MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Film lovers rejoice, it’s time for Miami Film Festival GEMS.

Now in its seventh year, the event is the little sister to Miami Film Festival which is held in March.

This year’s GEMS will showcase 17 films, some will be making their world premiere.

This year the festival, which runs Thursday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 11, is pivoting to virtual due to the pandemic.

“So we’re going ahead with it. It’s a hybrid this year. It’s gonna be partly virtual, partly in person at a drive-in theater, which is safe. You can be distanced and in your bubble of your car and you can enjoy the films that way,” said Miami Film Festival GEMS Executive Director Jai LaPlante.

The opening night film is The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, the first-ever authorized documentary on the group.

“It’s fascinating, there’s so many things I’ve learned about the Bee Gees that I didn’t know, and of course, there’s all that great music to listen to. Best of all the screening is taking place at the Dezerland Park Drive-In which is only four blocks away from Criteria Recording Studios which is where the Bee Gees recorded all their albums. So there’s a real electricity being so close to it,” said LaPlante.

Other films include the award-winning This is Christina.

“It’s a film from Chile and it’s executive produced by Salma Hayek. It’s a wonderful, very rye comedy, about a new generation of 30 somethings exploring life in Santiago, Chile,” said LaPlante.

The Miami Film Festival last March was shut down after it was about three-quarters of a way through, so films like this and others are getting another chance to premiere this week and weekend.

There will also be Q & A virtual sessions in the program. Local filmmaker Billy Corbin and his producing partner Alfred Spellman will answer questions about their film “537 Votes” which will make its world premiere.

“It’s about the 2000 presidential election. There is going to be a live Q&A on Saturday, October 10 at 9 p.m. right after the screening so we’re looking forward to that one,” said LaPlante.

Laplante said they are all hoping the Miami Film Festival will back in full swing next March.

“Really the meaning of the film festival is sharing cinema. For people to share cinema with the artists, with each other, that’s the magic of it. So that’s what we’re hoping we can get back to in March,” said LaPlante.

For information on the other films in the festival, go to Miamifilmfestival.com

A Miami Film Festival GEMS All-Access pass costs $75.

Thursday night’s opening drive-in event is $50. For those who just want to watch a couple of movies, its $9.99 for each individually purchased virtual screening.

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