Post(s) tagged with "afi"


Festival Opens with LETTERS TO JACKIE, Closes with CAUCUS,
Celebrates with HERBLOCK and DOCUMENTED

Errol Morris Named 2013 Guggenheim Honoree

AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) today announced the full schedule of films that will premiere in its 11th edition June 19-23, 2013 at iconic venues on the National Mall, the Penn Quarter and at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival will present 53 films selected from 1,929 submissions representing 30 countries with 3 World, 1 North American, 1 U.S. and 5 East Coast premieres. The festival opens with the theatrical premiere of LETTERS TO JACKIE (DIR Bill Couturié) and celebrates with HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE (DIR Michael Stevens) along with the world premiere Centerpiece Screening of DOCUMENTED (DIR Jose Antonio Vargas). The festival closes with the U.S. premiere of CAUCUS (DIR AJ Schnack). Errol Morris will be honored at the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium for his contributions to the documentary genre.

Other notable filmmakers presenting their work include Patrick Creadon (IF YOU BUILD IT), Sean and Andrea Nix Fine (LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM), Barbara Kopple (RUNNING FROM CRAZY) and Lucy Walker (THE CRASH REEL).

The festival’s new all-day forum for thought leaders, filmmakers and audience members, the AFI Catalyst Sessions: The Art of Moving Reality, will focus on immigration, education, intellectual property and humor in politics.

"2013 is a year filled with dynamic changes: After ten years, the festival previously known as Silverdocs is now AFI DOCS presented by Audi" said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. "AFI DOCS reflects that we have expanded to a new environment in downtown Washington, DC which will be easily accessible to audiences eager to discover this year’s most compelling documentaries. At the same time, we are continuing a full slate of programming at our longstanding venue, the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD. At AFI DOCS, America’s premier showcase for documentary film, we present the most provocative, challenging and compelling investigations of reality that filmmakers from America and around the world have conjured over the last year."



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the world came to a crashing halt as the nation grieved for its leader whose promise of a brighter future was cut tragically short. During this time the president’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, received thousands of letters from the public offering their heartfelt condolences. Oscar®-winning filmmaker Bill Couturié’s touching film focuses on these deeply personal letters that flooded in from all over the country to comfort a woman they greatly admired who was not just the fashionable First Lady, but also a wife and a mother. Set against a treasure trove of archival footage taken during the Kennedy era, the moving letters are read by twenty of today’s top actors including Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams. Filmmaker and select talent will be in attendance for this theatrical premiere.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 

Filmmaker Michael Stevens paints a lively portrait of influential Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block whose distinguished 55-year career spanning 13 presidents earned him three Pulitzer Prizes and the Medal of Freedom. Covering a time when cartoons had clout, HERBLOCK celebrates the days of old school print journalism and media satire. Luminaries, including Carl Bernstein, Lewis Black, Ben Bradlee, Ted Koppel, Bob Woodward and Jon Stewart contribute their insights into Block’s life, work and indelible influence. The film’s producer George Stevens, Jr., Founder of the American Film Institute, will attend along with notables in the film.

Filmmaker Greg “Freddy” Camalier chronicles the unique sound that emerged from the Deep South of 1960s America that would attract some of the most diverse musical talent of the time. The place was Muscle Shoals, Alabama and this is the story of how its sound, and the people who created it, left its mark on music history. There will be a special post-screening performance by Candi Staton with the Washington Performing Arts Society Choir.

Friday, June 21, 2013

In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine. The World Premiere of his film DOCUMENTED chronicles the aftermath as he travels around the country as an immigration reform activist and provocateur, lands a historic Time magazine cover story; and unexpectedly re-connects with his mother in the Philippines, whom he hasn’t seen in nearly 20 years. Filmmaker and subjects in attendance.

GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM: The Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors the legacy of the late four-time Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. This year the Symposium celebrates Errol Morris, one of the most significant and original voices in documentary cinema. His films have examined the intricate complexities of the human psyche, uncovered fascinating beauty beneath the eccentric, proved the shrouded realms of war and global politics and made a significant contribution towards freeing an innocent man from prison. The Symposium will feature a series of excerpts from Morris’ body of work and he will be joined on stage to discuss his career. His films include A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991); FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL (1997); THE FOG OF WAR: ELEVEN LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA (2003); GATES OF HEAVEN (1978); STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (2009); THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988); and VERNON, FLORIDA (1981).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

While the GOP leadership race in 2012 played itself out for the nation on primetime television with camera ready sound bytes and speeches, a documentary film crew led by filmmaker AJ Schnack went behind the scenes to capture the not-so-ready-for-primetime moments that culminate in a fascinating view of the lead-up to the crucial Iowa caucus. The documentary features conservative hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and a particularly intimate view of Rick Santorum. Filmmaker and subjects in attendance for the US Premiere.


12 O’CLOCK BOYS:  DIR Lotfy Nathan. USA.
Cruising recklessly through the streets of Baltimore, notorious dirt bike gang, the 12 O’Clock Boys, are heroes to some and a menace to others. Director Lotfy Nathan’s debut feature follows a young boy named Pug over the course of several years as he strives to be accepted into their world.

THE ACT OF KILLING:  DIR Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous. Denmark/ Norway/UK.
Disturbing and unforgettable, this unique film takes the viewer inside the complex psychology of Indonesian death squad leaders. Encouraging the killers to re-enact scenes of genocide in front of the camera, the filmmakers capture the men’s boastful pride and their slow realization of the full scope of their brutal crimes.

AFTER TILLER:  DIR Martha Shane, Lana Wilson. USA.
The 2009 murder of George Tiller in a Kansas Lutheran church left only four physicians providing late-term abortions in the United States. These four – two women, two men – provide exceptionally intimate access to their professional and personal domains, revealing nuanced decisions likely to surprise viewers on either side of the great abortion divide.

Filmmaker Grace Lee set out in search of other Asian American women bearing the same name and found Grace Lee Boggs, a 9-year-old Chinese American philosopher, activist and force of nature whose remarkable life and work traversed the major social movements of the last century and warranted a film of her own.

ANITA:  DIR Freida Mock. USA.
For three days in October 1991 a mesmerized nation watched as a composed yet demure Oklahoma law professor accused a Supreme Court nominee of flagrant, serial sexual harassment. With hard-earned discernment gleaned in the intervening years, Anita Hill recalls the events of that autumn and shares her remarkable personal history.

APPROVED FOR ADOPTION:  DIR Jung Henin, Laurent Boileau. Belgium/France.
Skilled Korean graphic novelist Jung Henin was only five years old when he was adopted by a Belgian family who raised him as one of their own. Through a mixture of live action footage and his own beautiful animation, the adult Jung shares his story of growing up in a world where he always felt different.

Erik, Rahamid and Kareem, among others, have found an unexpected haven in a Newark, New Jersey public high school where a fiercely dedicated staff supports students such as themselves with autism and learning disabilities. Looming over them, however, is a ticking clock where at the age of 21 they will “age out.”

BLACKFISH:  DIR Gabriela Cowperthwaite. USA.
When SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was mauled to death by a “killer whale,” the tragedy was dismissed as a freak accident. In actuality, it was one of many such violent incidents between well-meaning trainers and wild orcas living in captivity. BLACKFISH takes an unflinching look at the disturbing practices that keep marine parks in business.

Two months before she was crowned Miss World in 1998, Linor Abargil, an Israeli beauty queen, was raped in a violent attack by an acquaintance. Ten years later she is ready to talk about her ordeal as she travels the world to hear the stories of other rape victims and help them speak out.

CAMP 14 – TOTAL CONTROL ZONE:  DIR Marc Wiese. Germany.
Little is known about the shadowy world of North Korea, but former prisoner Shin Dong-hyuk has lived to tell his harrowing story. Born inside a North Korean “death camp,” Shin knew of no other reality beyond the barbed-wire fences that encompassed a life of fear, hard labor, starvation and torture.

A mere two months before the 2010 Winter Olympics, game-changing pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury that derailed his life, career and a much-anticipated rivalry with competitor Shaun White. Oscar®-nominee Lucy Walker’s engaging, intimate portrayal of Pearce’s recuperation explores the understated heroism of a recovering champion.

CUTIE AND THE BOXER:  DIR Zachary Heinzerling. USA.
When Noriko moved to New York City, her plans to study art were derailed by love. Now, 40 years into her marriage to Ushio, a painter many years her senior, Noriko seeks her own artistic identity as her 80-year-old husband struggles to establish his legacy. This is a poignant portrait of marriage, sacrifice, aging and dedication.

DRAGON GIRLS:  DIR Inigo Westmeier. Germany.
This exuberant film tells the tale of three adolescent girls studying to become fighters at the largest kung fu academy in China. These three faces (among 26,000) spend every waking moment training, managing injuries and coping with the school’s intense (and often abusive) discipline policies.

A motley crew of scientists and artists sets sail for the frozen fjords of Northeast Greenland, which are accessible only because of the melting ice cap. The stunning, unexplored landscapes of the Arctic form the backdrop of this madcap expedition to the end of the world.

THE GENIUS OF MARIAN:  DIR Banker White, Anna Fitch. USA.
Filmmaker Banker White’s mother Pam is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease, which is the same fate that befell her own mother Marian, a noted artist, before her. In this intimate portrait of a woman at her most vulnerable, Pam works to help preserve a meaningful personal legacy before it is too late.

In this smart, insightful documentary, filmmaker Dawn Porter sheds light on the plight of one of our country’s most valuable and unsung warriors: the public defender. Following a small group of dedicated public defenders in the South, GIDEON’S ARMY highlights the daily battles they face within a flawed legal system.

GOD LOVES UGANDA:  DIR Roger Ross Williams. USA.
Blending vérité style with candid testimonials, filmmaker Roger Ross Williams tracks a group of missionaries from the evangelical Christian right as they take their religious crusade from the comfort of Middle America to the ravaged villages of a fiercely divided Uganda. GOD LOVES UGANDA paints a disturbing portrait of religious fundamentalism taken to extremes.

IF YOU BUILD IT:  DIR Patrick Creadon. USA.
A David and Goliath story for the recession era, IF YOU BUILD IT documents a year in the innovative “Studio H” architectural program. The film examines the work of Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller who give the teens of a crumbling rural town a chance to build a better future.

I LEARN AMERICA:  DIR Gitte Peng, Jean-Michel Dissard. USA.
At the International High School at Lafayette, a New York City public high school dedicated to newly arrived immigrants from all over the world, five teenagers confront adolescence, strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years and create a future of their own in a new land. Through these five vibrant young people, their stories and struggles, we “learn America.”

This riveting film takes an eye-opening look at the ever-widening gap in America’s income inequality and the dire threat it poses to the country’s future. Economic policy expert Robert Reich offers a passionate and fully accessible perspective on what happened to the vanishing American middle class and what might be done to fix it.

A powerful portrait of wartime atrocities and the men who commit them, this riveting film focuses on an American platoon in Afghanistan who waged a campaign of terror against the Afghani civilians they were sworn to protect. A chilling look at the madness of war that very few will forget.

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia authorities battling the black liberation group MOVE dropped incendiary explosives onto an Osage Avenue row house. The ensuing inferno killed five children and six adults, destroying 61 homes. This unfathomable saga of simmering fanaticism is adeptly retold without commentary, using archival footage including previously withheld materials.

LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM:  DIR Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine. USA.
Progeria is an extremely rare and fatal disease in which children suffer the afflictions of accelerated aging. Sam Berns is one such child who shares his life with remarkable grace and courage. Meanwhile, Berns’ physician parents work tirelessly to find a way to help their son and other children combat the deadly disease. East Coast Premiere.

Is it right for juvenile offenders to receive lifetime prison sentences without parole? Can some killers truly change and make a meaningful contribution to society as free men? This thought-provoking film explores the complex issue with input from both the perpetrators – all charged with first-degree murder – and the victims’ families. World Premiere.

A film director puts out a casting call for local townspeople in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and the taped “auditions” become the springboard for this portrait of contemporary Eurasian life. As the citizens open up with surprising intimacy, the filmmaker follows some of them in their real lives with fascinating results.

MCCULLIN:  DIR Jacqui Morris. UK.
British photojournalist Don McCullin escaped a hardscrabble childhood to create many of the most profound images of late-20th century wars on three continents. A pensive yet vulnerable McCullin looks back on his career with wistful, sometimes haunted memories touching on the essence of war and his ambivalence about documenting horrific events.

This hilarious film follows indie band The National on the road for a year through the eyes of singer Matt Berninger’s bumbling brother, Tom. As tensions boil, the film Tom meant to make falls apart, and what evolves is a touching, authentic, and delightfully wry portrait of two brothers who could not be more different.

THE NEW BLACK:  DIR Yoruba Richen. USA.
This thought-provoking film examines how African-American voters have become bitterly divided on the issue of gay marriage because of homophobia rampant in one of the pillars of the African-American community – the church. Focusing on the fight for marriage equality in Maryland, it argues that this hot-button issue is a matter of civil rights.

OUR NIXON:  DIR Penny Lane. USA.
Among the stranger remnants of the Watergate era are some 500 reels of Super 8 home movies created by aspiring – and conspiring – filmmakers named Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Chapin. This recently released FBI treasure, with commentary from the secret White House tapes, reveals extraordinary access to everyday intrigues of the Nixon White House.

Musician and feminist icon Kathleen Hanna blazed a politically minded musical trail whose influence can still be felt. Director Sini Anderson’s film is an energetic and intimate look at Hanna’s life and work, from her days in Bikini Kill to her decision to step away from music in recent years.

REMOTE AREA MEDICAL:  DIR Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman. USA.
People wait for more than a day outside the Bristol Motor Speedway, lining up not for tickets but for necessary medical and dental procedures that are otherwise beyond their means. Telling stories from those who rely on the clinics, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL serves as a sobering look at life for the uninsured.

RENT-A-FAMILY, INC.:  DIR Kaspar Astrup Schröder. Denmark.
A service in Japan offers actors to stand in for family members, their presence providing support at negotiations and filling weddings. Struggling and depressed, Ryuichi runs one such company, sending himself to fill in for those who need family members and, in many ways, to get away from his own. East Coast Premiere.

The Hemingways have long been one of America’s most notable families, from literary legend Ernest Hemingway to his famous model granddaughter Margaux and her sister, Academy Award®-nominated actress Mariel. Behind closed doors, however, the family has been plagued by mental illness, substance abuse and suicide, which seems to carry from one generation to the next.

Those magical and often difficult years between childhood and adulthood didn’t always have a label. In fact, the word “teenager” didn’t even exist until 1945. This fascinating documentary, based on the Jon Savage book of the same name, illuminates the period in which teenagers emerged to claim their unique place in history.

When charismatic fighter Cassius Clay embraced Islam and renamed himself Muhammad Ali, the boxing icon came under fire for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. This enlightening film examines the tumultuous period in Ali’s life that saw him forced into a legal battle with the U.S. government that almost cost him his livelihood.

WE CAME HOME:  DIR Ariana Delawari. USA.
Afghan-American musician Ariana Delawari shares the personal story of how she re-connected with her homeland in this thought-provoking film. Born in Los Angeles, Delawari’s life is turned upside down after 9/11. When her parents move back to Kabul, she spends a decade documenting their transition and her own awakening, through music, to her Afghan heritage.

Branson, Missouri, is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations where people from all over the country flock to enjoy a return to old-fashioned down-home wholesome entertainment.  Amid the abundance of kitschy stage and music shows are an eclectic group of talented performers who have dedicated themselves to the show business Mecca of the Midwest.  Come meet the colorful people who call Branson home and must cope with an uncertain future as the town faces economic adversity.

WHITE BLACK BOY:  DIR Camilla Magid. Denmark.
The sun is among the least of his worries for Shida, a Tanzanian boy with albinism. Because witchdoctors believe in the mystical power of albino’s limbs, the white-skinned are often hunted for a bounty. WHITE BLACK BOY looks at Shida’s first year at a boarding school, where he is momentarily safe from harm. North American Premiere.

A WILL FOR THE WOODS:  DIR Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, Brian Wilson. USA.
As lymphoma thwarts all attempts at treatment, Clark Wang makes his funeral plans. Rather than preserve his body with toxic chemicals, his last wish is for a “green” burial. Environmental preservation takes on a poignant intimacy in this touching portrait of a multi-faceted, ebullient advocate and his final legacy.

WRONG TIME WRONG PLACE:  DIR John Appel. Netherlands.
On July 22, 2011, Norway experienced its deadliest attack on native soil since World War II. Through intimate interviews with survivors of the tragedy and the families of victims, this powerful film takes a haunting look at the result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.


This vivid film explores the Syrian revolution as told through the experiences of two of its deeply affected citizens. Mowya is a dedicated male rebel fighter and Nour a young female journalist who risks her life in pursuit of the truth. By sharing their harrowing stories, each hopes to inspire action.

THE OTHER DAVE:  DIR Pasquale Greco. USA.
Meet Dave, an ordinary man whose life took an extraordinary turn when he was struck by lightning and lived to tell about it. Ever since, Dave’s life has taken a series of quirky twists and turns while his mind has been left with an altered perception of reality.

OUTLAWED IN PAKISTAN:  DIR Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann. USA.
This powerful film follows the courageous journey of one young girl in rural Pakistan. After being raped by four men, Kainat Soomro boldly fights the conventions of her society and takes the men to court. Facing a deeply flawed legal system and odds stacked against her, Soomro risks everything to demand justice.

SLOMO:  DIR Joshua Izenberg. USA.
What would really happen if you quit your lucrative job and just did what you wanted all day? Take a brief look into the mind of John Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for rollerblades and sandy beaches, and explore the neurological and spiritual joys of slow acceleration.

STRAIGHT WITH YOU:  DIR Daan Bol. Netherlands.
Though only 11 years old, Melvin has already become comfortable enough in his sexuality to come out to his parents and his best friend. Bullying and other outside pressures have kept him from going fully public with this self-awareness but now he must decide how to handle with delicacy a schoolgirl’s crush on him.

VULTURES OF TIBET:  DIR Russell Bush. USA/Canada.
For years the “sky burial” has been a private and mysterious death ritual in Tibet where corpses are offered to wild vultures for consumption. In recent years, however, this fascinating practice has become increasingly commercialized as tourists from around the world flock to witness it with their own eyes.

WE WILL LIVE AGAIN:  DIR Josh Koury, Myles Kane. USA.
To what lengths would you go in order to live again? Take a fascinating peek inside the Cryonics Institute where caretakers work to preserve the frozen bodies of 99 people who hoped to be brought back to life one day through creative leaps in scientific research.

WHEN THE SONG DIES:  DIR Jamie Chambers. UK.
This poetic film weaves the fading folklore and songs of Scotland together in a rich tapestry that pays tribute to a vanishing era. Set against the evocative Scottish landscape, WHEN THE SONG DIES is a meditation on past and present featuring the exquisite haunting melodies of yesteryear.


Directed by Michael Stevens and Produced by George Stevens, Jr.

Traces Career and Influence of Washington Post Cartoonist Herb Block

AFI DOCS presented by Audi announced today its gala presentation at the Newseum of the Washington, DC premiere of HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE written and directed by Michael Stevens and produced by George Stevens Jr.  The film, traces the career and influence of the most influential political cartoonist of the 20th century and the people who became his subjects during his 55 years at the Washington Post.  His work spanned thirteen presidents, contributed to the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy and President Richard Nixon and garnered three Pulitzer Prizes and the Medal of Freedom.

In the film, Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jules Feiffer, Ted Koppel, Eugene Robinson, Tom Friedman, David Brooks, Gwen Ifill, Rick Hertzberg, Victor Navasky and Richard Cohen give first-hand accounts of Block’s life and work.  Jon Stewart and Lewis Black explore the place of political satire in American life.  The filmmakers and many subjects are expected to be in attendance at the screening.

“It is an honor to celebrate HERBLOCK in the city he called home,” said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale. “AFI DOCS goal is to catalyze change through art, and this film is a powerful portrait of a man who symbolized this power across decades.”

In addition to the gala screening, AFI DOCS will be hosting a Catalyst Session on the subject of Humor in Politics inspired by the film. George Stevens Jr., Co-Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Founder of AFI in the White House Rose Garden in 1968, Oscar and Emmy winning filmmaker and long-time producer of the Kennedy Center Honors will be among the featured panelists.

 As previously announced, AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) returns for its 11th edition June 19-23, 2013.  After a decade at the celebrated AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, the festival will build upon the success of Silverdocs with a presentation of screenings and events at iconic venues on the National Mall and in the Penn Quarter area, as well as continue its full slate of programming at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

 Info on full programming, screening schedules, registration and passes will be released in the coming days and posted at 

Martin Scorsese to present Mel Brooks with American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Brooks to be Honored at AFI Gala Tribute at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 6, 2013

Special Broadcast Will Air Saturday, June 15 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT on TNT and
Wednesday, July 24 on TCM as Part of an All-Night Tribute to Brooks

Los Angeles, CA, Monday May 20, 2013 – Martin Scorsese will present Mel Brooks with the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award – America’s highest honor for a career in film. The private black tie gala will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on June 6 and will air on TNT Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and as part of an all-night tribute to Brooks on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Wednesday, July 24, at 8 p.m. ET. Brooks will be recognized for his range of mastery as a director, producer, writer, actor and composer.

Martin Scorsese is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time having received the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to cinema, two AFI Awards, an Academy® Award, a Palme d’Or, Grammy® Award, two Emmys®, four Golden Globes®, a BAFTA and three DGA Awards. Scorsese’s body of work includes films such as THE DEPARTED, GANGS OF NEW YORK, GOODFELLAS, HUGO, MEAN STREETS, RAGING BULL, TAXI DRIVER and the upcoming WOLF OF WALL STREET, which will be released in Fall 2013.

"For over 50 years, Mel Brooks has given the world its greatest gift - laughter," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. "At the American Film Institute, we also want to shine a proper light on his contributions to the art form as writer, producer, director and actor - and who better to bestow this honor than one of the masters of American film, Martin Scorsese."

In addition to airing the AFI Life Achievement Award special, TCM’s July 24 celebration of Mel Brooks will include two of his classic films: the rarely shown THE TWELVE CHAIRS (1970), making its TCM debut, and THE PRODUCERS (1968), the wild comedy that earned Brooks an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay. Also included with TCM’s presentation will be classic interviews with Brooks by television legends Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett.

Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award gala event directly support the Institute’s national education programs and the preservation of American film history. Sponsors of the 2013 AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Mel Brooks include Audi of America, Deloitte, HP and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute.

About Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer, actor and composer, is in an elite group as one of the few creative individuals to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Tony®, Emmy®, Grammy® and Oscar®. His career began in the borscht belt and then television, writing for YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS. He teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy®-winning “2000 Year Old Man” comedy albums and books. Brooks and Buck Henry created the long running TV series GET SMART. Brooks won his first Oscar® in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short THE CRITIC and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film THE PRODUCERS in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed including BLAZING SADDLES, DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT, HIGH ANXIETY, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I, LIFE STINKS, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS, SILENT MOVIE, SPACEBALLS, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THE TWELVE CHAIRS and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. His film company, Brooksfilms Limited, also produced critically acclaimed films such as 84 CHARRING CROSS ROAD, THE ELEPHANT MAN, THE FLY, FRANCES and MY FAVORITE YEAR. For three successive seasons, 1997-1999, Mel Brooks won Emmy Awards® for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit sitcom MAD ABOUT YOU. Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards® and two Grammy Awards® for “The Producers: the New Mel Brooks Musical,” which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2006. He followed that success with “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein,” which ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009, and both musicals continue to be performed and enjoyed by audiences all over the world. In 2009 Mel Brooks also received The Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary contributions to American culture. His most recent projects include the Emmy®-nominated HBO comedy special MEL BROOKS AND DICK CAVETT TOGETHER AGAIN and a career retrospective DVD box set titled “The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection Of Unhinged Comedy.”

About the AFI Life Achievement Award
The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees:

"The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time."

AFI Life Achievement Award Recipients
Mel Brooks joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception in 1973.

1973   John Ford
1974   James Cagney
1975   Orson Welles
1976   William Wyler
1977   Bette Davis
1978   Henry Fonda
1979   Alfred Hitchcock
1980   James Stewart
1981   Fred Astaire
1982   Frank Capra
1983   John Huston
1984   Lillian Gish
1985   Gene Kelly
1986   Billy Wilder
1987   Barbara Stanwyck
1988   Jack Lemmon
1989   Gregory Peck
1990   David Lean
1991   Kirk Douglas
1992   Sidney Poitier
1993   Elizabeth Taylor

1994   Jack Nicholson
1995   Steven Spielberg
1996   Clint Eastwood
1997   Martin Scorsese
1998   Robert Wise
1999   Dustin Hoffman
2000   Harrison Ford
2001   Barbra Streisand
2002   Tom Hanks
2003   Robert De Niro
2004   Meryl Streep
2005   George Lucas
2006   Sean Connery
2007   Al Pacino
2008   Warren Beatty
2009   Michael Douglas
2010   Mike Nichols
2011   Morgan Freeman
2012   Shirley MacLaine
2013   Mel Brooks

About the American Film Institute
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.

AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 41st year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, recognized for the quality of its instructors and speakers and its notable alumni.

For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at, and

About TNT and TCM
TNT is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households and ranking among cable’s top networks, TNT is home to such original drama series as DALLAS, FALLING SKIES, FRANKLIN & BASH, MAJOR CRIMES, PERCEPTION and RIZZOLI & ISLES, as well as the upcoming KING & MAXWELL and THE LAST SHIP. The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like the upcoming 72 HOURS, COLD JUSTICE and THE HERO. In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like BONES, CASTLE, THE MENTALIST and SUPERNATURAL; primetime specials, such as THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT’s website is located at

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include THE ESSENTIALS, hosted by Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore, and the month-long 31 DAYS OF OSCAR® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its website,

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Liza deVilla Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885,
Louise Heseltine, American Film Institute, 323.856.7871,
Eileen Quast, TNT, 818.729.7353,
Heather Sautter, Turner Entertainment, 404.885.0746,

Credentialing for the event is now open and will close on Thursday, May 30. Media interested in applying for credentials to cover the gala should contact Andy Gelb and Stephanie Samson of Slate PR at (310) 461-0111 or /

Jon Avnet, Kathryn Bigelow & Anne V. Coates To Receive Honorary Degrees From The American Film Institute


LOS ANGELES, CA, TUESDAY MAY 14, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced it will confer a Doctorate of Communication Arts degree honoris causa upon director/producer/writer Jon Avnet, and a Doctorate of Fine Arts degree honoris causa upon Academy Award®-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Academy Award®-winning editor Anne V. Coates. Avnet will be recognized for his contributions to the Institute, and Bigelow and Coates for their contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image. The honors will be given during AFI Conservatory’s commencement ceremony on June 12, 2013 at the historic El Capitan Theatre.

Avnet, Bigelow and Coates join an esteemed group of filmmakers who are previous recipients of an AFI Honorary Degree: Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Mel Brooks, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, James Earl Jones, Nora Ephron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.

Jon Avnet has been a guiding force of AFI for 25 years. He is an AFI Conservatory alumnus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. As a Fellow in AFI Conservatory’s Directing program, Avnet’s thesis film CONFUSION’S CORNER featured then unknown Richard Gere. Since then Avnet has directed, written and produced nearly 60 motion pictures, television movies and Broadway plays over the last 30 years. Among them are BLACK SWAN, THE BURNING BED, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, “The History Boys”, RISKY BUSINESS, “Spamalot” and UPRISING. His work has won or been nominated for multiple Oscars®, Emmys®, Golden Globes®, Directors Guild of America Awards, as well as Writers Guild of America Awards, the Peabody and the Tonys® (35 nominations and 12 wins). 
In 1995, Avnet was awarded AFI’s Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which celebrates extraordinary creative talents and artistic achievements.

Kathryn Bigelow made film history with THE HURT LOCKER as the first woman to win the Academy Award® for Best Director, the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, the BAFTA Award for Best Direction and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Director. In April 2010, Bigelow was named on the Time 100 list of the most influential people of the year. Her films include K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Bigelow won AFI Awards for both THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Anne V. Coates' career spans over 40 years. She is best known as the editor of David Lean's epic film, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 1962, for which she won the Oscar® for Best Film Editing and ranks #7 on AFI’s list of the top 100 movies. Coates has been nominated another four times for the Academy Award® for Film Editing for BECKET, THE ELEPHANT MAN, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and OUT OF SIGHT. Among her films are CHAPLIN; CONGO; ERIN BROCKOVICH; GREYSTOKE: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, LORD OF THE APES; THE GOLDEN COMPASS; OUT TO SEA; STRIPTEASE; WHAT ABOUT BOB? and UNFAITHFUL. In February 2007, she was awarded BAFTA’s highest honor, The Academy Fellowship.

Full bios of Avnet, Bigelow and Coates are available here.

AFI Conservatory, named one of the top film schools in the world, offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Sony is a proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory.

AFI Introduces Eight Promising New Women Directors

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 2, 2013 – The American Film Institute’s elite AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) program will screen eight short films at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013 at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles. The films are the end result of an immersive year long tuition-free fellowship conducted each year at AFI. On average, only eight percent of applicants are selected to participate in this prestigious program. The program’s emphasis is on women, who have had at least seven years experience within the film industry and are transitioning into the role of director. The eight new directors are Shaz Bennett, Catherine Dent, Antoneta Kastrati, Lauren Ludwig, Stephanie Martin, Juliana Peñaranda-Loftus, Lisanne Sartor and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro.

The keynote address will be delivered by Ava DuVernay, winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. DuVernay, who transitioned from publicity to directing, is currently in post-production on her documentary about Venus Williams for ESPN Films and has just completed a film for Prada.

Actors featured in the DWW films who are expected to attend include Shohreh Aghdashloo, Anna Camp, Frances Conroy, Ashley Williams and Rumer Willis. Also attending is Academy® Award-winning cinematographer and AFI alumnus Robert Richardson who shot Stephanie Martin’s WILD HORSES.

Introducing the AFI Directing Workshop for Women Class of 2012
Shaz Bennett’s ALASKA IS A DRAG is the story of a boy whose dreams of being an international superstar are hard fought working in a small town fish cannery. Bennett currently works on THE GLADES on A&E. She wrote and performed four critically acclaimed one-woman shows. The New York Post described her as “the Mormon Dennis Leary.” Bennett performs regularly in Los Angeles at Sit N Spin at the Comedy Central Stage, and The Moth. Radio listeners can hear her on KCRW’s “UnFictional.” Presently, Bennett is developing a television series and raising money to shoot the feature-length version of ALASKA IS A DRAG.

Catherine Dent has been a successful actress in film and television for over 20 years and is known widely for her role on the award-winning FX series, THE SHIELD. Her film SILK is about a woman portrayed by Oscar® nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, who is given away by her family and forced to marry at age 10, is currently garnering attention in film festivals around the world.

Antoneta Kastrati is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker from Kosovo. After surviving the war in the late 1990s, she became a documentarian and her award-winning films have addressed unexplored issues of postwar society. Her AFI DWW film SHE COMES IN SPRING tells the story of a young woman who visits a middle-aged father in a Serbian village, compelling him to uncover a dark secret buried in his wartime past.

Lauren Ludwig is a multi-media director and writer based in LA and hailing from upstate New York. Her past work has earned a Hollywood Fringe Festival Best of Comedy Award, an LA Weekly Best of the Fringe Award and a Chicago Reader Critics Choice distinction. She regularly directs videos and live shows for the underground comedy group Lost Moon Radio. Her original play exploring the life and work of Charlie Chaplin “15 Tramps,” was the recipient of numerous honors in Chicago. Ludwig’s AFI DWW film is BURN BRIGHTLY, an off-beat love story about a boy allergic to the sun.

Stephanie Martin co-wrote and directed WILD HORSES starring Mireille Enos, Brooke Shields and Barbara Tarbuck in an effort to tackle the emotional and political subject of the U.S. Government involvement in wild horse roundups. With this in mind, Martin is currently developing a feature-length project about the wild horse issue. Born in Sao Paulo and raised mostly in Buenos Aires, Martin discovered her passion for film while at Wellesley College. She earned her MFA from AFI Conservatory and has since been working successfully as a cinematographer on features, shorts, documentaries and commercials. WILD HORSES has been selected to premiere at the Palm Springs Shorts Fest. 

Juliana Penaranda-Loftus’ film studies have included prestigious schools on several continents. After September 11, she traveled to Afghanistan to direct and produce a documentary about Aid Afghanistan, an organization fighting for the right to educate women. Since then she has produced three independent feature films: KALAMITY, WILD 7 and TRIP OUT. Her AFI DWW short film LEARNING TO FLY is about the innocence and imagination of a child in contrast with the harsh reality of life in urban America. She is currently producing the upcoming documentary LANDFILL HARMONIC to be released in 2014.

Lisanne Sartor began in the entertainment industry as a Directors Guild trainee and then became a DGA assistant director. She left production to get an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. Sartor’s original screenplay CLEAVERVILLE was produced by Don Enright of Alexander/Enright, and aired as a Lifetime Television movie of the week. Her AFI DWW film SIX LETTER WORD stars Rumer Willis and will screen at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Emerging Filmmaker Showcase and the Cannes Short Film Corner later this month. She is currently polishing the feature-length version of SIX LETTER WORD.

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s critically acclaimed short film SEQUIN RAZE, starring Ashley Williams, Frances Conroy and Anna Camp, took home Honorable Mention at SXSW this year and was the only U.S. short to be invited to New Directors/New Films at MoMA/Lincoln Center. She then sold SEQUIN RAZE to a major cable network and is currently writing the pilot episode of that television series while simultaneously developing her feature film TREMBLE. Shapiro has worked at a variety of noteworthy day-jobs, including a substantial tenure at renowned ad agency Wieden+Kennedy - all the while producing her own works, which have garnered acclaim at festivals world-wide, including her comedy short 2ND BEST, which premiered at Frameline 2012.

About AFI Directing Workshop for Women
The AFI Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute is a remarkable, one of a kind program. Since 1974, AFI has offered this tuition-free training workshop and opportunity to direct a digital short that has launched the career of many working directors. Among the remarkable past participants of this program are Maya Angelou, Ellen Burstyn, Dyan Cannon (whose film earned her an Oscar® nomination), Lesli Linka Glatter (whose film earned her an Oscar® nomination), and Rhanda Haines and Joanne Woodward who have steered major Hollywood films, as well as acclaimed television directors Tricia Brock, Hanelle Culpepper, Jennifer Getzinger and Nancy Malone, among many others. National statistics published by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) lists the percentage of working female directors as seven percent in film and 11 percent in television. The AFI Directing Workshop for Women can proudly claim that 25 percent of alumnae have professional directing credits since participating in the workshop.

The AFI Directing Workshop for Women is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the American Film Institute, The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Sony Corporation of America, Jean Picker Firstenberg, Nancy Malone and Roz Wyman. More information can be found at

AFI Alumni at the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Updated


We are proud to announce that the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival will feature 15 films from AFI Conservatory Alumni. The festival will begin May 15 and will run until May 26.


THE IMMIGRANT                                                                                                   Kayla Emter (AFI Class of 2008), Editor

Affonso Gonçalves (AFI Class of 1993), Editor

Director’s Fortnight

Paul Van Zyl (AFI Class of 1984), Production Staff

Un Certain Regard

Rachel Morrison (AFI Class of 2006), Cinematographer

Diego Quemada-Diez (AFI Class of 2001), Producer/Director/Screenwriter

Short Films Competition

Darin Mercado (AFI Class of 2001), Producer
Magnús Viðar Sigurðsson (AFI Class of 1992), Executive Producer

Short Film Corner

Jack Swanstrom (AFI Class of 1995), Director

Deniese Davis (AFI Class of 2012), Producer
Moshe Sayada (AFI Class of 2012), Director/Screenwriter
Cami Starkman (AFI Class of 2012), Screenwriter/Editor
Stefan Weinberger (AFI Class of 2012), Cinematographer
Lavinia DeCastro-Walsh (AFI Class of 2012), Production Designer

Tiffany Laufer (AFI Class of 2003), Director/Screenwriter/Editor

Sheena McCann (AFI Class of 2011), Producer/Director/Screenwriter
Petr Cikhart (AFI Class of 2012), Cinematographer

Shuchi Talati (AFI Class of 2011), Director/Screenwriter
Jaspar Granderath (AFI Class of 2011), Cinematographer

Lisa Molomot (AFI Class of 1998), Director

Lisanne Sartor (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2012), Producer/Director/Screenwriter
Samuel Kim (AFI Class of 2011), Cinematographer
Sevdije Kastrati (AFI Class of 2011), Camera Operator


Justin Tipping (AFI Class of 2011), Director

Hannah Chipman (AFI Class of 2012), Producer
Vuk Mitrovic (AFI Class of 2012), Director/Screenwriter
Rahel Grunder (AFI Class of 2012), Screenwriter
Yong Jin Kim (AFI Class of 2012), Cinematographer
Cami Starkman (AFI Class of 2012), Editor

Special Screenings

Nicolas Emiliani (AFI Class of 2007), Line Producer: Napa Valley
Dwjuan Fox (AFI Class of 2007), Line Producer: Los Angeles

STEEL MAGNOLIAS Added to Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies Lineup




More Tickets Released for Star-Studded Event on April 24


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 17, 2013, LOS ANGELES, CA – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that STEEL MAGNOLIAS has been added to the classic movie lineup of screenings for the special one-night-only event, Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies. 2012 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Oscar®-winning actress Shirley MacLaine and Oscar®-winning actress Sally Field will reunite to co-present the film, which will screen along with 12 other films, on Wednesday April 24 at the ArcLight Hollywood. Adding to this unique night, audience members will join Field and AFI to celebrate MacLaine with a birthday song prior to the screening. Tickets for STEEL MAGNOLIAS go on sale today at 10:00 a.m. (PT).

"What better way to celebrate…spending the evening with people who love the movies and friends who make them," commented MacLaine.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS brings together several generations of spirited Southern women in a celebration of life, laughter and love. The chemistry of the all-star ensemble creates movie magic – a beautiful, emotional alchemy that is heartwarming and life-affirming even as it wrings tears from its audience. The title itself refers to the contrasts embodied by its complex protagonists – each of whom is as strong as steel and as delicate as a magnolia.

The complete list of 13 films and artists confirmed to participate are:
Kathy Bates presenting MISERY(1990)
Cher presenting MOONSTRUCK (1987)
Sally Field presenting NORMA RAE (1979)
Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine co-presenting STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989)
Peter Fonda presenting EASY RIDER (1969)
Harrison Ford presenting BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT
Samuel L. Jackson presenting PULP FICTION (1994)
Shirley MacLaine presenting TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983)
Demi Moore presenting GHOST (1990)
Mike Myers presenting SHREK (2001)
Sidney Poitier presenting IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)
Kurt Russell presenting THE THING (1982)
Kevin Spacey presenting THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)

Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies is a special event for all ages with previous years’ events selling out. This additional screening allows more tickets to be available. Tickets to each individual screening are $30 and include a large popcorn and soda, as well as a Magnum ice cream bar. Tickets can be purchased through the ArcLight Hollywood website ( Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the ArcLight Hollywood box office at 6360 West Sunset Blvd. Information about the event will be available on

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,808 stores – 1,784 in the United States and 24 in Canada – and at Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit

Launched in 1989, MAGNUM was the first handheld ice cream targeted as a premium adult offering. Today, MAGNUM is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling one billion units annually worldwide, and it is the biggest brand of Unilever ice creams.

About the American Film Institute
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. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 41st year;

AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, renowned for the quality of its instructors and speakers, and its notable alumni. For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at, and

Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies - Tickets Now Available






Special Evening Returns to ArcLight Hollywood on Wednesday, April 24

Tickets on Sale April 11:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 9, 2013, LOS ANGELES, CA – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today its collaboration with Target and MAGNUM® Ice Cream Bar for the return of the special one-night-only event, Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies.The popular program initiated in 2007 will present fans with a rare chance to see classic films alongside the community’s top filmmakers and stars who made them. Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies will take place on Wednesday April 24 at the ArcLight Hollywood. Tickets will go on sale on April 11 through the ArcLight Hollywood website ( and in person at the ArcLight Hollywood box office at 6360 West Sunset Blvd. 

The films and artists confirmed to participate include:

Read More

April 2013 Issue of American Film Now Online

The new issue of American Film™ is now online at  This month’s edition features an introduction to the world of STAR TREK, a fascinating look at the inside story of ’50s-style celebrity journalism and more.


The American Film Institute Celebrates the Year in Global Cinema

and Continues Unprecedented Offer of Free Tickets To All Screenings

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 5, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi officially announced its dates and call for entries today. The American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings the audience and the entertainment community together to explore the year in global cinema through the new works of film masters, moving image icons and breakthrough talents, and is the only film festival of its stature that is free to the public. This year AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 in Hollywood, California, the movie capital of the world, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese), the Chinese 6 Theatres at the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Egyptian Theatre of the American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

AFI FEST mixes nightly red carpet galas of Hollywood films with award-winning and highly anticipated new auteur works from filmmakers around the world. Emerging in 1987 as a program of the American Film Institute, the festival has paid tribute to numerous influential filmmakers and artists over the years, including Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci and David Lynch as Guest Artistic Directors, as well as top film talent such as Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, to name a few. In addition, AFI FEST has showcased scores of films that have produced wins at the Oscars® in recent years, including A SEPARATION, AMOUR, THE ARTIST, BLACK SWAN, THE KING’S SPEECH, LIFE OF PI, LINCOLN, PRECIOUS and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

"AFI FEST is where the films of talented emerging filmmakers have the opportunity to screen alongside the current works of masters of the art form," said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST. "Last year’s festival included many extraordinary films from across the globe, from the World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN and Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI to first-time feature filmmaker Tosh Gitonga’s NAIROBI HALF LIFE, whose film was AFI FEST’s Audience Award Breakthrough winner and Kenya’s first-ever Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission.”

The 2012 festival featured the World Premieres of HITCHCOCK from Sacha Gervasi and the previously mentioned LINCOLN from Steven Spielberg, as well as the Secret Screening of SKYFALL from Sam Mendes, and brought over 200 filmmakers from all over the world to Los Angeles to present their films to the city’s audience of film-lovers, including new films from established filmmakers such as Léos Carax, Matteo Garrone, Michael Haneke, Kim Ki-duk, Cristian Mungiu, Sally Potter, Walter Salles and Hong Sang-soo, among many others.

Submissions are now open and filmmakers are invited to submit narrative, documentary, experimental, animated and short films at through The final submission deadline for short films (under 30 minutes) is August 2, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®. The final submission deadline for feature-length films is August 16. Films found solely through the submissions process are presented in the festival’s Breakthrough section, providing an opportunity for new filmmakers to share their vision with the world and receive a $5,000 cash prize.

"Festivals are a place of great discovery, and every year we look forward to finding new films and filmmakers through our submissions-based Breakthrough section and in our Oscars®-qualifying Short Film program,” said Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming, AFI FEST.

Filmmakers can e-mail or call 866.AFI.FEST for more information about the submissions process.


Producer Ginger Wilson, director David Tosh Gitonga and Sarika Hemi Lakhani - AFI FEST 2012 Audience Award Breakthrough winner - NAIROBI HALF LIFE.


A still from AFI FEST 2012 Audience Award Breakthrough winner - NAIROBI HALF LIFE.


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