All posts by HollywoodGlee

I’m a veteran of several film festivals including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the American Film Institute's AFIFest Hollywood and AFI DOCS, the famed Venice International Film Festival, the San Luis Obispo SLO Film Fest, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's family of festivals including the SBIFF, the SBIFF Wave Festivals and the SBIFF Showcase Film Series. To date I’ve written and published over 100 film reviews and have work posted on four sites including, I have also been published in Classic Film Images magazine. In addition to writing reviews and covering film festivals, I am currently seeking distribution for new films. I have contacts in several major markets including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Cannes, France. So when you’re looking for your film to get noticed, remember HollywoodGlee can help. We have professional marketers, respected critics and the most knowledgeable contacts on what film festival and/or distribution channel is right for you and your film. See you at the movies!

AFM Announces Initial Exhibitors, Speakers, Programming & Sponsors

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Speakers To Include Executives From Arclight Films, Blackbear Pictures, Bleeker Street, Endeavor Content, Roku and XYZ Films

The American Film Market has announced initial details for AFM 2021 Online which will commence on November 1 and run for five days through November 5.  AFM 2021 Online will take place on the proprietary interactive campus AFM built in 2020 – presenting an engaging and effective environment for discovery, education, deal making, networking and reconnecting.

More than 300 production and sales companies, as well as international trade organizations from 25+ countries have already registered as exhibitors for the market, including Altitude Film Sales, Anton, Arclight Films, Blue Fox Entertainment, China Film Promotion International, Cinema Management Group, Cornerstone, Dogwoof, The Exchange, Fabrication Films, Fantawild Animation Inc., GAGA Corporation, Gaumont, GFM, HanWay, Global Screen – a TELEPOOL brand, Highland Film Group, Lakeshore Entertainment, Lionsgate, Millennium Media, Myriad Pictures, Pathé International, Picture Tree International, Protagonist Pictures, Radiant Films International, Sierra/Affinity, Taiwan Cinema Presented by TAICCA, TF1 Studio, Toei Company, Ltd., UniFrance, WestEnd Films, and XYZ Films.  The United States currently has the largest exhibitor presence participating followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand, France, and Japan.

AFM will also bring its distinguished Conferences and educational programming back online with two stages running simultaneously and featuring more than 50 live sessions exploring film topics from script to screen. The sessions will also be made available the same day on-demand for attendees to stream at their convenience.

Over 150 industry professionals and decision makers will participate in AFM 2021 Online’s programming lineup.  Confirmed speakers to date include such names as:

Brian Beckmann, Arclight Films; Daniel Bort, Fantawild Animation; Ryan Broussard, Media Services Payroll; JJ Caruth, The Avenue Entertainment; Milan Chakraborty, Marginal MediaWorks, Inc.; Cassian Elwes, Elevated Film Sales; Clay Epstein, Film Mode Entertainment; Patrick Ewald, Epic Pictures; Matt Grady, Factory 25; Michael Heimler, Black Bear Pictures; Kevin Iwashina, Endeavor Content; Brad Krevoy, Motion Picture Corporation of America; Edward Noeltner, Cinema Management Group; Tania Pinto Da Cunha, Pink Parrot Media; Gil Robertson, AAFCA; Kent Sanderson, Bleecker Street; James Emanuel Shapiro, XYZ Films; and Jennifer Vaux, Roku.


Session highlights new for 2021, include:

  • A Story Analyst’s Approach to Screenwriting 
  • Animation: A Growing Territory for Independents 
  • Black Filmmakers at the Crossroads to Success (presented in partnership with AAFCA) 
  • Bridging the Production Insurance Gap 
  • The Casting Effect: How Talent Choices Impact Every Phase of Production 
  • International Film Market: Consumption of Black Culture, Rejection of Black Stories (presented in partnership with NAACP) 
  • New Perspective on Horror 

The lineup and schedule of sessions to date can be found at

In addition, AFM has announced its lineup of eight Premiere Sponsors.  The sponsors, each of which will present a dedicated location on the AFM 2021 Online campus, include Apojo Publications, Entertainment Partners, Filmhub, Honolulu Film Office, JAPAN/JETRO, Media Services Payroll, Polish Film Institute, and Whip Media.

AFM is the annual fund-raiser for the Independent Film & Television Alliance. On August 26th, IFTA announced the AFM’s move to online for 2021 due to travel regulations, increased concerns about coronavirus variants around the world, and government restrictions on the ground.  The pivot to online would allow for all stakeholders around the world to participate in the market.

About the American Film Market® (AFM®)
The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. More than US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. Over five days in November, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries access the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend world class conferences, and connect with decision makers. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

About the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®

IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to independent companies from 22 countries.




AFI FEST 2021 Lineup Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Featuring 115 titles, the 2021 American Film Institute’s AFI Fest  will showcase internationally acclaimed and award-winning films, including Sony Pictures Classics’ PARALLEL MOTHERS, written and directed by Academy Award® winner Pedro Almodóvar, which will screen as a Red Carpet Premiere at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, November 13. The film joins the previously announced Red Carpet Premiere titles which include Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM!, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s KING RICHARD starring Will Smith, Academy Award® winner Halle Berry’s directorial debut BRUISED and Academy Award®  winner Benjamin Cleary’s feature directorial debut SWAN SONG.

The complete AFI FEST program represents 50 countries and includes six World Premieres, and of the 115 titles, 51% are directed by women, 40% directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 13% are directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers.


“We are excited to celebrate AFI FEST 2021 in person at the historic TCL Chinese theater and showcase both master filmmakers and emerging voices,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals.  “In a time when we need movies more than ever, we look forward to audiences being inspired by the best films from around the world screening at this year’s AFI FEST.”


Early bird passes are now available at, and individual tickets for in-person and virtual screenings and events will be available to AFI members on October 19 and the general public on October 20. With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated. AFI members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the film festival. To become an AFI member, visit

Returning filmmakers to FEST include Hany Abu-Assad (HUDA’S SALON), Andrea Arnold (COW), Jacques Audiard (PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT), Sean Baker (RED ROCKET), Michel Franco (SUNDOWN), Miguel Gomes (THE TSUGUA DIARIES), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (LINGUI, THE SACRED BONDS), Céline Sciamma (PETITE MAMAN), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MEMORIA), and Zhang Yimou (ONE SECOND).

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning films include AHED’S KNEE (DIR Nadav Lapid), COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON (DIR Mounia Akl), DRIVE MY CAR  (DIR Ryusuke Hamaguchi), THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER (DIR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher), GOOD MADAM (DIR Jenna Bass), GREAT FREEDOM (DIR Sebastian Meise), HAPPENING (DIR Audrey Diwan), JOCKEY (DIR Clint Bentley), MEMORIA (DIR Apichatpong Weerakethakul), PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN (DIR Tatiana Huezo), UNCLENCHING THE FISTS (DIR Kira Kovalenko), WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? (DIR Aleksandre Koberidze) and THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (DIR Joachim Trier).

NBC News’ Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST, now in its fifth year, will spotlight 15 compelling short documentaries about pressing issues facing our society. Since its launch, the Meet the Press Film Festival has showcased nearly 100 issue-based short films from nine countries, including more than a dozen Oscar® and Emmy® nominees. This year’s festival will feature five program tracks spotlighting issues from racial and gender equality, immigration and democracy to identity, criminal justice and police reform among others. Films include BREE WAYY: PROMISE WITNESS REMEMBRANCE by 2021 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree Dawn Porter about art as a means of protesting and healing; CODED: THE HIDDEN LOVE OF J.C. LEYENDECKER about legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker; and THE TRAIN STATION about the Lejac Indian Residential School by Lyana Patrick. The screenings of the films will be followed by conversations moderated by NBC News correspondents and anchors, including Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd.


AFI FEST 2021 Full Lineup


A celebration of the most anticipated films of the year, showcasing excellence in the art form.

Marking the directorial debut of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry, BRUISED is a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. DIR Halle Berry. SCR Michelle Rosenfarb. CAST Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko, Lela Loren, Nikolai Nikolaef, Danny Boyd, Jr., Shamier Anderson, Stephen Henderson. USA. World Premiere.

Based on the inspiring true story, KING RICHARD follows the journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately deliver two of the world’s greatest sports legends – Venus and Serena Williams. DIR Reinaldo Marcus Green. SCR Zach Baylin. CAST Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn. USA

Two women, Janis and Ana, are both single mothers that meet in the hospital before giving birth to their daughters. Their bond quickly becomes complicated in the latest drama from Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar. DIR Pedro Almodóvar. SCR Pedro Almodóvar. CAST Penélope Cruz, Melina Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Rossy de Palma, Julieta Serrano. Spain

Cameron (two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness, is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor to shield his family from grief. DIR Benjamin Cleary. SCR Benjamin Cleary. CAST Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina. USA. World Premiere.

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by composer and playwright Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of “Rent.” DIR Lin-Manuel Miranda. SCR Steven Levenson. CAST Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light. USA. World Premiere.

The best in contemporary cinema from renowned storytellers and new voices from across the globe.

Filmmaker Y has just arrived in the remote Arava Valley to introduce a retrospective of his films at the local library when librarian Yahalom presents him with a waiver restricting certain topics. DIR Nadav Lapid. SCR Nadav Lapid. CAST Avshalom Pollak, Nur Fibak, Avshalom Pollak, Nur Fibak, Yoram Honig, Lidor Ederi, Yonathan Kugler, Yehonathan Vilozni, Naama Preis. Israel

In this working-class romance filled with rich performances, Ali and Ava must navigate the emotional turmoil of their pasts to keep their newfound passion alive. DIR Clio Barnard. SCR Clio Barnard. CAST Claire Rushbrooke, Adeel Akhtar. UK

A group of young students in Morocco begin a passionate journey of self-discovery and artistic expression by practicing rap as they confront the social issues explored in their lyrics. DIR Nabil Ayouch. SCR Nabil Ayouch with Maryam Touzani. CAST Meryem Nekkach, Anas Basbousi, Nouhaila Arif, Ismail Adouab. Morocco, France

Rona is an Israeli teaching a film class to a diverse group of eight women. The class becomes the catalyst for deeper discovery as these women bond over their shared experience. DIR Orit Fouks Rotem. SCR Orit Fouks Rotem. CAST Dana Ivgy, Joanna Said, Amal Murkus, Ruth Landau, Yulia Tagil, Marlene Bajali, Aseel Farhat, Orit Samuel, Liora Levi, Khawlah Hag Debsy. Israel

In this feature debut from Lebanese filmmaker Mounia Akl, a whimsical, close-knit family eludes the political and environmental crises of Beirut by isolating in the remote mountains – until their peaceful days are disrupted. DIR Mounia Akl. SCR Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet. CAST Nadine Labaki, Saleh Bakri, Nadia Charbel, Ceana and Geana Restom, Yumna Marwan, Liliane Chacar Khoury, François Nour. Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Qatar

Based on a Haruki Murakami short story and awarded Best Screenplay at Cannes, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s epic explores what is left behind when a love is lost and a city is decimated. DIR Ryusuke Hamaguchi. SCR Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe. CAST Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Park Yurim, Jin Daeyeon. Japan

Lisa is moving out of the apartment she shares with Mara. Friends and neighbors arrive to assist and unspoken tensions simmer just beneath the surface. DIR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher. SCR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher. CAST Henriette Confurius, Liliane Amuat, Ursina Lardi, Flurin Giger, André M. Hennicke, Ivan Georgiev, Dagna Litzenberger Vinet, Lea Draeger, Sabine Timoteo, Margherita Schoch, Seraphina Schweiger, Birte Schnöink. Switzerland

In Jenna Cato Bass’ psychological thriller steeped in remnants of postcolonialism and apartheid, Tsidi moves in with her estranged mother Mavis, a housekeeper under the spell of her mysterious and reclusive Madam. DIR Jenna Cato Bass. SCR Jenna Cato Bass, Babalwa Baartman, Chumisa Cosa, Nosipho Mtebe, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Sanda Shandu, Khanyiso Kenqa, Chris Gxalaba, Peggy Tunyiswa, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Steve Larter. CAST Nosipho Mtebe, Chumisa Cosa, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Khanyiso Kenqa, Sanda Shandu, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Peggy Tunyiswa, Chris Gxalaba. South Africa

Winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, this unlikely love story by director Sebastian Meise depicts the engrossing life of Hans, a man in postwar Germany who is continuously imprisoned for being gay. DIR Sebastian Meise. SCR Thomas Reider, Sebastian Meise. CAST Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke, Thomas Prenn. Austria, Germany

Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s timely adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel depicts a young woman caught between her ambitions and an unexpected pregnancy in 1960s France. DIR Audrey Diwan. SCR Audrey Diwan and Marcia Romano. CAST Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Luàna Bajrami, Louise Orry Diquiero, Louise Chevillotte, Pio Marmaï, Sandrine Bonnaire, Anna Mouglalis. France

An endearing yet frenzied family of four embarks on a mysterious road trip to an unknown destination in this distinctive and surprising debut from Panah Panahi, the son of acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. DIR Panah Panahi. SCR Panah Panahi. CAST Hassan Madjooni, Pantea Panahiha, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar. Iran

Living in Athens and keeping to themselves, Emy and Teresa live a simple life centered around attending mass, working in a fish market and avoiding the locals, but the outside world soon encroaches. DIR Araceli Lemos. SCR Araceli Lemos, Giulia Caruso. CAST Abigael Loma, Hasmine Kilip, Angeli Bayani, Ku Aquino, Michalis Siriopoulos, Irene Inglesi. Greece, France, USA

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker and AFI FEST alum Hany Abu-Assad (OMAR; PARADISE NOW) portrays the harrowing experience of a Palestinian mother who is blackmailed one fateful day at Huda’s Salon. DIR Hany Abu-Assad. SCR Hany Abu-Assad. CAST Ali Suliman, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Manal Awad, Kamel El Basha, Samer Bisharat, Omar Abu Amer. Palestine, Egypt, Netherlands

The mission of three humanitarian aid workers is diverted when they offer a ride to an elderly man along the side of the road and find themselves suddenly stranded. DIR Radu Muntean. SCR Radu Muntean, Răzvan Rădulescu, Alexandru Baciu. CAST Maria Popistașu, Alex Bogdan, Ilona Brezoianu, Luca Sabin. Romania

An aging jockey hopes to win one last title for his longtime trainer who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. DIR Clint Bentley. SCR Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar. CAST Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias. USA

Despite abortion being illegal in Chad and forbidden in Islam, Amina is determined to support her teenage daughter’s decision to end her pregnancy and must navigate the fragile fabric of female support within a patriarchal society. DIR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. SCR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. CAST Achouackh Abakar Souleymane, Rihane Khalil Alio, Youssouf Djaoro, Briya Gomdigue, Hadjé Fatimé Ngoua. Chad, France, Germany, Belgium

Anita Rocha da Silveira (KILL ME PLEASE) returns to AFI FEST with a horror-satire that fiercely critiques evangelical fanaticism, focusing on a virtuous Christian girl gang that is hellbent on publicly shaming sinful women. DIR Anita Rocha da Silveira. SCR Anita Rocha da Silveira. CAST Mari Oliveira, Lara Tremouroux, Joana Medeiros, Felipe Frazão, Bruna G. Brazil

While visiting Bogotá, Colombia, Jessica (Tilda Swinton), a Scottish orchid farmer grappling with deep existential unease, becomes tormented by a sound only she can hear. DIR Apichatpong Weerasethakul. SCR Apichatpong Weerasethakul. CAST Tilda Swinton. Colombia, Thailand, UK, Mexico, France

Master Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou crafts a charming celebration of cinema in this epic story of an escaped prisoner bonding with an orphan and a village projectionist. DIR Zhang Yimou. SCR Zhang Yimou, Zou Jingzhi. CAST Fan Wei, Liu Haocun, Zhang Yi. China

A response to a roommate ad and a case of mistaken identity blossoms into a complex web of love and friendship in this modern, panoramic tale by director Jacques Audiard. DIR Jacques Audiard. SCR Jacques Audiard, Lea Mysius, Céline Sciamma, Adrian Tomine. CAST Noémie Merlant, Geneviève Doang, Jehnny Beth, Line Phé, Stephen Manas. France

In Céline Sciamma’s (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE) enchanting and poetic coming-of-age story, eight-year-old Nelly – mourning the recent death of her beloved grandmother – meets a girl building a tree fort, like her mother once did. DIR Céline Sciamma. SCR Céline Sciamma. France

In this raw and powerful debut feature, Bella arrives in Los Angeles from Sweden to pursue her dreams of stardom – in the adult film industry.DIR Ninja Thyberg. SCR Ninja Thyberg, Peter Modestij. CAST Sofia Kappel, Revika Anne Reustle, Evelyn Claire. Sweden, Netherlands, France

This devastating narrative debut from documentary filmmaker Tatiana Huezo set in the mountains of Mexico follows Ana and her two best friends who live under the constant threat of kidnappings and drug cartel violence. DIR Tatiana Huezo. SCR Tatiana Huezo. CAST Mayra Batalla, Marya Membreño, Ana Cristina Ordoñez Gonzalez. Mexico

In Sean Baker’s bold and provocative new film, Simon Rex gives a hypnotic performance as an adult film star and hustler returning to his hometown in search of a fresh start. DIR Sean Baker. SCR Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch. CAST Simon Rex, Suzanna Son, Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, Judy Hill. USA

Opting to stay on permanent vacation instead of tending to family, wealthy heir Neil Bennett quietly fights to control his life in a world where violence and leisure are one and the same. DIR Michel Franco. SCR Michel Franco. CAST Tim Roth, Iazua Larios, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Mexico

Friends Crista, Carloto and João are building a greenhouse for butterflies, cleaning out an above-ground pool and participating in spontaneous dance parties when there is a sudden global virus outbreak. DIR Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes. SCR Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, Mariana Ricardo. CAST Crista Alfaiate, Carloto Cotta, João Nunes Monteiro. Portugal, France

In a remote mining town, Ada is coming of age in a deeply dysfunctional family isolated by the men that surround her. The welcome attentions of a local boy present the possibility of new experiences, and a potential escape. DIR Kira Kovalenko. SCR Kira Kovalenko, Anton Yarush, Lyubov Mulmenko. CAST Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov, Arsen Khetagurov, Milana Pagieva. Russia

Reeling from her husband’s suicide, sign language interpreter Vera (Teuta Ajdini) must summon untapped strength when her inheritance is violently challenged by a male in-law in deeply patriarchal Kosovo. DIR Kaltrina Krasniqi. SCR Doruntina Basha. CAST Teuta Ajdini, Alketa Sylaj, Astrit Kabashi, Refet Abazi. Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania

Alexandre Koberidze’s Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize winner follows Lisa and Giorgi who fall in love at first sight, only for a curse to strike the pair, leaving them unrecognizable to one another. DIR Alexandre Koberidze. SCR Alexandre Koberidze. CAST Giorgi Bochorishvili, Ani Karseladze, Oliko Barbakadze, Giorgi Ambroladze, Vakhtang Fanchulidze. Georgia, Germany

Link, an indigenous Mi’kmaw teen, and his younger half-brother go on a journey to find Link’s long-lost mother. Joining their trek, Pasmay, a two-spirit teen, awakens something new inside of Link. DIR Bretten Hannam. SCR Bretten Hannam. CAST Phillip Lewitski, Joshua Odjick, Avery Winters-Anthony, Michael Greyeyes. Canada

This modern dramedy chronicles four years in the life of Julie, a young woman navigating love and life in Oslo. DIR Joachim Trier. SCR Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt. CAST Renate REINSVE, Herbert Nordrum, Anders Danielsen Lie. Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark


The most engaging and powerful real-life stories depicted in global nonfiction cinema that enlighten, educate and entertain.

Director Douglas Tirola documents the life of composer Leonard Bernstein (WEST SIDE STORY) from his early life in New England, to his early orchestral career, his work on television and his constant advocacy of worthy causes. DIR Douglas Tirola. USA

Filmmakers Rex Miller and Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI) honor the life and enduring impact of groundbreaking tennis champion, civil rights activist and humanitarian Arthur Ashe in this stirring documentary. DIR Rex Miller, Sam Pollard. USA, UK

A mother. A provider. A cow. AFI Alumna Andrea Arnold’s first-ever documentary is a visceral, up-close portrait of Luma, a singular dairy cow who despite her tenacity is subject to the whim of others. DIR Andrea Arnold. UK

In early 2020, New York City is the number one hotspot for COVID-19 in the United States. Academy Award®-nominated documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman takes a poignant look at the turmoil and resilience on the hospital frontlines. DIR Matthew Heineman. USA

This intimate documentary explores the life and death of the young hip hop star Juice WRLD. DIR Tommy Oliver. FEATURING JuiceWRLD, The Kid Laroi, Lil Bibby, Polo G, G Herbo, Benny Blanco, Rex Kudo, Hit-Boy, Cole Bennett, Trippie Redd. USA. World Premiere.

Highlighting delightful, never-before-seen clips from Julia Child’s public television show, veteran filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West explore the trailblazing career of a culinary icon. DIR Julie Cohen, Betsy West. USA

In Payal Kapadia’s semi-fictionalized experimental documentary, the diary of a student to her absent lover recounts a period of political upheaval in India, her own heartbreak reflecting that of a generation of students. DIR Payal Kapadia. SCR Payal Kapadia, Himanshu Prajapati. France, India

Robert Greene’s poignant documentary chronicles six men using drama therapy to process childhood sexual abuse and explores their journey to create something truly beautiful out of horrible trauma. DIR Robert Greene. USA

This uniquely crafted portrait of iconic silent film comedian Charlie Chaplin features rare insights and never-before-heard recordings by those closest to the mercurial film legend, introducing characters previously written out of the narrative.  DIR Peter Middleton, James Spinney. USA

Oscar-winning director Megan Mylan documents a handful of courageous refugee families affected by the Syrian civil war and the efforts to rebuild their lives in new surroundings around the world. DIR Megan Mylan. USA

This powerful documentary follows Project Recover, an organization with a mission to bring home missing-in-action World War II veterans from forgotten South Pacific battlefields. DIR Chris Woods. SCR Mark Monroe. USA. World Premiere.

Filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler chronicle ACLU lawyer Jeffrey Robinson’s essential deep dive into America’s 400-year history of white supremacy and anti-Black racism. DIR Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler. SCR Jeffery Robinson. USA


In partnership with NBC’s Meet the Press, these short documentaries spotlight compelling stories about pressing issues facing our society with conversations moderated by NBC News journalists.

A film by award-winning director and 2021 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree Dawn Porter that looks at how the art world responded to the death of Breonna Taylor by using art not only as a form of protest but as a space to heal. DIR Dawn Porter. USA

During WWII, a group of young Jewish refugees are sent to a secret POW camp near Washington, DC, and they soon discover that the prisoners are Hitler’s top scientists. DIR Daniel Sivan, Mor Loushy. USA

The coded advertisements of legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker quietly, but directly, acknowledged a community that was forced to live in the closet. DIR Ryan White. USA

A group of immigrants, detained inside an infamous American detention center as the pandemic spreads, organize in protest to demand protections and their release. DIR Seth Freed Wessler. USA

Teen karate pro Jeff Wall teaches senior citizens self-defense at a local nursing home, giving them the tools to feel in control, connected and cared for. DIR Sindha Agha. USA

The film forces viewers to confront their own feelings about justice and mercy, while revealing the heavy toll our current system takes on incarcerated people and their families. DIR Jonathan Miller, Zachary Russo. USA

A short presenting the epidemic of homelessness in America with candid testimonials from the unhoused. A poetic portrait of our culture’s fraying edges and the people who inhabit them. DIR Pedro Kos, Jon Shenk. USA

From 1880–1968 over 4,000 African Americans were lynched at the hands of white mobs. These lynchings were commemorated through souvenir postcards that would ultimately be subverted by Black activists to expose racist violence in the U.S. DIR Christine Turner. USA

A film exploring the broader role of Confederate symbolism in the 21st century and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain. DIR Emily Harrold. USA

Israeli soldiers are recruited at age 18 and, only months later, are already overseeing Palestinian civil life. Former soldiers describe their time in Hebron, the most troubled city in the West Bank. DIR Rona Segal. Israel

At the early voting line in Ohio’s most populous county, civic duty is a public performance. DIR Lydia Cornett. USA

As protests unfold in Hong Kong, RED TAXI shows a city in upheaval through the eyes of those who must traverse the streets day and night to make a living. DIR Anonymous. Hong Kong, USA

An exploration of July 14, 1970, when members of the Young Lords Party stormed the Lincoln Hospital in South Bronx, making their cries for decent healthcare heard by the world. DIR Emma Francis-Snyder. USA

Mothers, sisters and grandmothers of those killed by Columbus police, seeking justice in a community bound together by grief and a system that refuses to call these killings murder. DIR Melissa Gira Grant, Ingrid Raphael. USA

In this beautifully animated documentary short, filmmaker Lyana Patrick narrates her family’s powerful story of love and survival at Lejac Indian Residential School. DIR Lyana Patrick. Canada


Emerging and established filmmakers push the form of storytelling in inventive, challenging and sometimes hilarious ways – all in 40 minutes or less.

In a cotton farming village in Sudan, Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman. Can Nafisa choose for herself? DIR Suzannah Mirghani. Sudan,Qatar

Living things, artificial things, geometry shapes and lines. When these different things encounter, a new direction is born. DIR Yoriko Mizushiri. Japan, France

On a hot day, Safa’s car battery dies, leaving her stranded in a strip mall parking lot. When her mom arrives, the two struggle to jump-start a car. DIR Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis. USA

BABYBANGZ visualizes the story of Anastasia Ebel, owner of a natural hair salon in Mid-city, and her mission to foster opportunities for intentional reflection, for herself and her community. DIR Juliana Kasumu. USA

For a forensic cleaner in Mexico City, healing is at the core of his service. DIR Louise Monlaü. Mexico, Spain, France

Nelly slogs through another unsuccessful day of street vending in Queens, New York. Determined to improve her circumstances, she makes a risky business decision that ends in misfortune. DIR Zahida Pirani. USA

A warehouse worker at a fast fashion company forms an attachment to a piece of damaged inventory. DIR Cosmo Collins Salovaara. USA

A trip into grandmother’s youth and the memories of her intimate life illustrate the status of Slovenian women in the first half of the 20th century. DIR Urška Djukić, Émilie Pigeard. Slovenia, France

Roadside greenery is created to be driven past, not to be in. Geometrical, artificial and overgrown by weeds. Your body is the same, dragged through life instead of living it. DIR Karolina Kajetanowicz. Poland

Feeling anxious about adulthood, Sean Wang found comfort in the innocence of middle school through his old yearbooks. Curious about how his old friends were handling adulthood, he called them. DIR Sean Wang. USA

After not being invited to her sister’s wedding, Aya, a transwoman, shows up by surprise on a Shabbat night at the Orthodox Jewish community where her family lives. DIR Bar Cohen. Israel

The narratives of three interpreters of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, who interpreted shocking testimonies without regard for their own feelings and personal histories. DIR Eliane Esther Bots. Netherlands

She finds letters full of love her dad wrote her years ago. DIR Diana Cam Van Nguyen. Czech Republic, Slovakia

A grandfather harbors his runaway grandson after fleeing the constraints of home. DIR Stephanie Camacho Casillas. Puerto Rico

One night, Seolgi is lying on a grass field with friends. A shooting star falls, and dark and intrusive thoughts hits her and her melancholy blooms into “flower people.” DIR Sasha Lee. South Korea, USA

A professional “mistress dispeller” works with a married couple struggling with infidelity in contemporary China. DIR Elizabeth Lo. USA,China

A ghost loses their memory after being struck by lightning. They meet Arthur, who tries to help them. DIR Grégoire de Bernouis, Jawed Boudaoud, Simon Cadilhac, Hélène Ledevin. France

He sits proudly on his motorbike, encompassed in majestic red and the dazzling admiration of others. A playful re-enactment with reversed roles that targets the hubris of colonial conquerors. DIR Gabriel Herrera. Mexico

Every January 6th, families in the Inuit community of Nain, Canada, celebrate Nalujuk Night, when eerie figures in tattered fur clothing arrive to reward the good and punish the bad. DIR Jennie Williams. Canada

Based on a true story, NEW ABNORMAL is a reflection on human life during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as under the Emergency decree. DIR Sorayos Prapapan. Thailand

Three generations of Chinese women say goodbye to their family ballroom dance studio. Executive produced by Lena Waithe, starring Shirley Chen and Mardy Ma. DIR Johnson Cheng. USA, China

Jonathan is out of place in his drama school. Pigeonholed and typecast in parts, Jonathan decides to demonstrate to his peers their prejudices during a class role-play exercise. DIR Mitch Kalisa. UK

A mother wants to play with her son. A boy wants to find out what his friend is giving a girl. A cat has disappeared. But these are only games. DIR Simone Bozzelli. Italy

An aspiring writer finalizes stories for “Pride,” a student-run newspaper. Over a hectic two days in the early 1990s, she puts the finishing touches on the upcoming issue. DIR Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold. USA

The film tells the story of a young woman who faces a moral dilemma when she witnesses a sexual encounter at the clothing store where she works. DIR Michelle Uranowitz, Daniel Jaffe. USA

Zara shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend, who blackmails her. She begins her search for the strength to reject the confines of a patriarchal society. DIR Seemab Gul. Pakistan

SHARK follows the continuing adventures of Jack, who loves to prank. But in his latest relationship he may have finally met his match. DIR Nash Edgerton. Australia

Two ex-lovers cross paths in a train station. DIR Renee Zhan. UK

In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn. DIR Siyou Tan. Singapore

On the day of Tina’s birthday, she is ready to give up on everything until an extraordinary encounter changes her life. DIR Alexandra Matheou. Cyprus, France

Each week, people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to video call incarcerated loved ones. A story of two mothers and their sons, and the librarians who keep the families connected. DIR Malika Zouhali-Worrall. USA

The grey present of an industrial area is being charged with its past, linked to a tragic episode in the history of Germany. Are public memorials collective remembrance or repression? DIR Güzin Kar. Switzerland

A lonely old man pays a visit to Yoruga, one of the last animals on Earth. DIR Federico Torrado Tobón. Colombia

A boy has disappeared and may have drowned. Five-year-old Lucie is trying to understand what is going on around her. How long can you hold your breath? DIR Meltse Van Coillie. Belgium


AFI Conservatory Showcase
A collection of short fiction films from the most recent graduates of the AFI Conservatory.
The theatrical screenings will conclude with a special AFI Fellows-focused premiere of Executive Producer David Fincher’s latest Netflix series, VOIR.

A special screening of Executive Producer David Fincher’s latest Netflix series: A collection of visual essays…for the love of cinema. DIR David Prior, Taylor Ramos, Tony Zhou. World Premiere.

Yiru is a Chinese teenager traveling to the U.S. as a translator for her mom, who is searching for her first daughter she gave up for adoption under the one-child policy. DIR Hang “Olivia” Zhou. USA

Stalked by an ominous driver, a boy on the cusp of puberty faces danger and excitement during a weekend of self-discovery with his best friend. DIR Spencer Wardwell. USA

During the hottest heat wave in Southern California, Bobby wakes up to find his AC stolen from his window. Soon, a journey for revenge becomes one of self-discovery. DIR Andrew Pollack. USA

The peace between Leo and his grieving father is disrupted when the young boy finds a butterfly that he believes to be his deceased mother. DIR Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz. USA

After a video of a miscarriage suffered by a student goes viral, a shocked 16-year-old Chinese girl, Katie, attempts to solve a personal crisis in unfamiliar territory. DIR Jiaying “Lilly” Hu. USA

A young indentured Chinese prostitute must overcome her toxic dependency on the brothel madam on the eve of the 1885 anti-Chinese riot in Eureka, California. DIR Lixing “Mida” Chu. USA

On her first day of basic training, an army recruit stands out as she defiantly fights to be the first female guidon bearer. DIR Paige Compton. USA

After hearing a rumor that her mother is a stripper, 14-year-old Nika becomes determined to discover the truth, unknowingly crossing the threshold into adulthood. DIR Jane Stephens Rosenthal. USA

Brent and Perry, a broke and in-love couple, run into trouble when they decide to transport weed across the country. DIR Anthony Sneed. USA

Li, a recent immigrant, hopes for a better education for her son while dealing with potentially losing her career, and learns how to do what’s best for her son. DIR Shengxi “Clement” Yang. USA

A lonely woman saves an alien who cannot experience emotions. As she tries to teach it what love is, she discovers that you can’t teach what you don’t know yourself. DIR Mikhail Saburov. USA

In a post-apocalyptical-matriarchal community, Lina faces her trial to bring light or perish to the darkness. Mara’s compassion pushes Lina to create an unprecedented light. DIR Damiana Acuña. USA

Over a day of landscaping work, a first generation African American and his immigrant father have their relationship and outlooks on life transformed irreversibly when racially profiled by police. DIR Omar Kamara. USA

Bao, a small-time Chinese opera performer, finally gets a chance to perform for the city’s V.I.P.s. However, his son’s departure brings conflict between their relationship and a potential break. DIR Yingqi “Niko” Ren. USA

A socially awkward Chinese-American teenager spends an evening trying to impress his crush at a friend’s unusual party. DIR Terry Hou. USA

When a Latina transwoman in East LA is on the verge of losing her daughter to child services, she begins to unravel after confronting her buried traumas and fears. DIR Jorge Camarena. USA

When an innocent game puts two sisters face to face with death, one must choose whether or not to protect the other from the irreversible consequences of their play. DIR Sydney Ribot. USA

Dawn Hudson Announces This Term Will Be Her Last As Academy CEO

Posted by Larry Gleeson


LOS ANGELES, CA – Dawn Hudson, chief executive officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced today that, after a successful and transformational tenure, this current term will be her last as Academy CEO.

“After more than ten years and the incredibly successful opening of our new museum, I’ve decided, when this term concludes, it will be time for me to explore other opportunities and adventures as this can hardly be topped,” said Hudson. “We’ve achieved so much together that’s been most important to me — our ongoing commitment to representation and inclusion; adapting the Academy into a digitally sophisticated global institution; and creating the world’s premier movie museum that will be the destination of film fans for decades. The Board of Governors and I are mutually committed to a seamless transition to new leadership. I’m excited for what the future holds, for both the Academy and for me.”

“Dawn has been, and continues to be, a groundbreaking leader for the Academy. Advancements in the diversity and gender parity of our membership, our increased international presence, and the successful opening of a world-class Academy Museum — a project she revived, guided and championed — are already part of her legacy. I know the Board of Governors joins me in looking forward to our collaboration with Dawn in the many months ahead, as we map out a plan for succession,” said Academy President David Rubin.

Hudson joined the Academy as CEO in 2011.  In her role, she oversees the Academy’s 450-person staff in Los Angeles, New York and London; operations and outreach, including awards, membership, marketing, communications, finance and technology; the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Academy Foundation. The Foundation includes educational initiatives, fellowships and grants, the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive.

With Hudson at the helm building and overseeing its financial assets, including the Oscars®, the Academy has become more accessible to its members and people around the world. The institution has achieved advances in technology and the modernization of its infrastructure, which have enabled greater global outreach, member communications and events, online voting and streaming on the Academy Screening Room, and a significantly expanded social media presence.

Under her leadership, Hudson has driven significant diversity, inclusion and representation initiatives across the Academy membership, governance and staff. As a result, the Academy more than doubled the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities within its membership through the A2020 initiative, bringing in the most diverse class in the organization’s history at that time. Hudson also oversaw the creation of Aperture 2025, establishing inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility, to further the Academy’s efforts to advance representation in the entertainment industry.

Hudson was integral to the development of the Academy Museum, which opened to the public in September and is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts and sciences of moviemaking.

A search for Hudson’s successor will soon be underway, and she will have a vital role in the transition.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

2022 Sundance Film Festival: Satellite Screens, Online Platform, Health Safety, & Ticketing Details Revealed

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Sundance Circle, Institute Storyteller and Supporter Members Get Early Sale Access:
Packages, December 15, Individual Tickets January 5

General Public: Packages, December 17, Individual Tickets January 6



Park City, UT – The nonprofit Sundance Institute has announced  several key aspects of how their 2022 Sundance Film Festival will take place in person and online January 20-30, 2022, including sharing this year’s Satellite Screen partners and locations, ticket package details and on-sale dates, and elaborating upon earlier health and safety guidelines.

“Our programming team, led by the fearless Kim Yutani, is deep into screening the mountain of submissions we have already received this year,” said Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “As our press and industry offices open in preparation for the next edition of our festival we are excited to share what details we can today, anticipate sharing more as we know more, and can’t wait to meet audiences wherever they are, including in Utah, in January.”

The Festival platform is now live and gives a first glimpse at the 2022 look and feel, an expression of the concept of convergence that powers the Festival experience this year. The Festival website will be the homebase this year where audiences can buy tickets, explore the program, watch films and other content online, and engage with the community. This early launch includes a dynamic trailer for the 2022 Festival, a preview of all of this year’s ticket products (available starting in December), a comprehensive how-to guide for the online and in-person experiences, and an explanation of our latest health and safety measures. This is an introduction to what the Festival is about: groundbreaking storytelling and community convergence. The platform will host key informational updates alongside the Festival’s full program of features, plus short films, episodic work, and New Frontier projects.

Seven independent arthouse cinemas across the United States have been selected to showcase a specially-curated selection of Festival films and connect with local audiences during the Festival’s closing weekend, Friday, January 28, through Sunday, January 30, 2022. The selected Satellite Screen theaters are:

The full program of the 2022 Festival will meet audiences in Utah and online. The broad range of ticketing options ensures that everyone from the fanatic to the casually curious can participate at levels that make sense for them, with individual tickets starting at $20. After an early sale for Sundance Circle members (October 15), package sales and/or selection begins on December 15 for Sundance Institute’s Sundance Circle, Storyteller and Supporter Members and December 17 for the general public.. Individual ticket sales for Institute Members begin January 5, and for the public, January 6. Satellite Screens are independently ticketed. For details on Institute membership, visit Each ticket product has limitations on the number of units that may be purchased. Ticket products include:

Individual Tickets

Purchase individual tickets to your must-see features. Join us for a premiere or a second screening, online or in person, to the film (or films!) of your choice. Once you’ve got your ticket, you’re all set — no reservation required.

Price: $20
Dates Valid: Date and time of screening selected

Explorer Pass
Available to audiences all over the world, this pass unlocks online access to the immersive projects of New Frontier, serialized storytelling in Indie Episodic, and visionary short films, including an exclusive program for our online audiences.
Price: $50
Dates Valid: January 20–30

Day Package — Online Only
Spend a full day with us via this four-screening online package, which includes early access to ticket selection. Also included on the day your package is valid: all the benefits of our Explorer Pass. Early ticket selection to four online screenings for one day of the 2022 Festival — see available dates below; (note that ticket selection is required for admission to each screening). Access to all Explorer Pass benefits, including New Frontier, Short Film, and Indie Episodic programs, on the day your pass is valid.
Price: $100
Dates Valid: Single days, January 22-28

Award-Winners Package
Access eight award-winning feature film screenings, in person or online, during Awards Weekend. Awards will be announced on Friday, January 28, and that weekend (January 29–30) is all about celebrating the winners. Also included: all the benefits of our Explorer Pass.
Price: $300
Dates Valid: January 29–30

Salt Lake City Package
Utah residents, this package offers 10 in-person tickets to feature film screenings across all Salt Lake City venues, with early access to ticket selection. Also included: all the benefits of our
Explorer Pass. Early ticket selection for 10 in-person screenings at the Grand Theater, Rose Wagner Theater, Broadway Theaters, or Salt Lake City Library, including premieres, second screenings, and Award-Winner screenings (note that ticket selection is required for admission to each screening). This package requires a Utah billing address to purchase.
Price: $500
Dates Valid: January 20–30

Resort Package
If you’re looking to settle in at the Sundance Mountain Resort and catch your must-see titles, this package is for you. You’ll get 10 tickets to in-person Festival features at the Resort from January 20–30, in addition to all the benefits of our Explorer Pass.
Price: $650
Dates Valid: January 20–30

Festival Package
This package — historically the most popular way to experience the Festival — offers 10 tickets to in-person or online feature film screenings during the entire Festival, along with early access to ticket selection. Also included: all the benefits of our Explorer Pass.
Price: $750
Dates Valid: January 20–30

As announced in August, the Institute will require all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19; further details on this year’s policies and specifics are below; more will be shared as warranted in the coming months.

Full COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
We require that all participants attending the Festival — or Festival-sanctioned events — in person in Utah to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved by the World Health Organization. All vaccinations must be completed at least two weeks prior to traveling to the Festival. The CDC notes that being vaccinated greatly reduces your likelihood of contracting or transmitting the COVID-19 virus. Vaccination maintains your own health and safety, and reduces transmission rates within spaces and at events. We will share information on how to provide proof of vaccination closer to the Festival.

We require that masks are worn at all times in interior spaces and in queuing lines (this includes outdoor areas such as tents, restrooms, and temporary structures). Masks must be worn to enter these spaces. We recommend masks be worn in all other outdoor settings. This is an important safety measure that not only benefits you but those around you.

2022 Sundance Film Festival

The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute. 2022 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, AMC+, Chase Sapphire, Adobe; Leadership Sponsors – Amazon Studios, DoorDash, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom Group, WarnerMedia, XRM Media; Sustaining Sponsors – Aflac, Audible, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell Technologies, IMDbPro, Michelob ULTRA, Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Rye, Southwest Airlines®, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health, White Claw Hard Seltzer; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Shadow And Act, Variety, Vulture. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists.

Sundance Institute
As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive.
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

AFI FEST Announces 2021 Dates and Opening Night World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!

Gala for Life Achievement Honoree, Julie Andrews

AFI has announced that the 2021 edition of AFI FEST will take place November 10–14, 2021, and open with the World Premiere of Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM! This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events in Los Angeles, CA, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists, and a gala event celebrating AFI Life Achievement Honoree Julie Andrews.

The Opening Night screening of tick, tick…BOOM! will take place at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. Directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature directorial debut, the film is based on the autobiographical musical by “Rent” playwright Jonathan Larson and stars Academy Award® nominee and Tony Award® winner Andrew Garfield. The film is written by Tony Award® winner Steven Levenson, and produced by Academy Award® and Emmy® winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Imagine Entertainment, Julie Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Please note that with health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.

Tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 will be available soon on AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit

AFI Announces KING RICHARD as Closing Night Film for FEST 2021


Starring Will Smith to Close AFI FEST 2021

The Closing Night film for AFI FEST 2021 has been officially crowned! The 35th edition of AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in world cinema will close with Warner Bros. Pictures’ KING RICHARD, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green with cinematography by Robert Elswit (AFI Class of 1977), written by Zach Baylin and starring two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith. Based on a true story that will inspire the world, the film follows Richard Williams, an undeterred father who, with the support of his family, is instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, Venus and Serena Williams. The Closing Night screening will take place on Sunday, November 14 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

“AFI’s mission includes inspiring audiences, and KING RICHARD sets the bar for this year,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming at AFI Festivals. “Movies often deliver when we need them most, and now is the perfect time for this film to remind young people that nothing is out of reach, and that with perseverance and determination they can influence future generations.”

This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists. As previously announced, the World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM! directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will open the festival on Nov. 10.

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 film festival will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated. Tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 will be available soon on AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit


Millions of Viewers Will Soon Experience the Wonder of Floating in Space Outside the International Space Station

(NEW YORK, NY) August 27, 2021—Felix & Paul Studios, the EMMY-award winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences and the leading Space Media company, in partnership with NASA and TIME Studios, the EMMY-award winning television, film and immersive division of TIME, today announced the filming of the first-ever scenes in outer space captured in immersive 3D, 360°virtual reality format. Audiences will soon be able to experience what it is truly like to float in outer space by seeing everything completely around them, as if they were there in real life. The captured scenes have been made possible by Felix & Paul Studios’ customized virtual reality “Outer Space Camera”, attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm which functioned as a “Space Crane” on the world’s first zero-gravity movie set.

These incredible, highly-immersive scenes will be included in episodes three and four of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, an immersive series being produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios. These forthcoming episodes will be available in 360° mobile format on 5G-enabled tablets and smartphones through leading telcos – including LGU+ (South Korea), KDDI (Japan), AIS (Taiwan), Orange (France) and Deutsche Telekom (Germany); at leading Big Screen venues, domes, planetariums, space visitor centers and science centers; in fully-immersive virtual reality on the Oculus Store for RIFT, Quest and Quest 2 devices; and as a main feature of the major, touring lifescale interactive exhibit, THE INFINITE, produced in partnership with PHI Studio.

“Today’s immersive cinematic capture of scenes in outer space is the culmination of close to three years of preparation. We are excited, honoured and truly humbled to have the opportunity to film in the most challenging environment known to humankind,” said Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios and Director of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience. “Our mission since day one was to enable billions of people to experience what it is like to float in space and witness Planet Earth from above and we are pleased that this one-time dream will soon become reality in the final two episodes of our ISS Experience series.”

Less than 250 astronauts have ever conducted an extravehicular activity (EVA) – known as a “spacewalk” – and never before have audiences been able to experience what it is like to float in space as if they were astronauts themselves. The outer space scenes being captured in 3D will bring viewers “into the action” like never before and are being directed remotely by veteran directors Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël in both the Felix & Paul Studios facilities in Montreal and in the Canadian Space Agency facilities.

“Capturing the Earth in stereoscopic 3D, 360-degree format from space, outside the space station, has never been attempted until now,” said Jonathan Woods, Executive Producer of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience at TIME Studios and Emmy-winning producer of A Year in Space. “It’s beyond exciting and surreal to see this happening, knowing that the dream for this ambitious project started over five years ago in 2015.”

Felix & Paul Studios’ state-of-the-art Outer Space Camera is a customized Z-Cam V1 Pro camera consisting of nine 4K sensors allowing for a 3D, a 360-degree image at 8K resolution, and has been specially hardened by Nanoracks to withstand the harsh conditions of low atmosphere orbit, including vacuum, solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, charged particle (ionizing) radiation, plasma, surface charging and arcing, temperature extremes, thermal cycling, and impacts from micrometeoroids and orbital debris (MMOD), and environment‐induced contamination from micrometeoroids and orbital debris (MMOD), and environment‐induced contamination.

The Outer Space Camera can store approximately 15 hours of 3D, 360-degree footage with custom lenses made to withstand extreme light and heat to minimize flare when directly exposed to the Sun (external temperatures ranging from -250° F to +250° F). About Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Space Explorers.

The ISS Experience is a four-part immersive series created in collaboration with the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and other space agencies involved with the International Space Station and is filmed entirely on board and outside of the ISS using Felix & Paul Studios’ specialized 3D, 360-degree virtual reality ISS Camera and customized Outer Space Camera. Astronauts including Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques, Christina Koch, Nick Hague, Jessica Meir, Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano and Victor Glover star as cast, film crew and narrators in this four-part immersive series, the largest production ever filmed in space.

The trailer for The ISS Experience is available here and stills are available here. Stills of the scenes filmed outside the International Space Station are available here. Behind the scenes footage is available at

About Felix & Paul Studios

Felix & Paul Studios is an EMMY® Award-winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences, creating unparalleled, highly engaging, presence-based experiences for the next generation of technology-enabled devices and venues. The studio’s catalogue of over thirty 3D, 360-degree experiences exhibits the “industry’s best” in the new medium of immersive storytelling, including:

  • Originals: The Space Explorers series, Traveling While Black, MIYUBI, the Nomads series, Strangerswith Patrick Watson.
  • Productions with notable franchises: Jurassic World, Cirque du Soleil, Fox Searchlight’s Wild and Isle of Dogs, and The Confessionals series with Just for Laughs starring Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Jud Apatow and Trevor Noah.
  • Collaborations with world-renowned leaders and performers: President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, LeBron James, President Bill Clinton, Eminem, Wes Anderson, Brie Larson, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray and many others.

The studio’s content is available for distribution in a range of immersive formats including 360-degree mobile on 5G-enabled smartphones, tablets and headsets; 360-degree fulldome projection in domes and planetariums; fully-immersive VR on Facebook’s Oculus and other high-end virtual reality platforms; Giant Screen projection for science centers, space welcome centers and large-format cinemas; and the touring life-scale interactive exhibit, THE INFINITE, produced in partnership with PHI Studio. Felix & Paul Studios is the leading Space Media Company and the only media company recognized as an “Official Implementation Partner” by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

About TIME

StudiosFrom one of the most globally iconic brands, TIME Studios is an Emmy Award®-winning television, film and immersive studio focusing on the development, production and distribution of truth-based premium unscripted and scripted premium storytelling that moves the world. With technical innovation and a brand defining visual language that dates back 98 years, TIME Studios aims to impact communities and the world at large with ideas that forge true progress. Combining the industry’s leading creators with TIME, one of the most trusted brands that reaches an audience of over 100 million people globally, TIME Studios is uniquely positioned to bring massive audiences to the world’s most impactful stories. Recent projects include, Black Gold (Paramount+), Big Vape (Netflix), John Lewis: Good Trouble (CNN Films), Amazing Grace (Neon), Right to Offend (A&E), Ricky Powell: The Individualist (Showtime), Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube, Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon/CBS), TIME 100 (ABC) and the first scripted project for TIME Studios, Women of the Year (Amazon).


Los Angeles, CA – August 26, 2021 – The American Film Market® (AFM®) will move its 2021 edition entirely online, the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) announced today. AFM 2021 Online will be held Monday, November 1 to Friday, November 5 – shifting one day earlier than its original dates. Registration for the five-day online event is now open.

AFM 2021 Online will feature Industry Offices, Screenings, Conferences, Panels and Workshops, the Networking Pavilion, LocationEXPO, and more. Event updates will be announced regularly via email, social media, and the AFM Website.

“We wish we could welcome the global industry back to Santa Monica but travel regulations, increased concerns about coronavirus variants around the world, and government restrictions on the ground prevent us from moving forward,” said Michael Ryan, Chairperson, IFTA and Partner, GFM Films. “However, IFTA is thrilled to host the market the industry expects – where no one will be excluded and all of our stakeholders can immerse themselves for five days dedicated to deal making, discovery, education, and reconnecting.”

About the American Film Market®(AFM®)

The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. More than US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. Over five days in November, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries access the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend world class conferences, and connect with decision makers. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

About the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®)

IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to independent companies from 22 countries.

*Sourced from AFM Press release


August 12, 2021 – Santa Barbara, CA.  The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today the appointment of Claudia Puig as Programming Director. In her role, Puig will lead the curation of the film slate for the 2022 edition of the Festival. The program will include a broad array of over 200 international and independent films with a commitment to diversity and inclusion, with most films being World or U.S. Premieres. Puig will lead insightful Q&As and seminar discussions with hundreds of attending filmmakers, and she will report to Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Puig is currently serving as president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and is a longtime critic on NPR’s Film Week. 


“Claudia has tremendous film festival programming expertise, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team. We have the utmost faith in her ability to bring forward a program of unmatched quality to share with our community; and with both Claudia and I being Latino, this marks a first for any major Film Festival’s artistic leads,” said Roger Durling, SBIFF’s Executive Director.

Prior to joining SBIFF, she handled programming for AFI Fest, the Mendocino Film Festival, and the Napa Valley Film Festival. She has been a speechwriter for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, Claudia has a film consulting business specializing in cultural consulting and teaches a college class on Diversity in the Media. Previously, she was USA Today’s film critic for 15 years. During that time, she also hosted The Screening Room video series and wrote film reviews and analytical articles about the film industry. Before that, she was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times for 11 years covering city government, courts, and the entertainment industry.


The 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG®, will take place LIVE on March 2 through March 12, 2022. Official events including screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, and celebrity tributes, will be held throughout the city, including at the historic Arlington Theatre. This year’s lineup will be announced February 2022. 


Over the past 36 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the world attracting 100,000+ attendees throughout the week. Funds raised through the festival directly support SBIFF’s year-round free programs that serve over 18,000 people. Passes for the 2022 Festival will be on sale for 25% off starting next Monday, August 16th. For additional information or to buy passes, visit

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 35 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000+ attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Audience Award for Best Feature Goes to


Audience Award for Best Short Goes to SHELTER

Short Film Grand Jury Prize Goes to RED TAXI

Among the Participants in 19th Annual Festival of Documentary Film:

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Morgan Neville, Garrett Bradley, Dawn Porter


JUNE 28, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners, concluding the six-day festival, with screenings presented online and in-person at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to STORM LAKE, directed by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison. The Audience Award for Best Short went toSHELTER, directed by Smriti Mundhra.

This year’s voting jury for the competitive Short Films slate was comprised of Mike Attie, award-winning filmmaker and professor of film at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; Greta Hagen-Richardson, Director of Programming at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and Lead Features Programmer at the New Orleans Film Festival; and Yvonne Ashley Kouadjo, Associate Producer for The New York Times’ award-winning short documentary series Op-Docs.

The Grand Jury Prize for Short Films went to RED TAXI, directed byAnonymous. The jury said of RED TAXI: “For its creative and accessible approach to telling a story from the perspective of those living and working in a moment of political upheaval, we award the Shorts Grand Jury Prize to RED TAXI. The courage of the anonymous filmmaker struck us for their commitment to depicting the nuances of reality on the ground.” The Shorts Grand Jury Prize at AFI DOCS is a qualifying award for Academy Award® eligibility.

The jury also awarded the Special Jury Prize to two films: THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA, directed by BrandánCerviño Abeledo, saying,

“For its ability to tell a reflexive story with levity and tenderness, we award a Special Jury Prize to THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA”; and S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y), directed by Nora Štrbová, saying, “For its intelligent use of multi-dimensional media in telling a fraught, emotional story, we award a Special Jury Prize to S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y).”

The 19th edition of AFI DOCS presented a diverse slate of 78 films from 23 countries, shedding light on overlooked stories from the past, honoring champions of change and giving us glimpses into the everyday lives of subjects close to home and around the world. This year, 52% of AFI DOCS films were directed by women, 40% by BIPOC directors and 18% by LGBTQ directors.

Among the festival participants were filmmakers and notables including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Academy Award®winners Morgan Neville, Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine and Mark Ronson; Academy Award®-nominated filmmakers Julie Cohen, Betsy West and Steve James; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Art Cullen; award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter; Emmy® Award winner Chris Nee; CNN political contributor and host Van Jones; author and The New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb; filmmaker and actor Sonja Sohn; musician and filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator Dwandalyn Reece; President of the African American Film Critics Association Gil Robertson; Georgetown University Professor Dr. Janet Mann; rapper KYLE; and son of late comedian and activist Dick Gregory Christian Gregory.

The festival’s panels and discussions provided filmmakers, film subjects and audiences the opportunity to delve deeper into the films with conversations led by some of the nation’s top journalists, including: NBC News Correspondent Morgan Radford; NBC News’ Meet the Press Moderator and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd; NBC News Correspondent Anne Thompson; MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee; Variety’s Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis; Axios Justice and Race Reporter Russell Contreras; Senior Segment Producer of WGN Morning News and WGN’s Entertainment Producer Tyra Martin; entertainment journalist & TV producer KJ Matthews; CQ Roll Call Deputy Editor Jason Dick andHealth Care Editor Rebecca Adams; and The Washington Post’s Managing Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson, Chief Film Critic Ann Hornaday, Global Opinions writer Jason Rezaian, National Security Editor Peter Finn, Religion Reporter Michelle Boorstein, and Host and Editor of Food Video Mary Beth Albright.

This year’s inaugural DOCS Talks programming included the World Premiere of Netflix’s and Higher Ground’s WE THE PEOPLE, as well as “History Is Out of the Closet: Excavating Queer Stories for the Screen,” a live stream conversation celebrating LGBTQ+ pride. The AFI DOCS Industry Forum explored building accessibility practices into all steps of the production process, demystifying investigative documentaries, the making of the hit series PHILLY D.A., how documentaries shape conversations on racial violence, a behind-the-scenes look at the Hindsight Project films and new collaborations between public media and indie filmmakers. This year’s Industry Forum programming also included closed captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. The AFI DOCS Industry Forum is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.


DIR: Anonymous. As protests in Hong Kong escalate, taxi drivers experience a city in upheaval driving the streets day and night. Anonymously filmed by locals.



DIR: Brandán Cerviño Abeledo. Andrea’s First Communion ceremony lacks glamour. For Andrea, things without sparkles are meaningless.


S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y)

DIR: Nora Štrbová. A multi-textured animated exploration of memory as a container of identity, based on the personal story of the filmmaker and her brother who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

This year’s Premium Sponsor is Apple Original Films. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) returns as Official Sponsor of the festival. NBC News’ Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and The Washington Post return this year as Primary Media Partners. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are this year’s Official Media Partners. The Wrap is an Affiliate Media Partner.Screen Sponsors include SHOWTIME® Documentary Films, Netflix, WarnerMedia and HBO Documentary Films. Participant, National Geographic, and Eventive serve as Major Sponsors. This year’s Contributing Sponsors are ESPN, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). Supporting Sponsors include the Maryland Film Office, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Rev. The Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and the Farhang Foundation are this year’s Cultural Sponsors. Generous individual support comes from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.



AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival historically held in Washington, DC.  Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the heart of our nation’s government. The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Rory Kennedy, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 19th year, the festival will be held June 22-27, 2021. Visit and connect


About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at


About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribefor email updates.

About The Washington Post and Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.


The Press Freedom Partnership is a public service initiative from The Washington Post to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists who are in pursuit of the truth. Learn more at

About Meet the Press with Chuck Todd

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2019-2020 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Press Reports, a 30-minute program on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single topic explored through the Meet the Press lens. It’s the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to also include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer.


Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR,

American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759,