AFI FEST 2014 presented by Audi officially announced its dates and call for entries today. The American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence, AFI FEST brings Hollywood icons, emerging artists and audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world. The film festival is the only one of its stature that is free to the public, and is the only festival in North America with a market partner, the AFM (American Film Market). The 28th edition of AFI FEST will take place November 6 through 13 in Hollywood, California.
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Congratulations to our many AFI FEST alumni filmmakers invited to play at the Sundance Film Festival this coming January. Four films from AFI FEST, BLUE RUIN, THE LUNCHBOX, R100 and STRANGER BY THE LAKE will be making the trip to Park City in January. More information can be found here.
The AFI FEST presented by Audi 2013 iPhone App designed by Xomo is now available! Go to the iTunes store and search for “AFI FEST Presented by Audi” then download.
You can access film information, create a schedule, watch trailers and take Instagram photos in the Social section.
FREE TICKETS TO ALL SCREENINGS AVAILABLE STARTING OCTOBER 30
Early Access to Tickets for AFI Members and Alumni on October 28
Limited Number of Express Passes on Sale Now
AFI FEST today announced the remaining sections and films that will screen in the festival’s World Cinema, American Independents, Breakthrough, Midnight, Cinema’s Legacy and Presentations programs.
This year’s program includes the return of several filmmakers to AFI FEST including CLOSED CURTAIN's Jafar Panahi; MOEBIUS' Kim Ki-duk; OUR SUNHI's Hong Sang-soo; TOM AT THE FARM's Xavier Dolan and WE ARE THE BEST!'s Lukas Moodysson.
This year’s program also includes 14 films from 54 AFI alumni, including BREATHE IN by DIR/SCR Drake Doremus (AFI Class of 2005); LA JAULA DE ORO by PRO/DIR/SCR Diego Quemada-Diez (Class of 2001); WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE by PRO Brian Udovich (AFI Class of 2004) and DIR Zeke Hawkins (AFI Class of 2009) and MACHSOM by PRO Bayard Outerbridge (AFI Class of 2012).
WORLD CINEMA SELECTIONS (32 titles)
This section presents new work by many of the world’s most renowned filmmakers.
BABY BLUES – DIR/SCR Kasia Rosłaniec. Poland.
BETHLEHEM – DIR Yuval Adler. SCR Yuval Adler, Ali Waked. Isarel.
BORGMAN – DIR/SCR Alex van Warmerdam. Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark.
CHILD’S POSE – DIR Călin Peter Netzer. SCR Răzvan Rădulescu, Călin Peter Netzer. Romania.
CLOSED CURTAIN – DIR Jafar Panahi, Kamboziya Partovi. SCR Jafar Panahi. Iran.
THE CONGRESS – DIR/SCR Ari Folman. Israel, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg.
AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER – DIR/SCR Danis Tanovic. Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia.
EXHIBITION – DIR/SCR Joanna Hogg. United Kingdom.
GABRIELLE – DIR/SCR Louise Archambault. Canada.
GLORIA – DIR Sebastián Lelio. SCR Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza. Chile, Spain.
GRAND CENTRAL – DIR Rebecca Zlotowski. SCR Gaëlle Mace, Rebecca Zlotowski. France, Austria.
THE GREAT BEAUTY – DIR Paolo Sorrentino. SCR Paolo Sorrentino, Umberto Contarello. Italy, France.
HALF OF A YELLOW SUN – DIR/SCR Biyi Bandele. Nigeria, United Kingdom.
HELI – DIR Amat Escalante. SCR Amat Escalante, Gabriel Reyes. Mexico, France, Germany, Netherlands.
JUVENILE OFFENDER – DIR Kang Yi-kwan. SCR Kang Yi-kwan, Park Joo-young. South Korea.
LA JAULA DE ORO – DIR Diego Quemada-Diez. SCR Diego Quemada-Diez, Gibrán Portela, Lucía Carrera. Mexico, Spain.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON – DIR/SCR Hirokazu Kore-eda. Japan.
THE LUNCHBOX – DIR/SCR Ritesh Batra. India, France, Germany.
MANAKAMANA – DIR Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez. Nepal, USA.
MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN – DIR Mohammad Rasoulof. Iran.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – DIR Thomas Imbach. SCR Thomas Imbach, Andrea Štaka, Eduard Habsburg. Switzerland, France.
THE MISSING PICTURE – DIR Rithy Panh. SCR Christophe Bataille. Cambodia, France.
MOEBIUS – DIR/SCR Kim Ki-duk. South Korea.
OMAR – DIR/SCR Hany Abu-Assad. Palestine.
OUR SUNHI – DIR/SCR Hong Sang-soo. South Korea.
THE ROCKET – DIR/SCR Kim Mordaunt. Australia.
STRANGER BY THE LAKE – DIR/SCR Alain Guiraudie. France.
TOM AT THE FARM – DIR Xavier Dolan. SCR Xavier Dolan, Michel Marc Bouchard. Canada, France.
VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR – DIR/SCR Denis Côté. Canada.
WE ARE THE BEST! – DIR/SCR Lukas Moodysson. Sweden.
WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM – DIR/SCR Corneliu Porumboiu. Romania, France.
THE WIND RISES – DIR/SCR Hayao Miyazaki. Japan.
AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS SELECTIONS (6 titles)
The American Independents section features work by emerging U.S. filmmakers.
AWFUL NICE – DIR Todd Sklar. SCR Todd Sklar, Alex Rennie. USA.
BLUE RUIN – DIR/SCR Jeremy Saulnier. USA.
BREATHE IN – DIR Drake Doremus. SCR Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones. USA.
CAUCUS – DIR AJ Schnack. USA.
CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO – DIR Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Karlyn Michelson. SCR Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory. USA.
WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE – DIR Zeke Hawkins, Simon Hawkins. SCR Dutch Southern. USA.
BREAKTHROUGH SELECTIONS (4 titles)
B FOR BOY – DIR/SCR Chika Anadu. Nigeria.
North American Premiere.
CONGRATULATIONS! – DIR/SCR Mike Brune. USA.
LITTLE BLACK SPIDERS – DIR Patrice Toye. SCR Ina Vandewijer, Patrice Toye. Belgium.
MY AFGHANISTAN – LIFE IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE – DIR/SCR Nagieb Khaja. Denmark.
MIDNIGHT SELECTIONS (5 titles)
This section showcases comedy and horror programming worth staying up late for.
BIG BAD WOLVES – DIR/SCR Navot Papushado, Aharon Keshlaes. Israel.
THE GREEN INFERNO – DIR Eli Roth. SCR Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo. USA, Chile.
R100 – DIR/SCR Hitoshi Matsumoto. Japan.
THE SACRAMENT – DIR/SCR Ti West. USA.
THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS – DIR/SCR Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani. Belgium, France, Luxembourg.
CINEMA’S LEGACY SELECTIONS (3 titles)
THE COURT JESTER (1955) – DIR/SCR Norman Panama, Melvin Frank. USA.
MARY POPPINS (1964) – DIR Robert Stevenson. SCR Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi. USA.
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964) – DIR/SCR Jacques Demy. France.
PRESENTATIONS SELECTIONS (2 titles)
The Whitewater Films Roundtable
Micro-Budget Filmmaking – The New Paradigm
Producer and Director Rick Rosenthal brings the famed Whitewater Films roundtable to AFI FEST for a conversation about how micro-budget filmmaking has emerged as the new paradigm for independent filmmakers. The conversation will be followed by a screening of Rosenthal’s micro-budget film DRONES.
DRONES – DIR Rick Rosenthal. SCR Matt Witten. USA.
Michael Stevens presents HERBLOCK: THE BLACK AND THE WHITE
Special guests join director Michael Stevens for a panel discussion about the influence of the political cartoons of Herbert Lawrence Block. The conversation will be followed by a screening of Stevens’ HERBLOCK: THE BLACK AND THE WHITE.
HERBLOCK: THE BLACK AND THE WHITE – DIR Michael Stevens. SCR Sara Lukinson, Michael Stevens. USA.
AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi Centerpiece Gala Selections Announced: WORLD PREMIERE OF OUT OF THE FURNACE, NEBRASKA AND A TRIBUTE TO BRUCE DERN, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today additional red carpet Centerpiece Galas at AFI FEST presented by Audi, including the World Premiere of Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE; Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA; accompanied by a Tribute to Bruce Dern; and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, directed by and starring Ben Stiller. Stuart Cornfeld, an AFI Conservatory alumnus and recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal at the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony held last June, is one of the producers of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. All galas will be presented in the historic TCL Theatre.
As previously announced, the North American Premiere of SAVING MR. BANKS (DIR John Lee Hancock) is the Opening Night Gala and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (DIR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) is the Closing Night Gala. The Guest Artistic Director is Agnès Varda. The previously announced FOXCATCHER Premiere is no longer part of the AFI FEST program, due to the shift of the film’s release date to 2014.
"Our Centerpiece Galas reflect the diverse cinematic experience at AFI FEST, from our smaller independent films to larger studio releases. We are thrilled to have the World Premiere of OUT OF THE FURNACE; to honor the legendary Bruce Dern for his outstanding career and his brilliant performance in NEBRASKA; and to take the audience on a journey with THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY," said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Festival Director. Commenting on the news that the previously announced Premiere of FOXCATCHER would move to next year, Lyanga added, "AFI will be proud to celebrate FOXCATCHER when Bennett Miller and his talented team are ready to share it with the world."
For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings, but only the Patron Packages will provide reserved seating for the festival’s announced galas. These and other AFI FEST Passes are on sale now at AFI.com/AFIFEST.
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 AFI.com/membership.
The American Film Institute (AFI) announced a program of four films selected by Guest Artistic Director Agnès Varda to screen at AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi.
As an additional tribute to Varda, photos from her influential French New Wave film CLEO FROM 5 to 7 (CLÉO DE 5 À 7) are featured in this year’s festival marketing and programming materials.
Varda has selected films that have inspired her throughout her six-decade career:
PICKPOCKET (DIR Robert Bresson, 1959)
A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DIR John Cassavetes, 1974)
THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN (DIR Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1979)
AFTER HOURS (DIR Martin Scorsese, 1985)
In addition, the festival will be screening a selection of Varda’s films, including restored versions of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 (CLÉO DE 5 À 7) and DOCUMENTEUR (1979).
"For AFI FEST," Varda says, "I chose four films that have been important in my life. For the subjects, the style that I call cinewriting, the radical choices and specific sensibilities, among some other films, I chose THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN, one pearl of Fassbinder films, PICKPOCKET by Bresson for it’s singular way for interpreting the art of stealing. As an homage to two American directors, I chose Scorcese and Cassavetes. From the first one AFTER HOURS, strange ephemeral nightmare beautifully treated, and from Cassavetes one of my favorite among all: WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, delicate and complex portrait of a woman as well as of the people around her. Actually to choose is always painful."
Read the full press release.
AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi ANNOUNCES SAVING MR. BANKS IS OPENING NIGHT GALA and AGNÈS VARDA WILL SERVE AS GUEST ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
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 AFI.com/AFIFEST. 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 AFI.com/membership.
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.
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.
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