The 2018 edition of the American Film Institute’s AFI DOCS is open. AFI President and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Gazzale kicked off the festival with eloquent opening remarks reminding a receptive audience of the action by former United States President Lyndon Johnson took 50 years ago to create the American Film Institute and its mission “to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.”
Personal Statement, the 2018 AFI DOCS Opening Night Film, directed and produced by Julianne Dressner, and co-directed by Edwin Martinez, was also making its world premiere. The cast and crew were out in full force on the red carpet before the film’s screening.
The film follows three Brooklyn, New York, high school seniors, Enoch, Christine, and Karoline, as they prepare themselves for college and try to inspire and encourage their classmates to make the jump with them.
The film opened with a nice out-of-focus frame of a night-time city-scape slowly coming into focus as a textual overlay informs the viewer of the setting. A transition reveals a young black male doing homework with his niece. Another transition reveals a young bi-racial female in dialogue with a young Hispanic female as she explains some of the challenges she is facing. A third transition reveals an Hispanic mother in the kitchen followed quickly by another transition revealing Christina, one of the film’s protagonist. An upbeat non-diagetic score shows the three characters on their way to school meeting. The meeting turns out to be a training so the three protagonists can work as school guidance counselors.
This forms the crux of Dressner’s film. Shot in a direct cinema style interspersed with fragments of cinema verite, Personal Statement uncovers societal issues as it reveals the struggles minority students are facing as they attempt to, not only go to college, but also navigate what will be their collegiate experience.
Karoline, an LGBTQ student, wants a place where she can meet people who will accept her for who she is. Enoch, a standout high school football anxious to become his own person, lives with his sister. Christina lives at home with a strong-willed mother, who feels Christina needs to consider the financial undertaking in attending college. All three are passionate about going to college and they want their peers to undertake the collegiate journey as well. At the heart of the narrative is the personal statement that explains why each student wants to go their respective schools.
Karoline is a colorful character who had twenty-three absences in her first year of high school has progressed to where she has perfect attendance in her senior year. Enoch faces obstacles that include a mother who lives in a homeless shelter and a lower than desired grade-point-average from the college of his choice, Cortland. Christina, whose mother financed her older brother’s college education, has reservations in supporting Christina’s college choice. Christina’s brother has been out of work for the last four years and her mother has had her work hours reduced.
While all three students wind up attending college, difficult choices are made along the way and challenging issues are revealed surrounding their pursuit of higher education.
A panel discussion immediately followed the film’s screening with Dressner, Martinez and the film’s three actors. To close out the evening a Private Gala celebrated the conscience-altering work.
Personal Statement will have its U.S. broadcast premiere on public television’s WORLD Channel and PBS on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm. This is a film that needs to be seen and the issues it raises need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Highly recommended.
*Featured photo: Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute (Photo credit: Tom Kochel)
Julia Roberts will present the nation’s highest honor for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award, to her longtime friend and colleague George Clooney at the 46th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute honoring the actor, director, writer and producer. The event will take place Thursday, June 7, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
Roberts has frequently collaborated with George Clooney, sharing the screen with him on the films OCEAN’S ELEVEN (2001), OCEAN’S TWELVE (2004) and MONEY MONSTER (2016). Additionally, she starred in his directorial debut, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (2002) and in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY which Clooney produced.
TNT will premiere the hour-and-a-half special, THE 46TH AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE CLOONEY on Thursday, June 21, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by an encore at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will also air the special in September 2018 during a night of programming dedicated to Clooney’s work.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 4, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFIDOCS has announced its Opening and Closing Night films, and Centerpiece and Special Screenings — with AT&T returning as Presenting Sponsor of the festival for the fifth consecutive year. For its 16th edition, the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of documentary film in the nation’s capital will open with the world premiere of PERSONAL STATEMENT (DIRS Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez) and will close with UNITED SKATES (DIRS Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown).
This year’s program also includes ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW (DIR Rory Kennedy) as the Centerpiece. The four Special Screenings will be the world premiere of THE COLD BLUE (DIR Erik Nelson), KINSHASA MAKAMBO (DIR Dieudo Hamadi), MR. SOUL! (DIRS Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip) and WITKIN & WITKIN (DIR Trisha Ziff). The full slate will be announced in the coming weeks. AFIDOCS runs June 13–17, 2018, in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.
“We are at a cultural crossroads where identity, race and personal agency are redefining what it is to be American in 2018,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Festivals. “With PERSONAL STATEMENT, UNITED SKATES and this year’s Centerpiece and Special Screenings, AFIDOCS will continue its legacy of introducing new perspectives to audiences, while challenging longstanding conventions.”
AT&T’s ongoing support as Presenting Sponsor enables AFIDOCS to connect audiences, policymakers and storytellers in the heart of our national government.
The Opening Night screening of PERSONAL STATEMENT will be held on June 13 at the Newseum and will be followed by a Q&A with directors Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez. The film centers on three Brooklyn high school seniors who, lacking support services at school, band together to help each other get into college.
The Closing Night screening of UNITED SKATES will be held on June 17 at the Landmark E Street Cinema and will be followed by a Q&A with directors Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown. The film chronicles the fight to save roller-skating rinks, which have played a critical role in modern African-American culture.
The Centerpiece screening of ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW will take place at the National Air and Space Museum. As NASA heads into its 60th anniversary, filmmaker Rory Kennedy looks back at the men and women who have built the institution, and whose boundless curiosity drives scientific progress forward.
OPENING NIGHT SCREENING
PERSONAL STATEMENT: DIRS Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez. USA. Karoline, Enoch and Christine are Brooklyn high school seniors who just want to go to college, but lack the resources most American teens take for granted, including guidance counselors. Refusing to give up, they learn to counsel each other, and carry their classmates with them as they pursue their dreams.
CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING
UNITED SKATES: DIRS Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown. USA. Roller-skating has played a critical role in modern African-American culture, with rinks serving as both a haven of community and of artistic expression, and a flashpoint in the civil rights movement. UNITED SKATES chronicles the fight to save these rinks, and the souls of communities nationwide.
ABOVE AND BEYOND:NASA‘S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW: DIR Rory Kennedy. USA. Rory Kennedy tells the stories of the women and men behind the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s decades-long exploration of our solar system, our universe and our planet, in this enlightening film that celebrates NASA’s triumphs, mourns its tragedies and affirms the importance of its mission both in space and on Earth.
THE COLD BLUE: DIR Erik Nelson. USA. In 1943, legendary Hollywood director William Wyler crafted MEMPHIS BELLE, a celebrated tribute to the titular WWII bomber. Using footage of the film from the National Archives, THE COLD BLUE features gripping narration from some of the last surviving B-17 pilots. A meditation on youth, war and stunning bravery.
KINSHASA MAKAMBO: DIR Dieudo Hamadi. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Amid the backdrop of seemingly never-ending political and social unrest that hangs over the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three young activists take to the streets with their fellow countrymen to overthrow their country’s President and help enact much needed change in their politically beleaguered country.
MR. SOUL!: DIRS Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip. USA. An in-depth look at the late 1960s WNET public television series SOUL! and its producer Ellis Haizlip. The series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement.
WITKIN & WITKIN: DIR Trisha Ziff. Mexico. The artwork of septuagenarian twins Joel-Peter and Jerome Witkin transcends genres and traditional form. WITKIN & WITKIN explores the brothers’ complicated relationship with one another, while examining depths and divisions in their work. Joel-Peter’s stunning photography and Jerome’s powerful figurative paintings distinctly capture the human condition, reflecting differing emotional and intellectual approaches.
Tickets to AFIDOCS, including Opening Night and Closing Night screenings, will be available early to AFI members exclusively beginning May 11, and to the public on May 14. Passes for AFIDOCS 2018 are now on sale at AFI.com/afidocs. More information about AFIDOCS screenings and other special events will be announced in the coming weeks.
About AFIDOCS AFIDOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival in Washington, DC. Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFIDOCS 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 AFIDOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson, D A Pennebaker, Agnès Varda and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 16th year, the festival will be held June 13-17, 2018, at distinguished Washington, DC, venues, the Landmark E Street Cinema and the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Visit AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCS, facebook.com/AFIDOCS, youtube.com/AFI and instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI‘s founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.
AT&T is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 AFIDOCS. We help people connect in ways that improve lives – every day. Through DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and AT&T U-verse, we deliver the kind of entertainment people love to talk about. And you can watch almost anytime, anywhere. For 10 years, we’ve supported AFI‘s commitment to honor the heritage of film and the artists who make them. And through a variety of programs, we’re focused on giving amateur and underrepresented filmmakers the support they need to succeed.
(Source: Press release courtesy of AFI DOCS Press Office)
AFI has announced that Academy Award® and Emmy®-winning writer/director Aaron Sorkin will be honored by AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi with a Tribute and Premiere Closing Night Gala screening of STXfilms and The Mark Gordon Company’s MOLLY’S GAME on Thursday, November 16, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.
The Tribute will celebrate Sorkin’s career with a moderated discussion of his work followed by the Gala premiere screening. Written and directed by Sorkin, MOLLY’S GAME stars Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. The film was produced by Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson and Amy Pascal. Entertainment One (eOne) and The Mark Gordon Company financed the feature, with eOne directly distributing the film across its territories. (Sierra/Affinity handled international sales). The Closing Night Gala will be sponsored by VIZIO.
Note that all previously secured tickets to ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD and the two previously scheduled MOLLY’S GAME screenings will be honored at this newly announced Closing Night Gala.
“Aaron Sorkin is an American master, and we are proud to shine a proper spotlight on his directoral debut, MOLLY’S GAME, on AFI FEST’s Closing Night,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director. “As Sorkin embarks on this next chapter of his career, his talents are timely for a tribute as he brings his gift of crafting compelling narratives and complex characters to the story of female impresario Molly Bloom.”
One of our nation’s most acclaimed screenwriters, Aaron Sorkin has been honored with an Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay for THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010) and four Emmys® for THE WEST WING. Additional film credits include A FEW GOOD MEN (1992), MALICE (1993), THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1995), CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR (2007), MONEYBALL (2011) and STEVE JOBS (2015). Sorkin has also created and written THE NEWSROOM, SPORTS NIGHT, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP and THE WEST WING for television.
ABOUT THE FILM
Oscar® nominee Jessica Chastain stars in Oscar®-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, set in the glamorous world of high-stakes underground poker games. DIR Aaron Sorkin. SCR Aaron Sorkin. CAST Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, Bill Camp.
As part of AFI FEST 2017 and the 50th Anniversary of the American Film Institute, a celebration of the late filmmaker Robert Altman’s work , a true master and icon of American cinema, is on display through a series of films.
Born in Kansas City in 1925, Robert Altman was one of the preeminent auteurs of American cinema, from his first studio hit M*A*S*H (1970) to his 39th feature A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (2006). In the pantheon of American directors, Altman was a maverick who worked both inside and outside the Hollywood system. His films exhibit a trademark style of diffuse ensemble narratives, complex soundtracks and restless zoom lenses. Film remained Altman’s tireless passion until his death in 2006, and he remains an iconoclast of modern American cinema. This year, AFI FEST is proud to present 12 of his greatest achievements.
Ahead of the festival retrospective, AFI spoke with Stephen Altman, Robert Altman’s son and frequent collaborator. Stephen Altman served as the production designer on a wide range of Altman films, from THE PLAYER to GOSFORD PARK, which earned him an Oscar® nomination.
The Robert Altman Retrospective launches at AFI FEST on Thursday, November 9, with THE PLAYER. Head to the Film Guide for free tickets to all 12 Altman screenings.
AFI: You were a production designer on many of Robert Altman’s films. Can you talk about what it was like to collaborate so closely with your father?
Stephen Altman: It was heavy teamwork. He told me what to do, and I said “Yes, sir.” No, actually it started early on. I started as an apprentice editor and projectionist when I was 17, for CALIFORNIA SPLIT — if you’re a gambler, that’s a great one — and on NASHVILLE, I was apprentice editor and did projection for the dailies, but during the day I was helping the sound team. He had made that eight-track sound recorder, with seven mics, which was a new thing. Then I segued into property. I was then on the set for most of the filming, so [Robert Altman] got very used to me. It was an easy transition from there to being his property master and later his set decorator, then his art director, then production designer. I hadn’t stopped working for him since 1974. His last two films I didn’t work on. When he died, sadly, we were scouting locations for another movie. It was abrupt. Had I known that A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION was his last movie, I would’ve quit what I was doing and ran to it.
AFI: The AFI FEST Retrospective offers a wide-ranging survey of Robert Altman titles, including some his better known efforts such as NASHVILLE, as well as works awaiting rediscovery, such as VINCENT & THEO and KANSAS CITY. What are some of your personal favorites?
SA: MCCABE & MRS. MILLER may be one of my favorite films, not just a favorite “Bob” film. I think it stands out among all of them. I love THE LONG GOODBYE — just really watchable, and fun and interesting. M*A*S*H is timeless. It’s still funny to me, and cool. NASHVILLE I may not like as much as everybody else does, but I get it. I understand why it’s insane and wonderful at the same time. Of all of them, MCCABE & MRS. MILLER is maybe more conventional in some way, with real movie stars.
AFI: And what about a film like SHORT CUTS, which is three hours long but thoroughly engrossing from start to finish, and with a huge tapestry of characters and interweaving plots?
SA: That was very personal for me. It was very funny. At the first screening, it shook me. I used to be in property and editorial and so I would end up watching every single frame of film like a hundred thousand times between dailies and cutting the film. When I moved into production design, I avoided editorial, so when I watched the first cut I thought, “Oh this is fresh and new to me.” I left the screening and my dad called me the next day and said, “I think everybody loved the movie except one person.” I said “Who?” He replied, “You.” I was just shaken by the movie. It’s really heavy. I loved working on it. There’s another one, A WEDDING: it’s not similar but in an Altman kind of way, he turned it from a farce and a comedy into a tragedy without you realizing.
AFI: This retrospective is a treat for Altman fans, but is also meant as an entry-point for those who haven’t discovered Altman before. What would you say to a neophyte who’s starting to navigate the world of his films?
SA: You can see a thread in a lot of them, but they’re all really different. He never did the same movie twice. I would just say what he always said, which was, “Giggle and give in.” Some of them are more commercial or accessible than others. You go from something like MCCABE & MRS. MILLER to NASHVILLE — that’s a pretty big stretch in seven years.
AFI: 3 WOMEN is a good example of a movie that certainly would not be made today.
SA: Right. Exactly. That was the luxury of Fox films at the time. [Robert Altman] said, “Hey, I had this dream the other night. I wrote a script.” And Alan Ladd, Jr., who was running Fox at the time, said “Here’s a million-and-a-half dollars, go to Palm Springs and make a film. Don’t go over budget.” That’s how he used to do those kinds of things. That was quite a fun time in the desert. That’s his real weird dreamy thing. He loved playing with the camera. He had this kind of a water-and-oil mobile sculpture, what he called “the wave machine.” It looked like a flat aquarium. It had oil on the top and blue water on the bottom and it rocked back and forth on a machine and made what looked like ocean waves across the screen. He was always inventing those kinds of things. On QUINTET, he would put Vaseline on the lens to blur the edges.
AFI: Altman had the spirit of an independent filmmaker even while making studio films, where he maintained creative freedom. How did he accomplish that?
SA: For the most part, they let him go. On one of his later films, THE GINGERBREAD MAN, with Kenneth Branagh, he was more of a director-for-hire. His shooting style, his camerawork and his editing are pretty much done in his head as he’s making the movie. The studio basically got scared of the movie, took it away from him and gave it to a Hollywood editor to try and recut it, with traditional close-ups and that kind of thing. They couldn’t do it, and they couldn’t even put it back together. They gave it back to [Altman] later and said, “Here, put it back together, do what you want. We can’t make any sense of this movie.” He had such his own style that it was hard for anybody really to interfere. It’s hard to go onto the set and say, “You’re doing this wrong.”
On THE PLAYER, we have that 10-minute opening shot. That was no improvisation. That was planned to a T. We built a model of the parking lot, with models of cut-out people. The camera was on this crane with a partially flattened tire and we used the parking lot as basically a huge dolly, and we rehearsed the hell out of that. We could have probably used the first take and walked away. They used take 16, and wrapped right after lunch, and we were four days ahead of schedule. He was really efficient with his money, and everyone knew that, so I think the studios let him be because he would only spend a certain amount of money and come back with a movie. People were eager to gamble with him.
AFI: Why do you think Altman is a filmmaker we are still talking about today?
SA: He was innovative; he didn’t give in. He had basically final cut on his movies. He was never rich, never got big budgets precisely because he would never let the studios make a movie for him. He said, “If you want a movie, I’ll make my movie.” He was brutal to screenwriters — you give him your script and it may not be recognizable at the end of the day.
After POPEYE, which was deemed the biggest bomb in the entire history of filmmaking, it was hard for him to get any kind of work. That’s when he was filming one-hour plays in a theatrical stage the size of your closet. They offered him M*A*S*H 2. He said, “I can’t do it. It would ruin my career. I’d be like everybody else.” At the end of the day, everybody’s pleased he didn’t do stuff like that. He stuck to his guns. I hate to put him on a pedestal but he was kind of pure in this way. He really didn’t give in to the pressure.
Actors loved him so much because he basically said, “Go out there and act.” Some people were intimidated by that, not having an actual script. “Wait, I’ve got to write my dialogue by myself?” The ones that loved it, embraced it, it was a big joy to them. I think he made everybody comfortable — except for the crew.
AFI today announced the Presentations and Conversations lineups for AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi.Events include a conversation on directing with Christopher Nolan; a conversation with filmmaker Agnès Varda; a roundtable of documentary filmmakers presented by the Los Angeles Times; The Hollywood Reporter’s Indie Contenders Roundtable with eight standout artists; an in-depth conversation with director Patty Jenkins; a conversation on storytelling with Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung; and a conversation with Martin McDonagh and Sam Rockwell about THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, presented by Variety.
The complete AFI FEST program includes 137 films (93 features, 44 shorts), representing 53 countries, including 40 films directed/co-directed by women, 19 documentaries and 14 animated short films. The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (6), Special Screenings (7), American Independents (11), New Auteurs (11), World Cinema (30), Midnight (3), Cinema’s Legacy (9), Retrospective (12), Youth and Family (2) and Short Films (44). This year’s program includes 14 official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions and 25 films featuring 76 AFI alumni.
CINEMATIC STORYTELLING: A CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
Director/writer/producer Christopher Nolan discusses his latest film, DUNKIRK, centering on the British maneuvers from the land, sea and air as the military and civilians attempt to save 400,000 soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, during World War II. A special 70mm film presentation of DUNKIRK will precede the discussion.
WORLD CINEMA MASTER IN CONVERSATION: AGNÈS VARDA
French auteur and AFI FEST 2013 Guest Artistic Director Agnès Varda sits down for a discussion of her career and her new film FACES PLACES (co-directed with French installation artist JR). The event begins with a screening of FACES PLACES. The event will be moderated by Serge Toubiana, President of UniFrance.
INDIE CONTENDERS ROUNDTABLE
Hear from a diverse panel of artists who have done standout work in independent film this year. Presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, the panel will feature a 90-minute discussion with the artists about their careers and influences, as well as the challenges and rewards of working on indies. Panelists include Sean Baker (THE FLORIDA PROJECT), Richard Gere (NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER), Salma Hayek (BEATRIZ AT DINNER), Diane Kruger (IN THE FADE), Kumail Nanjiani (THE BIG SICK), Robert Pattinson (GOOD TIME), Margot Robbie (I, TONYA) and Lois Smith (MARJORIE PRIME). The roundtable is presented by The Hollywood Reporter and will be moderated by Scott Feinberg their lead awards analyst.
Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang sits down with a panel of distinguished directors behind some of the most talked-about and acclaimed documentaries of the year. The panelists will include Evgeny Afineevsky (CRIES FROM SYRIA), Greg Barker (THE FINAL YEAR), Kasper Collin (I CALLED HIM MORGAN), Feras Fayyad (LAST MEN IN ALEPPO), Yance Ford (STRONG ISLAND), Bryan Fogel (ICARUS), Steve James (ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL), Amanda Lipitz (STEP) and Brett Morgen (JANE). The roundtable it presented by the Los Angeles Times.
ON DIRECTING: PATTY JENKINS
WONDER WOMAN director and AFI Conservatory alumna Patty Jenkins sits down for a moderated, in-depth discussion.
ON DIRECTING: SOFIA COPPOLA
Director/writer Sofia Coppola sits down to discuss her latest film, THE BEGUILED, set during the American Civil War and centering on an all-female Southern boarding school that takes in a wounded Union soldier, with unsettling results.
ON ACTING: BRINGING APES TO LIFE – ANDY SERKIS, TERRY NOTARY, MATT REEVES, JOE LETTERI
Actors Andy Serkis and Terry Notary, director Matt Reeves and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri of the critically acclaimed and visually stunning WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES sit down for a panel discussion on how performance capture and visual effects bring complex and emotional characters to life.
ON COLLABORATIVE STORYTELLING: ANGELINA JOLIE AND LOUNG UNG
Director Angelina Jolie and writer Loung Ung discuss the artistic and cross-cultural collaboration that brought FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER to the screen. Based on Ung’s autobiography, the film centers on a young girl who must embark on a harrowing quest for survival amid the sudden rise and terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER is Cambodia’s official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission.
CINEMA’S LEGACY: A CONVERSATION WITH JORDAN PEELE
GET OUT director/writer Jordan Peele sits down for an in-depth conversation about his film and the impact and legacy of GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967), the groundbreaking, Oscar® winner about an interracial romance starring Sidney Poitier that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER will screen following the conversation.
IN CONVERSATION:MARTIN MCDONAGH AND SAM ROCKWELL
Director/writer/producer Martin McDonagh and actor Sam Rockwell, who have a long relationship working together for both the stage and screen, sit down for a moderated discussion with Jenelle Riley of Variety on THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, a darkly comedic drama centering on a mother (Frances McDormand) who makes a bold move to find her daughter’s murderer, riling local law enforcement. The conversation is presented by Variety.
Academy Award®-nominated director and producer Ridley Scott will be honored by AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi with a Tribute and World Premiere Closing Night Gala screening of TriStar Pictures’ ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD on Thursday, November 16, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. The Tribute will celebrate Scott’s legendary filmmaking career with a moderated discussion of his work followed by the World Premiere screening. Directed by Scott, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD stars Academy Award® nominees Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, and Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey. The Closing Night Gala will be sponsored by VIZIO.
One of our most prolific directors and producers, Ridley Scott is a four-time Academy Award® nominee, including Best Picture for THE MARTIAN (2016) and Best Director for BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001), GLADIATOR (2000) and THELMA & LOUISE (1991). Additional films include ALIEN (1979), BLADE RUNNER (1982), LEGEND (1985), BLACK RAIN (1989), G.I. JANE (1997), MATCHSTICK MEN (2003), KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005), AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007), ROBIN HOOD (2010), PROMETHEUS (2012), THE COUNSELOR (2013), EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014) and ALIEN: COVENANT (2017).
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Kevin Spacey) to pay the ransom. When Getty, Sr., refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.
Directed by Ridley Scott, TriStar Pictures’ and Imperative Entertainment’s ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD is written by David Scarpa, based on the book by John Pearson. Produced by Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Quentin Curtis, Chris Clark, Ridley Scott, Mark Huffam and Kevin Walsh, the film stars Michelle Williams, Kevin Spacey, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Charlie Plummer and Timothy Hutton.