Post(s) tagged with "AFI"

U.S. Premiere of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Tonight in New York

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY from Academy Award®-winning Peter Jackson has its U.S. Premiere tonight at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, and will benefit the education and preservation initiatives of the American Film Institute.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is the first in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film, a production of New Line Cinema and MGM, will be released nationwide on December 14, 2012 from Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Ziegfeld Theatre is New York City’s largest single screen venue and was built in 1969 as one of the last great movie palaces in the nation.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. EST, with the following expected cast and crew in attendance: 

Andy Serkis (cast - Gollum)
Elijah Wood (cast - Frodo)
Ian McKellen (cast - Gandalf the Grey)
Martin Freeman (cast - Bilbo Baggins)
Richard Armitage (cast - Thorin Oakenshield)
Jed Brophy (cast – Dwarf)
Peter Hambleton (cast – Dwarf)
William Kircher (cast – Dwarf)
Stephen Hunter (cast – Dwarf)
Mark Hadlow (cast – Dwarf)           
John Callen (cast – Dwarf)
Graham McTavish (cast – Dwarf)
Aidan Turner (cast – Dwarf)
Adam Brown (cast – Dwarf)
Dean O’Gorman (cast – Dwarf)
James Nesbitt (cast – Dwarf)           
Peter Jackson (Dir/Prod/Screenplay)
Fran Walsh (Prod/Screenplay)
Phillipa Boyens (Co-Producer)
Ken Kamins (Exec Producer)
Alan Horn (Exec Producer)
Joe Letteri (SFX Supervisor)

AFI Board Members Make the “Women in Entertainment: Power 100” List

Three members of our Board of Trustees are listed on the “Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100 List” in today’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter

Current board members on the list are Anne Sweeney, Kathleen Kennedy and Shonda Rhimes.

Board Emeriti members also on the list are Amy Pascal and Stacey Snider.

Congratulations to all!

AFI Conservatory Alumni at Sundance 2013

Congratulations to all the AFI Conservatory alums who will be at Sundance 2013 in January!



Jean-Paul Leonard (AFI Class of 2011), Art Director


Polly Morgan (AFI Class of 2010), Cinematographer

Anne Costa (AFI Class of 2010), Production Designer

Katelynn Wheelock (AFI Class of 2010), Set Decorator

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The Unexpected Journey of Andy Serkis

Our December Issue of American Film Magazine is now available online. Read our exclusive interview with actor Andy Serkis, in which he discusses creating the character “Gollum” in a motion capture suit, for the upcoming Peter Jackson film, THE HOBBIT. 
Read the latest issue now

Sign up for our newletter to be alerted when new issues are available:


Read our interview with author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her prize-winning, best-selling book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” was the basis for Steven Spielberg’s new film LINCOLN.

Black & White Nights - Day 8 or… “That’s a Wrap!”

Third Episode of AFI’S MASTER CLASS - THE ART OF COLLABORATION: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess

This January, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the American Film Institute (AFI) will continue their series of specials exploring some of the greatest artistic collaborations in film. In the series’ third installment, TCM PRESENTS: AFI’S MASTER CLASS – THE ART OF COLLABORATION: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess, the two men discuss their work together in front of an audience comprised of AFI Fellows studying filmmaking at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. The special will premiere Monday, January 14, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. (ET), only on TCM.

Oscar®-winning director Robert Zemeckis and Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess began working together more than two decades ago and, since then, their collaborations have been nothing short of remarkable. Together they have created such acclaimed films as FORREST GUMP (1994), the Academy Award®-winning story of a simple man’s life through decades of U.S. history; the Oscar®-nominated sci-fi thriller CONTACT (1997), adapted from Carl Sagan’s book about an astronomer’s discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence; the Oscar®-nominated CAST AWAY (2000), a tale of a man’s journey home after being stranded on a deserted island; and their latest film, FLIGHT (2012), an action-packed mystery thriller about a seasoned airline pilot’s struggles after his miraculous crash landing.

In the new AFI special, the two men discuss their many collaborations and how the art of visual storytelling plays into each film. They also discuss films that have inspired them, including CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1971), THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), THE GODFATHER (1972) and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). AFI’S MASTER CLASS is packed with clips from these films, as well as memorable scenes from the artists’ own movies.

TCM will follow this latest edition of AFI’S MASTER CLASS with a TCM premiere presentation of the Zemeckis and Burgess film, WHAT LIES BENEATH (2000), starring Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer and Katharine Towne, at 9:00 p.m. (ET) and an encore of the special at 11:30 p.m. (ET).

The following is TCM’s complete schedule for the night of January 14 (all times Eastern):

8:00 p.m. –TCM PRESENTS: AFI’S MASTER CLASS – THE ART OF COLLABORATION: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess (premiere)9:00 p.m. –WHAT LIES BENEATH (2000)11:30 p.m. –TCM PRESENTS: AFI’S MASTER CLASS – THE ART OF COLLABORATION: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess (encore)12:30 a.m. –CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1971)2:15 a.m. –TCM PRESENTS: AFI’S MASTER CLASS – THE ART OF COLLABORATION: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess (encore)

Black & White Nights - Day 7

Photos from the Closing Night Gala Screening of LINCOLN on Day 8 of AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi.

Adult Violence, Childlike Love

11/04/12 - Chinese 1, 3:45 p.m.
11/06/12 - Chinese 6, 1:45 p.m. 

By Andrew Johnson

It would be easy for a film about child soldiers to crumble under the weight of its dour and depressing subject matter, but WAR WITCH sidesteps this problem by being a character-driven film rather than an issue-driven one. Kim Nguyen’s latest offering follows Komona, a young African girl abducted from her village at the age of 12 after being forced to shoot her parents. In the hands of a les assured filmmaker this premise might become an excuse for a laborious exercise in “poverty porn,” but Nguyen treats his subject matter with greater respect, choosing to depict suffering through the eyes of a child rather than the desensitized gaze of an adult—are not the young often more capable of processing horror than the old?

Nguyen inserts elements of magical realism into the proceedings, giving them an eerie and otherworldly atmosphere while also accentuating the thematic subtext. Komona has visions of the dead standing motionless around her, caked in white ash. Her parents are her most frequent visitors, and their presence is a constant reminder of her sins. She may have killed them in order to survive, but they weren’t given a proper burial, and until their souls are laid to rest hers never will be.

The second act plays more like a coming-of-age tale, a MOONRISE KINGDOM-esque romance set against the backdrop of poverty and war-torn Africa. The key difference is that these two youngsters are just old enough to act on their hormonal impulses, something which strikes me as just a bit too subversive for a filmmaker like Anderson, and perhaps for mainstream Western audiences. I usually consider myself pretty open-minded when it comes to sex and gender issues, but when confronted with the prospect of Komona having sex with a fellow soldier (they’re so young!), I found myself forced to grapple with my own assumptions and preferences regarding appropriate sexual behavior. I wondered, were they ready for such intimacy? Was this really the best thing for them right now? Couldn’t it bring more trouble than it was worth?

In retrospect, it seems so silly of me to think so. I had fallen prey to the common cultural myth perpetuated by Hollywood that violence is a more acceptable element of youth than sex. Watching children murder their elders was horrible enough, but it was the idea of teenage sexuality that upset me the most! The brilliance of Nguyen’s screenplay is that it acknowledges common Western perceptions of sexuality in Africa as a tragic act inextricably linked to rape and HIV and gradually turns them on its head.

Here, teenage sexuality isn’t a cause for concern, it’s a cause for celebration, a relieving respite from the oppressive and manipulative sex of adulthood. Komona’s body may be a tool to satiate adult (blood)lust, but it never ceases to be hers, and when she becomes empowered to use it to act on her own desires, she reclaims her innocence rather than losing it. In the haze of young love her sins are momentarily washed away, and the endless possibilities of childhood are instantly possible again.

It’s a small miracle that WAR WITCH didn’t turn out completely unwatchable. Nguyen takes several diverse genres — war film, coming-of-age romance, and supernatural horror allegory, to name a few — and combines them all into something beautiful. The film stands as a haunting reminder that we must take care not to delve too deeply into the darkness of others, lest we be blinded from confronting the darkness in ourselves. As Kamona puts it at one point, “I won’t tell you what happened … you won’t listen anymore.” Nguyen wisely takes the eroticism out of violence and places it back where it belongs, in the space between two people. In doing so, he keeps WAR WITCH from coming another gratuitous look at African suffering and allows his images to retain their power, enabling us to better identify the evil around us.

Andrew Johnson is a freelance journalist and the founder of Film Geek Radio, a network of film-and-TV-themed podcasts.


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!


American Film Institute

AFI FEST presented by Audi

AFI Conservatory

AFI Silver Theatre

AFI Docs