Miami Film Festival’s GEMS 2017 Films October 12 Through October 15

If it’s been too long since you’ve had a dose of the Miami Film Festival, there’s good news: GEMS is returning to satiate your filmgoing desires. Now in its third year, the 2017 edition of the fest will take place October 12 through 15 at Miami Dade College’s Tower Theater. And the full lineup has plenty to get you excited.

Opening night for GEMS will kick off with Luca Guadagnino’s queer romance Call Me by Your Name, starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, which also serves as the Florida premiere for the film. Following the film will be the opening-night party, A Taste of Alta Italia, in celebration of October’s Italian Heritage Month.

A number of GEMS features this year focus on the Sunshine State, most notable of all being Sean Baker’s The Florida Project. The film will screen October 5 as a festival preview; Baker and others from the production will present the film in person. Additionally, Antonio Mendez Esparza’s Life and Nothing More will receive its U.S. premiere in the very state where it takes place, and the filmmaker will attend.

On top of this, the seminar Don’t Take Yes for an Answer will feature Haitian-American filmmakers Edson Jean and Joshua Jean-Baptiste speaking about their recently wrapped eight-episode web series, Vakabon. The series was filmed entirely in Miami on a $2.5 million budget and the result of a winning pitch the duo made to Project Greenlight Digital Studio’s contest Get the Greenlight Digital Series.

The Square

Magnolia Pictures

Several award-winning films will also be featured. Robert Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square, which is Sweden’s official submission to the Academy Awards this year, is part of the lineup. Alongside it will be works such as Agnes Varda and JR’s documentary, Faces Places, and Fatih Akin’s In the Fade, which stars Diane Kruger and is Germany’s official submission to the Academy Awards this year.

For the first time, the Miami Film Festival will also introduce a virtual-reality (VR) sidebar throughout GEMS weekend. In partnership with MDC’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC), the sidebar will allow attendees to experience four 360-degree videos by Angel Manuel Soto during VR Escape.

Tickets will go on sale to Miami Film Society members exclusively Tuesday, September 19, and to the public Friday, September 22. Find the full Miami GEMS 2017 slate at

GEMS. October 12 through 15 at Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-237-2463; Tickets cost $10 to $13; special event ticket prices vary.

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