Fest to Open with “Radical” and Honor Eugenio Derbez;  Four Centerpiece Screenings to Spotlight “Society of the Snow,” “American Fiction,” “The Boy and the Heron” and “Saltburn;” closing night film “The Holdovers”

Miami, FL (Oct. 3, 2023)Miami Dade College’s (MDC) renowned Miami Film Festival today unveiled the lineup for its 10th Miami Film Festival (MFF) GEMS, the festival’s fall midseason event taking place from Nov. 2 – 5 at MDC’s Koubek Center and Silverspot Cinema. GEMS will feature 26 films from 14 countries, opening with the Mexican drama “Radical.” Four Centerpiece Screenings – the survivalist thriller “Society of the Snow,” the animated feature “The Boy and the Heron,” provocative comedy “American Fiction” and psychological thriller drama “Saltburn”– leading to the closing night feature, “The Holdovers,” a comedy-drama by Alexander Payne starring Paul Giamatti.

The festival will open on Nov. 2 with “Radical,” directed by Christopher Zalla, based on a true story about a teacher in a Mexican border town full of neglect, corruption and violence who tries a new method to unlock his students’ curiosity, potential…and maybe even their genius. The film stars Eugenio Derbez, who will receive GEMS’ Impact Award for his extraordinary contribution to the Latin American entertainment landscape, as well bringing attention to the advancement of educational equity for Latino students. Immediately following the screening, GEMS will host its annual Opening Night Celebration, celebrating Mexican culture on the Day of the Dead.

Four Centerpiece Screenings will take place over the weekend. Spain’s official submission to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature, “Society of the Snow,” directed by J. A. Bayona, recounts the thrilling true story about the flight of a rugby team that crashes on a glacier in the Andes. The few passengers who survive the crash find themselves in one of the world’s toughest environments to survive. TIFF Audience Award winner “American Fiction,” directed by Cord Jefferson, tells the story of Monk, a frustrated novelist who is fed up with the establishment that profits from Black entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, he uses a pen name to write an outlandish Black book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. The MGM/Orion Pictures film stars Jeffrey Wright, Adam Brody, Issa Rae, Keith David, Tracee Ellis Ross and Sterling K. Brown. Animated film “The Boy and the Heron,” directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is about a young 12-year-old boy who struggles to settle in a new town after his mother’s death until a talking heron informs Mahito that his mother is still alive and transports him to another world. “Saltburn,” directed and written by Emerald Fennell and starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi and Rosamund Pike, is about a student who is invited to an eccentric classmate’s estate for an exciting summer.

The festival has arranged a special culinary pairing with Undisclosed by Meat N’ Bone: “The Taste of Things: A Culinary Ode in 8 Acts,” a dining experience that transcends mere meals to resonate with the very essence of the film that inspired it. Chef Chucho Rojas’ custom-designed eight-course culinary experience evokes the magic and emotion of the cinema. Chucho trained and worked under the tutelage of Chef Pierre Gagnair, who not only appeared in the film but also served as its culinary director.

Closing out the 10th edition on Nov. 5, GEMS will present “The Holdovers” by acclaimed director Alexander Payne. The film stars Paul Giamatti as a cranky history teacher at a prep school who is forced to remain on campus over the holidays with a student who has no family plans.

Other notable films screening at the 2023 GEMS festival includes 7 Official Submissions to the Academy Awards Best International Feature Film award category:

  • “All of Us Strangers” (Directed by Andrew Haigh)
  • “The Delinquents” (Directed by Rodrigo Moreno)
  • “Dream Scenario” (Directed by Kristoffer Borgli)
  • “Drift” (Directed by Anthony Chen)
  • “Evil Does Not Exist” (Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
  • “Fallen Leaves” (Directed by Aki Kaurismäki) *Finland’s Official Submission
  • “I Used to Be Funny” (Directed by Ally Pankiw)
  • “La Chimera’ (Directed by Alice Rohrwacher)
  • “Memory” (Directed by Michel Franco)
  • “The Monk and The Gun” (Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji) *Bhutan’s Official Submission
  • “Monster” (Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • “Pay Or Die” (Directed by Rachael Dyer and Scott Alexander Ruderman)
  • “Perfect Days” (Directed by Wim Wenders) *Japan’s Official Submission
  • “The Promised Land” (Directed by Wim Wenders) *Denmark’s Official Submission
  • “Robot Dreams” (Directed by Pablo Berger)
  • “The Taste of Things” – Culinary Pairing (Directed by Anh Hung Tran) *France’s Official Submission
  • “The Teacher’s Lounge” (Directed by Ilker Çatak) *Germany’s Official Submission
  • “They Called Him Mostly Harmless” (Directed by Patricia E. Gillespie)
  • “Totem” (Directed by Lila Avilés) *Mexico’s Official Submission

Giving audiences a taste of things to come is GEMS Preview Night on October 10 featuring Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.” Winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, this thrilling drama plays out like an operatic autopsy, dissecting one woman’s life – and tumultuous marriage – after her husband dies under suspicious circumstances. Part courtroom drama, part mystery, the film will have you questioning the very nature of truth itself.

“This year’s GEMS is all about coming together to celebrate excellence in cinema. This lineup gives audiences not just cultural diversity, but a curated package of films that span the gamut of everything from star-studded crowd pleasers to prestige pictures from some of cinema’s most beloved auteurs. We’re so proud to have a lineup of films that will inspire audiences and reignite their love of cinema,” said Lauren Cohen, Director of Programming.

Announced yesterday, James Woolley will serve as the new executive director of Miami Film Festival. Woolley will oversee all festival operations and activities while nurturing relationships with established and emerging filmmakers, distributors, sponsors, donors and the greater Miami film community.

“Now celebrating its 10th edition, GEMS has become a key stop on the road to awards season, and this year is no exception,” said Woolley. “We’re looking forward to bringing the best films of the fall season to our audience, and to spending four full days in the theater together basking in the collective movie-going experience.”

MDC also announced the expansion of its Koubek Center theater, which has been newly equipped with state-of-the-art screen and sound. This 195-seat cinema will be unveiled to the public as the main host of the upcoming Miami Film Festival GEMS. Longtime MFF partner Silverspot Cinemas, located in downtown Miami, will also serve as a venue for this year’s edition.

The complete GEMS 2023 lineup and schedule is available at Beginning Oct. 6, tickets will go on sale exclusively for Miami Film Society members. Starting at just $50 annually, members enjoy exclusive presale access and discounts for all Festival screenings and events as well as complimentary screenings throughout the year. For more information visit Tickets to the general public will go on sale beginning Oct. 13.

About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival

Celebrating cinema in two annual events, Miami Film Festival GEMS (10th annual edition, November 2-5, 2023), and Miami Film Festival (41st annual edition April 5-14, 2024), 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 welcomes more than 45,000 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. Major sponsors of Miami Film Festival GEMS include Knight Foundation, Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami-Dade County, and the State of Florida. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. For more information, visit or call 305-237-FILM (3456).

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Miami Film Festival Media Relations Contacts:


Steven Wilson, Scenario Communications | (310) 497-4951 |

Kylie Elliot, Scenario Communications | (818) 224-0839 |


Rachel Pinzur, Pinzur Communications | (305) 725-2875 |