GEMS 2016 and Miami International Film Festival
Oct. 13-16 (GEMS) and March 3-12 (MIFF)
Miami-Dade College Tower Theater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami (for GEMS); and March 3-17 at multiple Miami and Miami Beach theaters (for MIFF); $13 per screening, $225 for VIP for GEMS and $9-$13 per screening, $30-$125 for parties and receptions at MIFF; 844-565-6433 or MiamiFilmFestival.com/GEMS
Two diamonds of rock, the Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop, are the subjects of new documentaries screening at GEMS, the every-fall offshoot of the Miami International Film Festival. Both films feel Floridian: The Paul Dugdale-directed "The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America" follows Mick Jagger and company's concert tour, which wrapped in Cuba in March. Meanwhile, Jim Jarmusch's ("Dead Man," "Broken Flowers") "Gimme Danger," an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, follows the loud and lurid career of Miami resident Iggy Pop. They're highlights of GEMS, which will screen several other acclaimed sleepers and Oscar-bait hopefuls angling for awards on the big film circuits. These whet the appetite for next March's MIFF, the program for which should be announced soon.
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Savor Cinema, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso – Hollywood, 2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, with screenings at several other Broward venues; $6-$11 per screening, $450 for festival pass; 954-525-3456 or FLIFF.com
South Florida’s biggest film festival got glamorous for its 30th anniversary last year, staging parties at Hard Rock Live adding star wattage with Christopher Lloyd and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. This year’s FLIFF celebrities leave us eager still, with red-carpet arrivals from indie-rocker Robert Schwartzman, his mother, Talia Shire (“Rocky,” “The Godfather”), Johnny Simmons (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) and Beverly D’Angelo (“National Lampoon's Vacation”). All four star in the Schwartzman-directed “Dreamland,” one of FLIFF’s marquee films. (Shire and D’Angelo also will collect lifetime achievement awards.) Other films debuting include the courtroom drama “Custody” (Viola Davis, Ellen Burstyn), the family drama “Lion,” (Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman) and the thriller “The Red Maple Leaf” (Martin Landau, James Caan).
Miami Jewish Film Festival
10 venues in Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Shores and Aventura; $11-$13; 305-573-7304 or MiamiJewishFilmFestival.com
Igor Shteyrenberg, 32, is a millennial. Which may help to explain why the executive director of the Miami Jewish Film Festival has been aggressively courting young movie buffs with a "Millennial Membership" (free screenings and discounts for anyone aged 21-35), one of the sharper programs stoking interest in the long-running festival. Within three years of overseeing the event, Shteyrenberg has quintupled membership from 4,000 in 2013 to 20,000 in 2016. Here's what else is creating interest: 2016 brought a new short-film category and an ambitious program of 80 films from 20 countries, touting films by first-time director Natalie Portman and stars such as Christopher Walken.
Palm Beach International Film Festival
March 29-April 2
The Palm Beaches Theatre, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan and other Palm Beach County theaters; $15-$27.50 per screening; 561-362-0003 or PBIFilmFest.org
Filmgoers saw a reinvented PBIFF when the festival returned in April, presenting 88 feature films in its new permanent home, the Palm Beaches Theatre in Manalapan, all led by a new president in Jeff Davis. The festival offered films starring David Paymer and Jonathan Pryce, but we flipped for the comedy "Silver Skies," starring George Hamilton and the late Dick Van Patten as aging actors kicked out of their retirement complex in Los Angeles, a setting that could just as easily double for Boca Raton. The PBIFF has yet to firm its lineup, but check the website closer to the festival's premiere.
Popcorn Frights Film Festival
O Cinema Wynwood, 90 NW 29th St., Miami; ticket prices to be announced; 305-571-9970 or PopcornFrights.com
South Florida's only horror film festival haunted the unscary month of August for its second year, getting a jump on Halloween and the fall film-festival circuit. The brainchild of Igor Shteyrenberg (who also heads the Miami Jewish Film Festival) and Marc Ferman, the weeklong fright fest delivered 17 sold-out feature films and 17 shorts. The movies — gory, nostalgic and comedic — showed that the genre, though underrepresented in Hollywood, still has plenty of fans, with films that starred Christopher Lloyd and Natasha Lyonne. Organizers expect 2017's lineup to be announced next summer.
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