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King Richard is the winner of the MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL GEMS 2021 Audience Award. The Warner Bros release starring and produced by Will Smith and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green served as the Centerpiece screening for the festival, which wrapped up its new seven-day format on Nov. 10th.

Festival audiences voted for Sony Pictures Classics’ documentary contender Julia, directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, as first runner-up.  The second runner-up was NEON’s double Sundance winner Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, which is a contender in documentary, animation and international feature categories (the latter as Denmark’s official submission to the 94th Academy Awards).  King Richard, Julia and Flee are all major award contenders.

Past winners of the MIAMI GEMS Audience Award have received award recognition including last year’s winners Sound of Metal, which received two Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Sound, and The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, which received an Emmy award. In 2019, winner The Two Popes went on to receive three Academy Award nominations while first runner-up Parasite won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Highlights of the MIAMI GEMS 2021 Festival included the US premiere of Leyla Bouzid’s Semaine de la Critique breakout hit A Tale of Love and Desire; opening night selection Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers; and the acclaimed Belfast, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The 39th edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival will be held March 4-13, 2022. The festival will partner again with Variety’s Streaming Room on an International Feature Film Nominees Roundtable scheduled for next year before final voting begins on March 17, 2022. The five directors that receive Oscar nominations for the International Feature Films category will be invited to participate in a panel moderated by Variety’s Film Awards editor Clayton Davis.