Posted by Larry Gleeson
The complete AFI FEST program includes 137 films (93 features, 44 shorts), representing 53 countries, including 40 films directed/co-directed by women, 19 documentaries and 14 animated short films. The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (6), Special Screenings (7), American Independents (11), New Auteurs (11), World Cinema (30), Midnight (3), Cinema’s Legacy (9), Retrospective (12), Youth and Family (2) and Short Films (44). This year’s program includes 14 official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions and 25 films featuring 76 AFI alumni.
CINEMATIC STORYTELLING: A CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
Director/writer/producer Christopher Nolan discusses his latest film, DUNKIRK, centering on the British maneuvers from the land, sea and air as the military and civilians attempt to save 400,000 soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, during World War II. A special 70mm film presentation of DUNKIRK will precede the discussion.
WORLD CINEMA MASTER IN CONVERSATION: AGNÈS VARDA
French auteur and AFI FEST 2013 Guest Artistic Director Agnès Varda sits down for a discussion of her career and her new film FACES PLACES (co-directed with French installation artist JR). The event begins with a screening of FACES PLACES. The event will be moderated by Serge Toubiana, President of UniFrance.
INDIE CONTENDERS ROUNDTABLE
Hear from a diverse panel of artists who have done standout work in independent film this year. Presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, the panel will feature a 90-minute discussion with the artists about their careers and influences, as well as the challenges and rewards of working on indies. Panelists include Sean Baker (THE FLORIDA PROJECT), Richard Gere (NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER), Salma Hayek (BEATRIZ AT DINNER), Diane Kruger (IN THE FADE), Kumail Nanjiani (THE BIG SICK), Robert Pattinson (GOOD TIME), Margot Robbie (I, TONYA) and Lois Smith (MARJORIE PRIME). The roundtable is presented by The Hollywood Reporter and will be moderated by Scott Feinberg their lead awards analyst.
Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang sits down with a panel of distinguished directors behind some of the most talked-about and acclaimed documentaries of the year. The panelists will include Evgeny Afineevsky (CRIES FROM SYRIA), Greg Barker (THE FINAL YEAR), Kasper Collin (I CALLED HIM MORGAN), Feras Fayyad (LAST MEN IN ALEPPO), Yance Ford (STRONG ISLAND), Bryan Fogel (ICARUS), Steve James (ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL), Amanda Lipitz (STEP) and Brett Morgen (JANE). The roundtable it presented by the Los Angeles Times.
ON DIRECTING: PATTY JENKINS
WONDER WOMAN director and AFI Conservatory alumna Patty Jenkins sits down for a moderated, in-depth discussion.
ON DIRECTING: SOFIA COPPOLA
Director/writer Sofia Coppola sits down to discuss her latest film, THE BEGUILED, set during the American Civil War and centering on an all-female Southern boarding school that takes in a wounded Union soldier, with unsettling results.
ON ACTING: BRINGING APES TO LIFE – ANDY SERKIS, TERRY NOTARY, MATT REEVES, JOE LETTERI
Actors Andy Serkis and Terry Notary, director Matt Reeves and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri of the critically acclaimed and visually stunning WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES sit down for a panel discussion on how performance capture and visual effects bring complex and emotional characters to life.
ON COLLABORATIVE STORYTELLING: ANGELINA JOLIE AND LOUNG UNG
Director Angelina Jolie and writer Loung Ung discuss the artistic and cross-cultural collaboration that brought FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER to the screen. Based on Ung’s autobiography, the film centers on a young girl who must embark on a harrowing quest for survival amid the sudden rise and terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER is Cambodia’s official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission.
CINEMA’S LEGACY: A CONVERSATION WITH JORDAN PEELE
GET OUT director/writer Jordan Peele sits down for an in-depth conversation about his film and the impact and legacy of GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967), the groundbreaking, Oscar® winner about an interracial romance starring Sidney Poitier that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER will screen following the conversation.
IN CONVERSATION: MARTIN MCDONAGH AND SAM ROCKWELL
Director/writer/producer Martin McDonagh and actor Sam Rockwell, who have a long relationship working together for both the stage and screen, sit down for a moderated discussion with Jenelle Riley of Variety on THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, a darkly comedic drama centering on a mother (Frances McDormand) who makes a bold move to find her daughter’s murderer, riling local law enforcement. The conversation is presented by Variety.