Gerardo Naranjo, received a Best Actor prize for Noé Hernández at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.
“Night of the Kings” comes from Ivory Coast, France, Canada and Senegal. Directed by Philippe Lacôte, it is the Ivory Coast’s official submission in the Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category
“Rosa’s Wedding” (Spain) is a mid-life comedy directed by Icíar Bollaín. “Undine” (Germany, France), directed by Christian Petzold, received a Best Actress prize for Paula Beers at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival
Miami Film Festival, presented by Miami Dade College, will continue its partnership with Variety to host a virtual panel with some of the 10 Latinx To Watch on Oct. 9, rescheduled from the March festival, with participants to be announced. The list, announced earlier this year, includes: Melissa Barrera, actor (“Vida,” “In the Heights”); Angel Bismark Curiel, actor (“Pose,” “Critical Thinking,” “Latin History for Morons); Julissa Calderon, actor (“Gentefied”); Chesca, artist/singer/dancer; Carolina Costa, cinematographer (“Workforce,” “Hala,” “Wander Darkly”).
Also on the list are Marina di Girolamo, actor (“Ema”); Gonzalo Maza, writer/director (“This is Cristina,” “A Fantastic Woman”).
Cesar Mazariegos, writer/director (“High & Mighty,” “The Simpsons”); Camila Mendes, actor (“Palm Springs,” “Riverdale”); and
Tainy, music producer (Bad Bunny’s “X 100pre”).
The first two films announced to compete for the Festival’s 2021 $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Film Award are both American films – Ekwa Msangi’s “Farewell Amor” and Emma Seligman’s “Shiva Baby.”
The Gems festival will host five special presentation screenings, including three films that were originally programmed for the 2020 Miami Film Festival in March but were cancelled due to the pandemic: “Out in the Open” (Spain), directed by Benito Zambrano; “This is Cristina (Chile), directed by Gonzalo Maza, the 2020 Miami Film Festival $10,000 Jordan Ressler First Feature Film Award winner, executive produced by Salma Hayek; “Us Kids” (U.S.), directed by Kim A. Snyder; “My Prince Edward” (Hong Kong), directed by Norris Wong Yee-Lam, winner of Best New Director at 2020 Hong Kong Film Awards; and
“Sound of Metal “(U.S., Belgium), directed by Darius Marder and starring Riz Ahmed.
Competing for the Documentary Achievement Award are three American titles — “Finding Yingying,” directed by Jiayan “Jenny” Shi; “We Don’t Deserve Dogs,” directed by Matthew Salleh; and “Women in Blue,” directed by Deidre Fishel, which examines the challenges of a racial spectrum of women in law enforcement via the prism of Minneapolis Police Department in the months and years leading up to George Floyd’s death.