With film festival season news circulating online, FOMO can kick in and leave us without being able to see the best new independent films. Fret not fellow cinephiles, Miami Film Festival has you covered as they present Gems 2019 in Miami. A selection of international films are coming to 8th street near you October 10-13, at MDC Tower Theatre, located at 1508 SW 8th street. If you are familiar with the film festival happenings, who/ what/where/when and how then you’ll be ready, but if you are new to the city or want to check out a new way of seeing films, read through and you’ll be the first in line to get tickets to the films all of us locals don’t want to miss.

‘Dolor y Gloria’ by Pedro Almodóvar

The film festival’s Opening Night commences with this sure-to-be-classic, the special event will take place October 10th, 7:30pm. In Almodóvar’s autobiographical film, Antonio Banderas plays Salvador Mallo, the role he won Best Actor for at Cannes, flawless and ever so enchanting Penelope Cruz is Salvador’s mother during his childhood. Another of Almodóvar’s muses, Cecila Roth makes an appearance, Asier Etxeandía, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Julieta Serrano make up the phenomenal cast. What can not be missed is the artistic direction; you will be visually stimulated, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh and you won’t be disappointed.

‘Clemency’

(Knight Marimbas Award, Miami Film Festival’s top award)
Director and writer Chinonye Chukwu took home Sundance’s highest prize this year. Alfre Woodward, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff, Danielle Brooks are part of the cast that portray the chilling reality of death row and the collateral damage.
Friday, October 11th, 7:10pm.

‘Dolemite Is My Name’

Eddie Murphy in a Shaft-esque inspiration, set in Los Angeles in the 1970s is director Craig Brewer’s latest feature. A struggling comedian with a group of friends played by Snoop Dogg, Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps to a name a few of the cast. The costume design is by Oscar- winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter. To be noted, Eddie Murphy is back on the silver screen.
Sunday, October 13th, 2:45pm.

‘Honey Boy’

The cool Alma Har’el directs Shia LaBeouf’s screenplay where he portrays his dad. Actors Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, Anita Gou and Shia LaBeouf. The actor and writer has put his autobiography on screen to work out his authentic struggle. The film has received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and lucky for us we don’t have to wait anymore to see it.
Saturday, October 12th, 7pm.

‘Les Misérables’

(Jordan Ressler First Feature Award)
French film, Ladj Ly directs the depiction of a suburb of Paris 150 years after Victor Hugo’s classical novel. The film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival.
Saturday, October 12th, 1:30pm.

‘Marriage Story’

I love anything by writer and director Noah Baumbach. Add in performances by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, and the subject of love and the end of it and I will be the first in line. The trailer is heartbreaking, but leaves you wanting to know more about the human condition of separations.
Sunday, October 13th, 2pm.

‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Edward Norton, wrote, directed, produced and stars in this prestigious film alongside extraordinary actors Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe. Check out the trailer for the adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel with the same name as the film and I will see you at the screening.
Sunday, October 13th, 5pm.

‘Portrait Of A Lady on Fire’

(Knight Marimbas Award)
This film won best screenplay in Cannes. A film by Céline Sciamma depicts the profession of a portrait painter and her subject who she must accompany on outings instead of the traditional approach of having a member of the prominent family pose for a portrait. The portrait is to be shown to find “an eligible suitor”, yet she refuses to partake in such a custom and an intimacy begins between the two women.
Saturday, October 12th, 9:30pm.

‘The Truth’

France and Japan production, the film is in French, La Vérité, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, starring film legend Catherine Deneuve et Juliette Binoche and back to French cinema since having played Julie Delpy’s love interest in Before Sunset, Ethan Hawke. This throuple lights up the screen as they portray a mother and daughter story of resentment. Please go see this!
Friday, October 11th, 7:15pm.

‘The Two Popes’

(Centerpiece)
Anthony Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce portrays Pope Francis. Fernando Meirelles, director of City of God, Anthony McCarten, writer of The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour. This film is inspired by a true story of the differences between the leaders and which leadership fits best for their following, traditional or adapting to modern times.
Saturday, October 12th, 6:45pm.

‘Parasite’

(Knight Marimbas Award)
This will be shown on Closing Night, This year’s Palm d’Or winner at Cannes Film Festival is Bong Joon-Ho’s masterpiece, a Korean family led crime makes for a suspenseful spiderweb of events involving forgery and classism.
Sunday, October 13th, 8pm.

Miami Film Festival organizes Gems in October and the venue is local favorite, Tower Theatre. Seating is limited and a ticket does not guarantee a seat since they sell rush tickets and your pre-bought ticket will be given away if you don’t show up and seated 15 minutes before showtime. So, pick up the cortadito at the spot next door, in front of, or at the theatre after purchasing your ticket. Plan what films you want to see by checking out Gems 2019 program, mark your calendars and make sure you’ve got a ticket.

Cover photo by Dazed.