Miami International Film Festival announces the 2015 GEMS lineup

‘The 33’ recounts the Chilean mining disaster of 2010.
‘The 33’ recounts the Chilean mining disaster of 2010. WARNER BROS.

Youth, a contemplation of wisdom and mortality starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel by the Oscar-winning writer-director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty); The Assassin, the first martial arts extravangaza directed by the renowned Chinese filmmaker Hsiao-hsien Hou; and The 33, a dramatic reenactment of the harrowing rescue of a group of Chilean miners trapped underground after a cave-in, are among the highlights of the Miami International Film Festival’s 2015 GEMS showcase, running Oct. 22-25.

Presented by Miami Dade College, GEMS is an annual showcase of celebrated films intended to whet moviegoers’ appetites for the main festival event, which will celebrate its 33rd anniversary March 4-13, 2016. All films will be screened at the Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami.

“Film festivals are dazzling times, when the shiniest lights of the current cinema are collected in one place for a concentrated moment,” festival executive director Jaie Laplante stated in a press release announcing the lineup. “So it is with this year's GEMS selection, and I invite film lovers of all types to experience las joyas de la corona [the jewels of the crown] of the season."

In addition to screenings, GEMS will also host a master class tribute to the late composer James Horner (Titanic, The 33), hosted by Miami-based composer Carlos Rafael Rivera (A Walk Among The Tombstones).

Here is the complete list of the 14 movies being screened. Tickets will go on sale to Miami Film Society members Friday, September 25, 2015 and to the general public on Thursday, October 1, 2015. For more information, call 1-844-565-6433 or visit www.miamifilmfestival.com/GEMS

▪  Brooklyn (opening night film): Adapted by Nick Hornby (An Education) from the Colm Toibin bestselling novel, this 1950s story follows the life of a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan) after she leaves her family and home to pursue the American dream.

▪  The 33 (closing night film): An international rescue effort to save 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 foot underground for 69 days in the Copiapó mine riveted over a billion people in 2010. Director Patricia Riggen recreates the details of the catastrophe with a cast that includes Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Rodrigo Santoro.

▪  The Assassin: Hsiao-hsien Hou won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this story of a In 9th century China, 10-year-old Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who transforms her into an impressive warrior in ninth-century China and sends her home with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised to marry.

▪  The Club: Chilean director Pablo Larraín's follow-up to his global success and Oscar-nominated No is an indictment on the Catholic Church's handling of moral failings within the institution.

▪  Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente): Director Ciro Guerra travels deep into the wilds of the Amazon jungle and into the dangerous territory of the historical past to tell the story of the search for a scared healing plant, shot in luminous black-and-white.

▪  Havana Motor Club: A documentary look at the unlikely drag-racing culture, using restored classic American cars, in post-Revolution Cuba.

▪  It’s Now or Never (Ahora o nunca): A box office smash in its native Spain, this comedy details the chaotic events that transpire as two familes prepare for a wedding.

▪  Krisha: Writer-director Trey Edward Shults channels John Cassevetes with this story of a young woman who reunites with her estranged relatives to celebrate Thanksgiving.

▪  Mia Madre: Nanni Moretti (The Son’s Room, Caro Diario) wrote and directed this drama about a filmmaker dealing with the loss of her mother.

▪  My Golden Days: The great Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale, Kings & Queen) directs this drama about an anthropologist (Mathieu Amalric) revisiting his turbulent youth as he prepares to return home to Paris after years of working abroad.

▪  A Perfect Day: Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa makes his English-language debut with this look at 24 hours in the lives of two veteran humanitarian aid workers (Benicion del Toro and Tim Robbins) in the waning days of the 1995 Balkan War.

▪  Trash: Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Readers) directs this story of three kids from the slums of Rio who find a wallet while picking through a garbage heap. (Special GEMS preview screening, Oct. 5)

▪  Yona: Nir Bergman directs this biopic of the nonconformist Yona Wallach, who challenged Tel-Aviv's male-dominated, chauvinistic political and poetry circles in the 1960s.

▪  Youth: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda star in Paolo Sorrentino’s Fellini-tinged exploration of the emotional and intellectual differences between youth and old age.