13 Unforgettable Gems

FICCI 55 brings audiences the most recent films by the great maestros of world cinema and a pick of the award-winning productions of 2014 and 2015. Diverse as far as topics go and groundbreaking in their aesthetics and narratives, these quality GEMS will remain engraved on your memory long after the festival is over.
FICCI has finished selecting the films that will be participating in Gems, a section of the festival that has been competitive since 2013. This year, the winning film will receive the Gemas RCN Prize, which consists of a USD$50,000 promotional plan for its launch via Colombia's RCN television channel.
Festival-goers will have the chance to see the latest films by two of Europe's greatest maestros: Wim Wenders and Jean-Luc Godard. The Salt of the Earth (a co-production by France, Brazil and Italy), an insightful documentary on the work of the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, was co-directed by Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, and won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, the Audience Award at San Sebastián, and was recently nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the Oscars and Best European Film at the Goyas. Adieu au Langage, Jean-Luc Godard's first 3-D feature film, won the Jury Prize at Cannes. Our program also includes recent works by established directors like Mauritania's Abderrahmane Sissako and Spain's Jaime Rosales. Sissako directedTimbuktu (France, Mauritania), which won the Cannes Ecumenical Jury Prize, Best Director at the Chicago Film Festival and was nominated for Best Non-English-Language Film at this year's Oscars. Rosales' Hermosa Juventud (Spain, France) competed in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, while his lead actress, Ingrid García-Johnsson, was nominated for Best Actor Revelation at the Goyas and won Best Actor at the Lisbon Festival (Leffest). Riding up the rear is the great American director and actor Tommy Lee Jones, who treats us to a thrilling western, The Homesman (France, United States), selected to compete at Cannes in 2014.
Balancing out the playing field is a sampling of films by young directors who are changing the face of world cinema. Les Combattants, by France's Thomas Cailley, won the FIPRESCI Award at Cannes Directors' Fortnight and was selected for the Gijón Festival, while the Turkish-German co-productionAnnemin sarkis/Song of My Mother by Erol Mintas won Best Film at Sarajevo.
Myroslav Slaboshpitsky's Plemya (The Tribe), a co-production by the Ukraine and Holland, won Best First Film at the European Film Awards and Best Film at Cannes Critics' Week, while Kornel Mundruczó'sFehér Isten /White God (Hungary, Germany, Sweden) took home the Eurimages Award at Seville and Best Film in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes. Completing our sparkling list is the Polish filmBody / Ciało by Malgorzata Szumowska, which will make its world premiere at Berlin and travel to Cartagena less than one month later.
Iranian director Ana Lily Amirpour brings us A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (United States, Iran), a film about a vampiress who takes justice into her own hands. Amirpour won Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards and received three nominations, including Best Photography at the Independent Spirit Awards. A Girl was also selected to compete in the Sitges Festival.
Representing Latin America is Brazil with O homem das Multidões by Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimarães. Winner of Best Film at the Toulouse Festival in 2014, O homen premiered in the Panorama Section of the 2014 Berlinale. And last but by no means least, Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai ri yan huo) by China's Diao Yinan won a Golden Bear for Best Film, with Fan Liao walking away with Best Actor at the 2014 Berlinale.
These are the 13 gems Latin America's longest-running festival has lined up to celebrate its 55th anniversary. Join us on March 11-17 for an unforgettable experience!