2021 Miami Film Festival Announces Int’l Feature Films on Slate

Natalie Oganesyan
·4 min read

Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival announced its shortlist of international feature film submissions that will screen during its 10-day hybrid event, with virtual and in-theater presentations, March 5-14. This year’s festival will present films from Academy Award-winning director Fernando Trueba and Oscar-nominated filmmakers Agnieszka Holland and Majid Majidi, among others.

For his performance in bringing a national hero to life, the festival will present a precious gem award to the star of “El Olvido Que Seremos,” Javier Cámara, prior to the film’s U.S. premiere. The festival’s signature award, the precious gem award honors the top stars of films whose one-of-a-kind performances are unforgettable. Cámara’s career accomplishments include a Goya award for “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed” and acclaimed performances in HBO’s “The Young Pope” and Netflix’s “Narcos,” as well as starring roles in Pedro Almodóvar’s films “Talk to Her,” “Bad Education” and “I’m So Excited!”

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Variety will continue its multi-year partnership with the Miami Film Festival through its 93rd Academy Awards Intl. Feature Shortlist Roundtable. The virtual panel, which will feature the director, writer or producer of the Oscars shortlisted international feature films, will be moderated by film awards editor Clayton Davis and debut March 5.
“El Olvido Que Seremos,” Colombia’s submission, spotlights the real-life story of Dr. Héctor Abad Gómez, a medical doctor and human-rights activist who worked to revolutionize health care access in the country before his death in 1987. The film is directed by Trueba, who won the festival’s audience award in 2001.

In addition to Colombia’s entry, the 2021 Miami Film Festival will present six additional international feature film Oscar contenders from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece and Iran.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s “Quo Vadis, Aida?” presents a moving account of one of the most infamous genocides in modern history, as seen through the eyes of a U.N. translator, Aida (Jasna Đuričić), who shelters her family and community in a U.N. camp when Bosnian Serbian forces take over their small town of Srebrenica in 1995. Written and directed by Jasmila Žbanić, the film has already garnered top awards at ceremonies such as the Jerusalem Film Festival and Les Arcs European Film Festival.

Czech Republic’s entry, “Charlatan,” directed by Holland, is a historical drama about the real life of Jan Mikolášek, a skilled natural healthcare practitioner whose unorthodox methods are unwelcome to the 1950s totalitarian regime. Directed from a screenplay by Marek Epstein, the film played at Berlin and Camerimage festivals and garnered a European Film Award nomination.

The Dominican Republic’s “Mis 500 Locos,” set during Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship, follows a new mental hospital’s director bid to calm the negative press following the escape of a group of patients. Directed by Leticia Tonos based on a novel by Antonio Zaglul, the film stars Jane Santos, Luis José Germán, and Pavel Marcano.

Germany’s entry “And Tomorrow the Entire World” centers on Luisa (Mala Emde), a law student from an upper-class family, who joins an anti-fascist movement to oppose the modern rise of the political right in Germany. The semi-autobiographical political drama, written, produced and directed by Julia von Heinz, won the Silver Hugo for ensemble at the Chicago Intl. Film Festival and competed at the Venice Film Festival.

“Apples,” the Greek entry, is a sci-fi tale about a pandemic that causes sudden and irreversible amnesia. Middle-aged Aris finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. Written, produced and directed by Christos Nikou, the film has won international prizes such as the New Waves Award for film at the Seville European Film Festival.

Iran’s “Sun Children” tells the story of 12-year-old Ali (Roohollah Zamani) and his three friends who work diligently to survive before a miraculous turn of events finds Ali entrusted to seek out hidden treasure underground. Written, produced and directed by Majidi, the drama has already nabbed six wins including best film at the Fajr Film Festival and the Marcello Mastrioanno Award at the Venice Film Festival.

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