AFI FEST 2021 – Day 2 @AFIFEST

Posted by Larry Gleeson

It’s a great day at the AFI FEST 2021 in Hollywood, California!

Through November 14th, AFI FEST 2021 is offering the best in global cinema. Tickets are available for select screenings.

Here are a few recommendations for today.

Powerful, provocative and deeply moving: Bernstein’s Wall tells the life story of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story). Utilizing Bernstein’s own words, harvested from his many recorded appearances on the radio, television and in-person interviews,  offering a strikingly intimate perspective, Bernstein’s Wall sceens today at 3:15 P.M. today with a runtime of 106 minutes. A music-lover’s dream come true!

BUY TICKETS UNCLENCHING THE FISTS (RAZZHIMAYA KULAKI) a World Cinema entry is also the Russia Official International Feature Film Oscar Submission. Recipient of the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival, Russian newcomer Kira Kovalenko delivers a raw, visceral experience, and the film is filled with harshly beautiful performances and is uniquely told from a woman’s perspective. Highly recommended!

BUY TICKETS Director/Filmmaker provocateur Sean Baker (Tangerine, Florida Project) is back with another raw, slice of life feature, Red Rocket. The narrative follows Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) as he tries to put his life back together in  oil refinery hometown of Texas City after spending 20 years of his life working in the porn industry. Plenty of action and a little frontal nudity as Baker once again proves he is a storyteller to be reckoned with.

“My favorite film at the Telluride Film Festival.” – Sam Stromberg

Media personality, Simon Rex, delivers a captivating performance as Mikey Saber, in Sean Baker’s latest film on the socially marginalized, Red Rocket.


BUY TICKETS Ali & Ava. Ali and Ava each live lonely lives in North Britain. Ali, a British Pakistani, is a former DJ turned compassionate landlord who meets Ava, an Irish-born schoolteacher and single mother of five, while picking up one of his tenant’s children from school. Despite their differences, sparks start to fly. As Ali and Ava’s relationship grows deeper, the shadows of their emotional turmoil and society’s expectations of them build as well. Can they find a way to keep their love alive?

BUY TICKETS   Huda’s Salon centers on the complex friction in the West Bank between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation. Reem, mother of a newborn baby and wife to a distrusting husband, gets her hair cut at Huda’s Salon one fateful day. There, Huda blackmails Reem into betraying their Palestinian community by providing intel to the Israeli Secret Service. The very next day Huda is found out by the resistance and Reem’s blackmail photo is discovered.

“Huda’s Salon reveals with disturbing candor the plight of Palestinian women striving to survive while being trapped on all sides.” –Julia Kipnis


Last but not least. The Shorts Program 1. 

The Shorts Program 1 comes with an “In-person Q&A” to following the screenings. Check out the line-up here: ZONDER MEER MISERY LOVES COMPANY NALUJUK NIGHT THE DEATH CLEANER (EL LIMPIADOR) LOVE, DAD (MILÝ TATI) BABYBANGZ A SUMMER PLACE The Shorts Program 1 is also available virtually. Following the virtual program, AFI Festivals Shorts Programmer Eric Moore leads a conversation between filmmakers Louise Monlaü (THE DEATH CLEANER), Diana Cam Van Nguyen (LOVE, DAD), Juliana Kasumu (BABYBANGZ), Alexandra Matheou (A SUMMER PLACE).


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