Category Archives: #AFI

AFI NEWS: AFI AWARDS POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that it will postpone the AFI AWARDS luncheon scheduled to take place on Friday, January 7. In response to the rising concerns over current health conditions, the organization will reschedule the much-anticipated event for a later date.

 

Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO

“The goal of AFI AWARDS is to bring together the creative community at a private event founded in hugs and handshakes,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “Because that goal is not achievable at this time, we will be postponing the event until we can properly celebrate the artists in a manner worthy of the gifts they have given the world.”

 

Timothy Chalamet and Steven Spielberg shake hands at the 2018 AFI Awards.

AFI AWARDS selections are made through AFI’s unique jury process – in which scholars, artists, critics, and AFI Trustees determine the most outstanding achievements of the year.

 

AFI AWARDS honorees include 10 outstanding films and 10 outstanding TV programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. Additional honorees were selected in a category for “Special Awards,” designated for works of excellence that fall outside of the Institute’s criteria of American film and television.

 

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
CODA
DON’T LOOK UP
DUNE
KING RICHARD
LICORICE PIZZA
NIGHTMARE ALLEY
THE POWER OF THE DOG
tick, tick… BOOM!
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
WEST SIDE STORY

AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
HACKS
MAID
MARE OF EASTTOWN
RESERVATION DOGS
SCHMIGADOON!
SUCCESSION
TED LASSO
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
WANDAVISION
THE WHITE LOTUS

AFI SPECIAL AWARD
BELFAST
SQUID GAME
SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

Celebrating film and television arts’ collaborative nature, AFI AWARDS is the only national program that honors creative teams as a whole, recognizing those in front of and behind the camera. All of the honored works advance the art of the moving image, inspire audiences and artists alike, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form and make a mark on American society. When placed in a historical context, these stories provide a complex and rich visual record of our modern world.

AFI AWARDS selections are made through a jury process where AFI Trustees, artists, critics, and scholars determine the year’s most outstanding achievements and provide artistic and cultural context for the selection of each honoree.

This year’s jury featured acclaimed artists including Lee Isaac Chung, Liz Hannah, Anjelica Huston, and Ed Zwick; renowned film historians Annette Insdorf, L.S. Kim, Akira Mizuta Lippit, Leonard Maltin, Ellen Seiter, and Robert Thompson; the AFI Board of Trustees; film critics Shawn Edwards from the African American Film Critics Association and Claudia Puig from Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and film and television critics from outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, TV Guide, and The Washington Post. The jury was chaired by AFI Board of Trustees member Jeanine Basinger (Chair Emerita and Founder of the Film Studies Department, Wesleyan University) and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences).

The 2021 recipients join a distinguished group of previous AFI AWARDS honorees whose works define the art form and contribute to our rich cultural legacy. View all past AFI AWARDS honorees here.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FESTAFI DOCS, and a year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

AFI AWARDS 2021 HONOREES ANNOUNCED

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

Honorees To Be Celebrated At Private Reception On January 7, 2022

AFI’s Movie Club To Showcase Official Selections With New Content

Hosted Exclusively On AFI.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, December 8, 2021 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the recipients of AFI AWARDS 2021. AFI AWARDS honorees include 10 outstanding films and 10 outstanding TV programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. Additional honorees were selected in a category for “Special Awards,” designated for works of excellence that fall outside of the Institute’s criteria of American film and television.

 

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR

CODA

DON’T LOOK UP

DUNE

KING RICHARD

LICORICE PIZZA

NIGHTMARE ALLEY

THE POWER OF THE DOG

tick, tick… BOOM!

THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

WEST SIDE STORY

AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

HACKS

MAID

MARE OF EASTTOWN

RESERVATION DOGS

SCHMIGADOON!

SUCCESSION

TED LASSO

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

WANDAVISION

THE WHITE LOTUS

AFI SPECIAL AWARD

BELFAST

SQUID GAME

SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

 

Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO

“AFI is honored to shine a proper light upon the most outstanding screen stories of 2021 and those who worked collaboratively to bring them to screens large and small,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “From soaring in spirit to dark and dangerous – from heartbreaking to hilarious – these are the stories that have united us in uncertain times and continue to drive culture forward.”

 

Honorees will gather on January 7, 2022, for recognition at the annual AFI AWARDS private reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA — an event favored by the entertainment community for its informal intimacy and its inclusive acknowledgment of excellence.

Beginning January 8, 2022, AFI’s global Movie Club program will showcase the official selections with new daily content, including videos of special guests from the honored works introducing the titles. AFI AWARDS official selections will be celebrated on AFI.com/MovieClub and across all AFI social media platforms.

Celebrating film and television arts’ collaborative nature, AFI AWARDS is the only national program that honors creative teams as a whole, recognizing those in front of and behind the camera. All of the honored works advance the art of the moving image, inspire audiences and artists alike, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form and make a mark on American society. When placed in a historical context, these stories provide a complex and rich visual record of our modern world.

 

AFI AWARDS selections are made through a jury process where AFI Trustees, artists, critics, and scholars determine the year’s most outstanding achievements and provide artistic and cultural context for the selection of each honoree.

This year’s jury featured acclaimed artists including Lee Isaac Chung, Liz Hannah, Anjelica Huston and Ed Zwick; renowned film historians Annette Insdorf, L.S. Kim, Akira Mizuta Lippit, Leonard Maltin, Ellen Seiter, and Robert Thompson; the AFI Board of Trustees; film critics Shawn Edwards from the African American Film Critics Association and Claudia Puig from Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and film and television critics from outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, TV Guide, and The Washington Post. The jury was chaired by AFI Board of Trustees member Jeanine Basinger (Chair Emerita and Founder of the Film Studies Department, Wesleyan University) and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences).

The 2021 recipients join a distinguished group of previous AFI AWARDS honorees whose works define the art form and contribute to our rich cultural legacy. View all past AFI AWARDS honorees here.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FESTAFI DOCS, and a year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute

 

New Date Set for AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Julie Andrews

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Gala Tribute To Take Place June 9, 2022

Tribute to Premiere on TNT and Encore on Turner Classic Movies

December 1, 2021

The American Film Institute announced today that the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute celebrating Julie Andrews will take place June 9, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to health and safety concerns. The air date for the premiere of the Emmy® Award-winning Tribute special on TNT and encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be announced at a later date.

Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO

“Julie Andrews has sent spirits soaring across generations,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “This new date for her AFI Tribute enriches our anticipation to celebrate her in a manner worthy at a time the world needs it most.”

A legendary actress of both stage and screen, Andrews has enchanted and delighted audiences around the world with her uplifting and inspiring body of work. She continues to captivate viewers in front of the camera, with her remarkable wit, characteristic grace, and an incandescent and unmistakable voice all of her own — while also shining a light on humanitarian issues in her activism and philanthropic work.

A three-time Academy Award nominee, Andrews’ star turn in MARY POPPINS won her both a BAFTA and an Oscar®. From her early debut as Polly Browne in “The Boyfriend” to her critically acclaimed Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway hit “My Fair Lady” to her timeless performance as Maria von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC to her groundbreaking dual roles in the gender-bending VICTOR/VICTORIA, Andrews has proven herself an accomplished and versatile actress. Throughout an illustrious career that spans seven decades, she has won five Golden Globes, three Grammys®, and two Emmys® for projects infused with her incomparable charm and recognized for their ability to enthrall audiences worldwide. The critically lauded Andrews is also a Kennedy Center honoree, a Disney Legend inductee and the recipient of a SAG Life Achievement Award.

On stage and screen, she has delivered transcendent performances known for their elegance, artistry, and humor, with additional acting credits including “Camelot” (1960), THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964), TORN CURTAIN (1966), HAWAII (1966), THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1967), STAR! (1968), 10 (1979), LITTLE MISS MARKER (1980), THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN (1983), DUET FOR ONE (1986), ENCHANTED (2007) and AQUAMAN (2018). She has also starred in multiple, successful franchises, including THE PRINCESS DIARIES 1 and 2 (2001); SHREK 2 (2004), SHREK THE THIRD (2007) and SHREK FOREVER AFTER (2010); and DESPICABLE ME (2010), DESPICABLE ME 3 (2017) and the upcoming MINIONS (2022). Recently, Andrews played a sharp-tongued gossip writer in Regency London in Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix series BRIDGERTON, marking her continued evolution as an actress and icon. Andrews’ second memoir, “Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years” — a follow-up to her successful 2008 New York Times Best Seller, “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years” — was released in 2019.

(Sourced from AFI News Release)

SMOKE SIGNALS Native American Heritage Day

Posted by Larry Gleeson

With today being Native-American Heritage Day, AFI Movie Club chose SMOKE SIGNALS as its pick. Smoke Signals is directed and co-produced by Chris Eyre, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Nations.

Featuring an entirely Indigenous cast telling an authentic story from their own perspectives, Smoke Signals is a gateway work in its depiction of Native-American culture – rich in emotion and its characteristic wry, self-deprecating humor that deflects negativity in cosmic ways!

Personally, after viewing Smoke Signals, I felt a strong desire to see more Native American stories and for the development of a vibrant Native American Cinema. The 2021 Sundance Film Festival showcased the critically acclaimed Wild Indian, starring Michel Greyeyes. Interestingly, Greyeyes portrays Junior Palatkin in Smoke Signals.

 

In 2018, the Smoke Signals was selected for preservation in the United States’National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Check it out!

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

SOUL FOOD – Family is Everything this Thanksgiving!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Written and directed by George Tillman Jr., SOUL FOOD is a classic comedy  starring Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long celebrating the importance of family dinners – and recognizing that they’re about more than just the meal on the table. SOUL FOOD is this year’s AFI Movie Club’s Thanksgiving Day selection.

 

 

Writer/director George Tillman, Jr. Tillman based the family in the film on his own Midwestern Chicago upbringing. Soul Food has been widely acclaimed for presenting a more positive image of African-Americans than is typically seen in Hollywood films.

Soul Food revolves around the experiences of an extended African-American family and captures its love and dysfunction through the eyes of an 11-year old boy. Soul Food was Tillman’s major studio debut.

 

Tracey Edmonds, an AFI Trustee Emerita, and then-husband Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds produced Soul Food and it was the inaugural film for their Edmonds Productions.

In 2000, Showtime premiered a one-hour Soul Food television series that ran for five seasons with an almost entirely fresh cast. In 2015, 20th Century Fox announced a sequel, written by Tillman, titled More Soul Food.

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, join film lovers from around the world to celebrate and discover – or rediscover – the greatest American films and storytellers of all time. As a member of AFI, you’ll enjoy access to AFI-curated films, exclusive member-only content from the AFI Archive, year-round benefits and deep discounts to all AFI festivals, and more.

Consider becoming an AFI member or donating today!

 

FILM REVIEW: Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog

Posted by Larry Gleeson

THE POWER OF THE DOG: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH as PHIL BURBANK in THE POWER OF THE DOG. (Photo credit: KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021)

 

Jane Campion’s latest work, The Power of the Dog, screened as part of a Red Carpet Premiere at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood California, during the American Film Institute’s  AFI FEST 2021, on Thursday, November 11th. Campion is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. She is the second of seven women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the first female filmmaker to receive the Palme d’Or; both of these achievements came for The Piano (1993).

 

The Power of the Dog,  written and directed by Campion, is set in 1925 Montana and circles around two well-off brothers who own an influential ranching operation. The Burbank brothers, played by Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch, come across as polar opposites. Phil Burbank, played by Cumberbatch, is an infamous Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University who prefers the daily grind of working the ranch with the hired hands. Cumberbatch brings a deep dark presence to the character in what might be his best performance to date. Plemmons plays Gordon Burbank,  the slower, mild-mannered younger brother, embodying a ranch gentleman with grace and style. Kirsten Dunst portrays Rose Gordon, a compelling love interest as a saloon-style restaurant owner who serves dinners to the locals with her son, Peter, portrayed by Kodi Smith-McPhee in a breakout performance.

While The Power of the Dog is set in Montana, the actual film location is New Zealand – adding a surreal quality. And, Campion’s writing matches it full force. The twists and turns in the dramatic, psychological, roller-coaster ride narrative combined with Cumberbatch’s powerful, dark character portrayal set the audience on the edge of their seats and their eyes fixed on the big screen. Undoubtedly, Campion is in the mix for her second Oscar for screenwriting and appears to be in the mix for a directorial nod as well.

 

Q & A, on November 11th, 2021, following the screening of The Power of the Dog, inside Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

Following the screening, a fun-filled Q & A unfolded as the film’s actors, editor, cinematographer, and director sparred, cajoled, and informed under the watchful eye of moderator Hahn as she effectively marshaled the energies of The Power of the Dog conversation. The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021, release date,  is a magnificent and majestic work tantalizing and titillating – a bonafide Oscar contender for now – in multiple categories! Highly recommended. One of the year’s best films!

 

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Gordon in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021 release. (Photo Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021 Cross City Films Limited/Courtesy of Netflix)

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

FILM CAPSULE: Sean Baker’s RED ROCKET

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Sean Baker ( Tangerine, The Florida Project, Starlet) and A24’s Red Rocket, a dramedy, featuring Simon Rex, a standout media personality, Suzanna Son, and Bree Elrod, tells the tale of Mikey Saber, a washed up, 20 year veteran performer in the adult film industry who returns home for more of the same, screened last night at the 2021 AFI FEST.

Simon Rex as Mikey Saber in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket (Photo from fest.afi.com)

Red Rocket, follows Mikey Saber (played by a compelling Simon Rex), as he futilely careens in and out of harrowing situations in dark places never fully grasping the ramifications of his actions and choices. Bree Elrod as Lexi, and Suzanna Son as Strawberry, deliver riveting performances with exquisite line execution. Rex turns in a tour de force performance as Mikey Saber.

Red Rocket is Sean Baker at his best in this low, low-budget filmmaking. Providing a snapshot of Mikey and the socially marginalized characters that are in his orbit, Baker elevates Red Rocket with snappy dialogue, carefully executed camera work, and the trust he places in the audience. Captivating work from start to finish.

Interestingly,  the Q & A immediately following the screening led by AFI Programming Director Sarah Harris got a little saucy. Baker and Rex took exception when an audience member, who coincidentally works in the adult film industry and performs in Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure, also screening at AFI FEST 2021, stated his displeasure hearing the audience guffawing loudly at a term thrown out by Lexi at Red Rocket’s end.

(Left to right) Sarah Harris, AFI Programming Director, Director Sean Baker, Actor Simon Rex, Actor Bree Elrod, and Actor Suzanna Son participate in a Q&A, on November 12, 2021, following the AFI FEST screening of RED ROCKET, at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGLee)

Baker shared the film had five consultants work over the script and scene work to make Red Rocket’s depiction of a former porn star as realistic as possible. Rex chimed in stating few people in the audience would recognize the industry term.

Red Rocket is Sean Baker’s strongest work to date. Not for the faint of heart. Earthy with frontal nudity. Coming to theatres December 10th. Very warmly recommended!

FILM REVIEW: KING RICHARD Serves Up An Ace @AFIFEST

Posted by Larry Gleeson

King Richard, the Will Smith-led, Warner Bros. biopic, served as the 2021 AFI FEST Closing Night Film at the historic Hollywood Chinese Theatre with a Red Carpet Premiere.

King Richard tells the story of Richard Williams, the father of women’s tennis superstar sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. With a run time of 144 minutes, King Richard seemed to reach its conclusion too quickly – a tribute to how mesmerizing the film is. Numerous times the audience erupted with applause and approval as the Williams family overcame obstacle after obstacle. Will Smith portrayed Richard Williams with fortitude and tenderness – qualities not always evident from Richard Williams’ public persona. Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton portray Venus and Serena in very compelling performances. Aunjanue Ellis portrays Oracene ‘Brandy’ Williams. Ellis and Smith play off each other remarkably well. The pair were recently announced as the recipients of the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Outstanding Performers of the Year. Kudos to Casting Directors Rich Delia and Avy Kaufman!

In life, Richard Williams often came across in the media as brash, touting with a braggadociousness how his daughters were coming to dominate women’s tennis, the likes of which had never been seen before, would never be seen again, and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. What he didn’t tell the public, and what King Richard tells so well, is he also wanted his daughters to have a real childhood, meaningful adolescence, and to be prepared to lead successful lives. Throughout King Richard, Richard Williams came across as a devoted husband, loving father, and dedicated coach delving into some of his formative life experiences growing up in a racist environment. Rearing his family in Compton, California, also had its challenges for Williams. But, Richard Williams had a plan – he wanted a better life for his family.

Technically speaking the film is very solid. The film’s cinematography is excellent. AFI Conservatory Alumnus, Robert Elswit utilizes some natural lighting with traditional lenses and frames for establishing shots juxtaposed with fast zoom lenses to capture the action with tight framing combined with extreme closeups of the Williams sisters, generating some major pace with their groundstrokes and capturing winning overhead smashes. Editor Pamela Martin made the shots and their complementary counterparts (returns) appear seamless with the continuity editing and helped create some riveting moments with the shots provided. In addition, non-diegetic sounds kept the film’s pace and helped match the film’s tone and the actors’ emotionality. Kris Bowers is credited with the music. Costuming, make-up, and production design are all complementary to the characters and the period covered in the film.

And, last but not least, Director Reinaldo Marcus Green, helming only his second feature film, steered King Richard to a beautiful conclusion culminating in Venus’s first professional matches and first tennis matches of any kind in three years. The excitement she (and Serena later) brought to the game of tennis encouraged an entire generation of young African-American girls that anything is possible if they are willing to put in the work. Credit to Zach Baylin for writing sharp dialogue and creating an engaging narrative.

King Richard is chock full of inspiration and hope. Ahhh…the power of film and the magic of AFI FEST – Hollywood. Talk about speaking truth to power in layers. Look for King Richard in theatres and on HBO Max Friday. Highly recommended!

Unti next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

AFI FEST 2021 Announces Award Winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

AFI Announces Audience And Jury Award Winners

Congratulations to the AFI FEST 2021 award winners! This year’s hybrid festival heralded a return to theaters – and it was electric.

 

Sarah Harris, AFI FEST Programming Director (Photo courtesy of AFI)

“Bringing filmmakers and movie fans together to celebrate the moving image is at the heart of AFI FEST. The excitement of all festivalgoers to be together in the theaters, once again, was electric,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals. “This year’s festival has truly shown everyone the power of the art form to lift our spirits when it’s needed the most.” 

 Following are the Jury and Audience Award winners:

Audience Award – Narrative Feature

JOCKEY (DIR Clint Bentley)

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.

Audience Award – Documentary Feature

JUICE WRLD (DIR Tommy Oliver)

This intimate documentary explores the life and death of the young hip hop star Juice WRLD.

Audience Award – Short Film

ONLY THE MOON STANDS STILL (明月依旧) (DIR Johnson Cheng)

Three generations of Chinese women say goodbye to their family ballroom dance studio.

JURY AWARDS

The Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short will be eligible for the 2021 Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Academy Awards®. The Jury was comprised of film curator and writer Kiva Reardon; Amanda Salazar, head of programming and acquisitions at Argo; and writer/director Angel Kristi Williams.

Grand Jury Prize – Animation

LOVE, DAD (MILÝ TATI) (DIR Diana Cam Van Nguyen)

Jury Statement: “For its melding of form and content that makes for a deeply vulnerable and personal viewing experience, the Jury would like to award LOVE, DAD as Best Animated Short.”

Grand Jury Prize – Live Action

AL-SIT (DIR Suzannah Mirghani)

Jury Statement: “For going beyond its central story to make a densely layered and truly cinematic experience, the Jury would like to honor AL-SIT the Best Narrative Short.”

Special Mention

BABYBANGZ ( DIR Juliana Kasumi)

Jury Statement: “The Jury would like to award BABYBANGZ with an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Storytelling for its combination of stunning imagery, important conversations and compelling subjects.”

Special Mention

PLAY IT SAFE (DIR Mitch Kalisa)

Jury Statement: “For the bold formal choices made throughout the film, specifically in the final scene, the Jury would like to give an Honorable Mention for Direction to Mitch Kalisa, the director of PLAY IT SAFE.”

Special Mention

HER DANCE (RIKUD HASSIDI) (DIR Bar Cohen)

Jury Statement: “For a commanding performance that anchors the film, the Jury would like to give an Honorable Mention for Acting to Leeoz Levy for HER DANCE.”

The Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short will be eligible for the 2021 Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Academy Awards®. The Jury was comprised of film curator and writer Kiva Reardon; Amanda Salazar, head of programming and acquisitions at Argo; and writer/director Angel Kristi Williams.

The complete AFI FEST 2021 program included 118 titles (51 features, 1 episodic, 49 shorts, including 19 Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST shorts and 17 AFI Conservatory Showcase shorts) of which 51% were directed by women, 39% were directed by BIPOC and 13% were directed by LGBTQ+. This year’s program represented 53 countries and included 7 World Premieres.

This year’s Red Carpet Premieres included the World Premieres of BRUISED (DIR Halle Berry), SING 2 (DIR Garth Jennings), SWAN SONG (DIR Benjamin Cleary) and tick, tick…BOOM! (DIR Lin-Manuel Miranda), in addition to KING RICHARD (DIR Reinaldo Marcus Green), PARALLEL MOTHERS (Pedro Almodóvar) and THE POWER OF THE DOG (DIR Jane Campion).

(Source: AFI Press Release)

Last chance to experience AFI FEST 2021!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

All good things must come to end – but not before one last day of amazing films! Tickets to today’s in-person and virtual screenings still available. VIEW SCHEDULE & BUY TICKETS

The ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage show yet…all in the glamorous entertainment capital of the world, Redshore City. There’s just one hitch: they first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star – played by global music icon Bono – to join them. Screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS

Following the screening, join us for an in-depth conversation with director Clint Bentley, Clifton Collins Jr.,  Molly Parker and more moderated by Variety’s Clayton Davis. Screening today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS

This whip-smart feature debut from Araceli Lemos is a potent and visceral tale of race, class and tradition filtered through body and social horror. Screening today at 7:30 p.m.BUY TICKETS

After escaping a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution in China, the film’s nameless hero has one goal – to watch a newsreel screening in which his daughter was briefly captured on film. On this journey, he meets a young orphan who has her own schemes for a newsreel, as well as a small village’s much-loved film projectionist named Mr. Movie. Screening in person today at 5:00 p.m.BUY TICKETS

Winner of the Best Documentary Award at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s hypnotic feature directorial debut examines rediscovered, once lost film reels and a diary written by a student (“L”) to her absent lover at the Film & Television Institute of India. Screening in person today at 3:30 p.m.BUY TICKETSVIEW MORE FILMS

Whether you enjoy this year’s AFI FEST films in the theater or at home, make sure you vote after the screenings for the Audience Award!

(From AFI News)