Post(s) tagged with "AFI FEST"


Passes on Sale Now for AFI FEST November 7-14

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today early details of its AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi. The programming unveiled epitomizes the vision of the festival – a celebration of Hollywood today where icons and emerging artists bring audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world. The North American Premiere Gala of Disney’s SAVING MR. BANKS will open the festival on Thursday, November 7. Agnès Varda, considered “the mother of French New Wave cinema,” will serve as Guest Artistic Director. 

“The American Film Institute honors the past, the present and the future of the motion picture arts. Now in its 27th year, AFI FEST remains the place to experience Hollywood now – a place that lives in the mythology of the movies, but also home to the dynamic global stories of today,” said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale.

“Our line-up of programming, from opening to closing, reflects what Hollywood is today: a broad spectrum of stories from studio and independent filmmakers, and having Agnès Varda as Guest Artistic Director was a conscious decision to recognize the global influence of an icon of the French New Wave,” said Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga. “The blending of studio, independent, foreign and auteur films and the artists who made them is the embodiment of AFI FEST.”

SAVING MR. BANKS, starring Academy Award®-winning actress Emma Thompson and AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award®-winning actor Tom Hanks, will have its North American Premiere on Thursday, November 7 as the Opening Night Gala. Inspired by true events, SAVING MR. BANKS is the extraordinary, untold story of how Walt Disney’s classic MARY POPPINS made it to the screen – and the testy relationship between the legendary Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it. John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE) is the director, and Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith wrote the screenplay. SAVING MR. BANKS also stars Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell. 

MARY POPPINS premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1964 with both Walt Disney and P.L. Travers in attendance. The film was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture and garnered 12 more Oscar® nominations. Out of the 13 nominations, MARY POPPINS won five, including Best Actress for its star, Julie Andrews. The song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest movie songs of all time. MARY POPPINS is ranked among the top 10 of AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals. Bridging the present and the past, AFI FEST celebrates SAVING MR. BANKS and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Disney classic with a screening of MARY POPPINS during the festival’s opening weekend at the renowned movie palace where it first debuted to the world.

As AFI FEST Guest Artistic Director, Agnès Varda, often called the mother of the French New Wave movement, will present a program of films that have inspired her work. Details will be announced later this month.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, written and directed by Academy Award® winners Joel and Ethan Coen (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), was produced by Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen and will be the Closing Night Gala on Thursday, November 14. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake and follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, ­ some of them of his own making. Brimming with music performed by Isaac, Timberlake and Mulligan (as Llewyn’s married Village friends), as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – in the tradition of O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? – is infused with the transportive sound of another time and place. An epic on an intimate scale, it represents the Coen Brothers’ fourth collaboration with multiple-Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning music producer T Bone Burnett. Marcus Mumford is the Associate Music Producer. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS recently won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. The film will be distributed by CBS Films in the U.S.

Festival passes are on sale now at For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will continue its unprecedented offer of free tickets to all screenings, but only the Star Patron Package and Marquee Patron Package will provide reserved seating at today’s three announced galas – Opening Night, Opening Weekend and Closing Night. These and other AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes – which can include access to sold-out galas and other high-demand films and events – are available now.

Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29 in a 48-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31. In addition, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes. Information about AFI Membership is available at

For the 10th year, Audi returns as the festival’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; The American Film Market (AFM); AT&T; Coca-Cola; The Egyptian Theatre; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Stella Artois; and TCL Chinese Theatre, among many others.

Catching Up With AFI FEST Alumni: David Lowery

Filmmaker David Lowery screened his excellent short film PIONEER at the 2011 edition of AFI FEST. His follow-up feature AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster debuted at Sundance this year before screening in the Critic’s Week section of the Cannes Film Festival. We caught up with Lowery to discuss his new film in advance of its theatrical release on August 16th.


Can you talk about where the seeds of this idea came from, and how your experiences on PIONEER and your first feature ST. NICK shaped what you wanted to say with your new film?

 I feel like PIONEER was a refinement of what I was after with ST. NICK. I watched a double feature of the two a while back and it was remarkable how the short film distilled all the themes of the feature into a much more concise statement. Both films are about growing up. AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS is, too, and I always imagined that Bob Muldoon could have been a grown-up version of the little boy in ST. NICK, but it actually deals with adulthood directly instead of presenting it as something that’s just around the corner. 

There are other similarities - it’s a fairy tale, in its own way, and a tone poem, both of which I thought were accurate descriptions of ST. NICK (even though I dislike the term tone poem). But I didn’t set out to make a continuation of my prior work. I wanted to make an action movie and an outlaw film and all the personal stuff inevitably crept in.


This is your biggest project in terms of scope, budget and cast. What were some of the challenges involved?

The biggest - and really, the only - challenge was simply the restrictions that come part and parcel with a bigger budget. When you have no money, you can more or less get away with anything. On this film, the budget was relatively low, but it was still big compared to what I’m used to, and with it came certain rules and obligations that we couldn’t avoid. We couldn’t just grab the camera and go shoot stuff on the weekend because of union rules - but on the other hand, the budget that enforced those union rules also allowed that camera to be a 35mm Arriflex instead of a 5D. So you lose some, you win some. It was a tough learning curve, though.


Sundance and Cannes showed reportedly different cuts of the film and in addition to your own work, you are known for editing for other filmmakers. What has changed with the recent cuts and how do you prefer to refine a film in the editing process?

Not that much has changed. It lost about ten minutes, but folks who’ve seen both cuts have been hard pressed to tell the difference, which means the edits work. I took out one scene but added two new ones. It was more a matter of adjusting the pace than anything else. And you know, you always see things. When you step away from a film for a bit, you come back and see where it can be improved. That never goes away, whether it’s your own film or someone else’s. Sometimes you have the ability to make changes, but usually you don’t. 

In this case, prior to Sundance, we had a really rushed post-production process, and while I can work quickly and objectively on other people’s films, I knew here that I might have a little more trouble seeing the forest for the trees. So I worked with some other editors for the first time, which was a difficult process in its own right, and by the time we had to lock picture, I didn’t know what else we could do on the film but had a nagging feeling we weren’t all the way there. 

Luckily, I was able to take some time off after Sundance, get my wits about me, solicit some advice and readdress certain things. It was a great luxury. There are some things that still bug me, some scenes I still think I could do better, and I’m frustrated that I didn’t nail it the first time - but it’s also my own film, so of course I’m going to be very hard on it. 


You’ve been linked to some projects that are wildly diverse in spirit and tone this year. What are you working on next and how you plan to approach the material?

I kinda just have to go with my instincts. It all might sound disparate on paper, but I think everything will feel of a piece in the grand scheme of things. I just trust that to be true. With the Disney project, the Pete’s Dragon remake, it was something that I think took people by surprise, but our version of it is going to be very much in keeping with PIONEER and ST. NICK, both of which are childrens’ films in their own way. I’m writing that right now, and also this period crime movie for Robert Redford. Now that I think about it, both of these scripts bookend each other in a really nice way, dealing with childhood and old age and the rebellious aspects of both. 

There’s another thing I’m writing that I’m kinda keeping secret for the time being, and is completely different from both of those, but that would sort of fit in between those two, in that it deals with being someone my own age. I guess that I just need whatever I’m working on to feel vaguely autobiographical, even if I don’t know it at first! I don’t know which movie I’ll direct next, but I really want to be in prep on something by the end of the year. I need to write faster.

Our SHORT FILM deadline for the 2013 festival is exactly two weeks away. Submit Now Here:

Our SHORT FILM deadline for the 2013 festival is exactly two weeks away. Submit Now Here:

Our FEATURE FILM submission deadline is one month away. Send us your films by Aug. 16th for fest consideration:

Our FEATURE FILM submission deadline is one month away. Send us your films by Aug. 16th for fest consideration:

NOW PLAYING IN LOS ANGELES: Mikkelsen stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s new film, THE HUNT. THE HUNT was part of AFI FEST’s 2012 selection. 

NOW PLAYING IN LOS ANGELES: Mikkelsen stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s new film, THE HUNT. THE HUNT was part of AFI FEST’s 2012 selection. 

LAURENCE ANYWAYS, from AFI FEST 2012’s World Cinema program opens in NY today! And in LA next week!

Follow the film and the film’s writer and director Xavier Dolan - @Xdolan, @LaurenceNEways  


Next week we will be posting an interview with Dolan!

LAURENCE ANYWAYS  (Theater Information)image

Prolific Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan returns with his latest passionate rollercoaster ride of unattainable love.

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Catching Up With AFI FEST Alumni: Drew Denny, Director of THE MOST FUN I’VE EVER HAD WITH MY PANTS ON

Born in Texas, Drew Denny is a multimedia performance artist, musician, and writer. We asked her to share her favorite moments from AFI FEST 2012 and fill us in on what’s she’s working on now.


1. What is your favorite AFI FEST 2012 memory?

Our AFI screening was the first time we got to share the film on the big screen with all the people who made it, all the musicians who donated songs to the soundtrack, and all my friends from LA, which has been my home for years now. My sister flew out from Colorado for the screening and everything - it was a big deal for us! 


2. Where can we see your film now?

Our film is screening at the Directors Guild of America on July 13th and 15th at 9:30 p.m. for Outfest 2013. We are honored to participate in such a fantastic festival and to be screening in our movie’s hometown again! We’re still enjoying festival screenings around the world, and domestic audiences will have new ways to see the film starting this fall… but I’m not allowed to share any details just yet!


3. Are you working on any new projects?

While touring with FUN PANTS, I’m writing a narrative feature that I will act in, scheduled to shoot in New York next spring. I’m also developing a multi-media performance film as part of an artist collective including an animator, a radio producer, and a principal dancer from the New York City Ballet. A documentary project I started shooting in Arctic Greenland last fall is leading me to the Maldives this summer, and here in California I’m happy to be recording with HIPS, an all female band featuring two of my dearest and most talented friends.   

The AFI FEST 2012 New Auteurs Audience Award winner, A HIJACKING, is now playing at The Laemmle’s Royal Theatre. Don’t miss it!

The AFI FEST 2012 New Auteurs Audience Award winner, A HIJACKING, is now playing at The Laemmle’s Royal Theatre. Don’t miss it!

Missed POST TENEBRAS LUX at AFI FEST 2012? Watch it this weekend in LA at Cinefamily, with weekend matinees only at Laemmle Noho 7 and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena

Missed POST TENEBRAS LUX at AFI FEST 2012? Watch it this weekend in LA at Cinefamily, with weekend matinees only at Laemmle Noho 7 and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena


AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

As a non-profit educational and cultural organization open to the public, AFI relies on the generous financial support from moving arts enthusiasts like you to provide funding for its programs and initiatives. Become a member today and support your American Film Institute!


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