I, Daniel Blake Wins Audience Award at Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival’s GEMS

Marcos Carnevale accepts PRECIOUS GEM AWARD Tribute at Inseparables screening

Miami, FL — I, Daniel Blake, the Cannes Palme d’Or-winning populist drama by Ken Loach about a middle-aged construction worker and young single mother caught up in a hellacious fight to secure welfare benefits in modern day Great Britain, emerged victorious yesterday in the coveted Audience Award category at GEMS 2016, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Film Festival annual fall film event.

The 80-year-old Loach has been tapped as a strong possibility to garner his first Best Director Academy Award nomination in January for I, Daniel Blake, seen by many industry insiders as a resonant summation of Loach’s 50+ years making films that champion the concerns of the common man against the indifference of the establishment machine. The film will be released by IFC Films on December 23rd.

As previously announced, the other major award of GEMS 2016 was the Festival’s PRECIOUS GEM AWARD, bestowed on veteran Argentine filmmaker Marcos Carnevale, prior to the U.S. premiere screening of his new film, Inseparables. The Argentine remake of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s global French hit The Intouchables was warmly receive by Miami audiences, boding well for The Weinstein Company’s upcoming U.S. remake, which is to star Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. Carnevale was presented the award by Miami Film Festival director Jaie Laplante, who praised Carnevale’s ouevre of humanist cinema, which has included such box office hits as Elsa & Fred and Corazon de leon.

The awards capped a four-day weekend of dazzling cinematic jewels for GEMS 2016, now in its third edition. The Festival opened with a rapturous screening of the documentary The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America, which had emotional audience members recalling personal experiences of persecution under the totalitarian regime in Cuba, and the subsequent symbolism of the legendary rock band’s free concert in Havana on March 25th of this year. The film was revealed as the runner-up in balloting for the Audience Award, named in honor of the late Miami arts patron Gigi Guermont.

The Cannes-winning film from Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman, and Germany’s Oscar entry by Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann, were among the films that received the biggest buzz over the GEMS weekend.  Chile’s Oscar submission Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, proved wildly popular and was praised for its innovative narrative and strong performances. Christine, the new film by Antonio Campos about the true and tragic Florida story of ’70s era television reporter Christine Chubbuck, personified by a magnificent Rebecca Hall in the title role, was also among the weekend’s major talking points.

The 34th annual Miami Film Festival will take place March 3-12, 2017.  Advance ticket packages are already on sale at www.miamifilmfestival.com or by calling 1-844-565-6433 (MIFF). For membership opportunities or more information, email membership@miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).  Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival event housed within a college or university.

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About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival

Celebrating its 34th anniversary March 3 – 12, 2017, Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. The Festival’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Additionally, every October, the Festival hosts a mid-season festival titled GEMS, showcasing the season’s finest new cinematic works. Major sponsors of the 2017 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

About Culture at Miami Dade College

The Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC) is composed of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, Tower Theater Miami, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design. MDC is committed to providing its community with the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDC offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. For more information, visit mdc.edu/arts.

Miami Film Festival Contacts:

Salazar PR, Andrea Salazar | +1 954-756-0652 | asalazarpr@gmail.com

Clique PR, Dina Allende | +1 305-205-1058 | dina@makeitclique.com