Category Archives: #AFI

AFI FEST 2016 Unveils New Auteurs, Shorts, American Independents and Midnight Sections

AFI has announced the films that will be featured in the New Auteurs, Shorts, American Independents and Midnight sections at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi. Films in the New Auteurs and Shorts sections are eligible for Grand Jury Awards. The full program information is below.

AFI FEST takes place November 10–17, 2016, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October. Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which can include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events.  Individual tickets will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.

NEW AUTEURS 

Highlighting first- and second-time feature film directors, New Auteurs is the festival’s platform for upcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their new films. This year, the section is comprised of 10 films, seven of which come from female directors.

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ALWAYS SHINE – When two actress friends get together for a weekend in Big Sur, their hopes for reconnection spiral into jealousy, tension and fragmented identities. DIR Sophia Takal. SCR Lawerence Michael Levine. CAST Mackenzie Davis, Caitlin FitzGerald, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alexander Koch, Jane Adams. USA

BUSTER’S MAL HEART – Rami Malek plays a man split in two by grief in AFI FEST alum Sarah Adina Smith’s visceral, mind-bending mystery. DIR Sarah Adina Smith. SCR Sarah Adina Smith. CAST Rami Malek, Kate Lyn Sheil, DJ Qualls, Mark Kelly, Sukha Belle Potter, Lin Shaye, Toby Huss. USA

DIVINES – A fearless and ferocious teenager and her charismatic best friend strive for money, power and respect by following in the footsteps of a ruthless female drug dealer. DIR Houda Benyamina. SCRS Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina, Malik Rumeau. CAST Oulaya Amamra, Jisca Kalvanda, Kévin Mischel, Déborah Lukumuena, Yasin Houicha, Majdouline Idrissi. France | Qatar

THE FUTURE PERFECT (EL FUTURO PERFECTO) – In this whimsical debut, a young Chinese immigrant is determined to assimilate into her new home of Buenos Aires, but her traditional Chinese family and Indian beau complicate things. DIR Nele Wohlatz. SCR Nele Wohlatz. CAST Xiaobin Zhang, Saroj Kumar Malik, Mian Jiang, Dong Xi Wang, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart. Argentina

GODLESS – A nurse running scams on her elderly patients calls her hardened life into question when she strikes up a friendship with a retired choirmaster. DIR Ralitza Petrova. SCR Ralitza Petrova. CAST Irena Ivanova, Ivan Nalbantov, Ventzislav Konstantinov, Alexandr Triffonov, Dimitar Petkov. Bulgaria

KATI KATI – In this beautiful, dreamlike depiction of the afterlife, an African woman finds herself in a resort where every soul has their wishes granted — except escape. DIR Mbithi Masya. SCRS Mbithi Masya, Mugambi Nthiga. CAST Nyokabi Gethaiga, Elsaphan Njora, Paul Ogola, Peter King Mwania. Kenya | Germany

KILL ME PLEASE – In this giallo-tinged meditation on puberty, a 15-year-old girl living in Rio de Janeiro must navigate a wave of murders in her neighborhood. DIR Anita Rocha da Silveira. SCR Anita Rocha da Silveira. CAST Valentina Herszage, Dora Freind, Julia Roliz, Mari Oliveira, Bernardo Marinho. Brazil

ONE WEEK AND A DAY (SHAVUA VE YOM) – A man, grieving the death of his son, befriends his stoner neighbor in this wry and moving dramedy. DIR Asaph Polonsky. SCR Asaph Polonsky. CAST Shai Avivi, Evgenia Dodina, Tomer Kapon, Sharon Alexander, Uri Gvariel, Carmit Mesilati-Kaplan, Alona Shauloff. Israel

OSCURO ANIMAL – This gorgeously shot debut follows three Colombian women who are all brutally affected by the country’s armed conflict. DIR Felipe Guerrero. SCR Felipe Guerrero. CAST Marleyda Soto, Jocelyn Meneses, Luisa Vides, Verónica Carvajal, Josué Quiñones, Pedro Suárez, Lorena Vides. Colombia 

STILL LIFE – This simultaneously beautiful and disturbing portrait follows a young nameless worker earning a temporary living in a livestock slaughterhouse. DIR Maud Alpi. SCRS Maud Alpi, Baptiste Boulba. CAST Virgile Hanrot, Dimitri Buchenet, Boston. France

SHORTS

The Shorts selections represent distinct, often far-flung international viewpoints, with 39 films including nine animated films. Shorts filmmakers come from 17 countries, with 12 films from directors who are returning to AFI FEST this year.

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ALL THESE VOICES – A Nazi soldier in disguise encounters a survivors’ avant-garde theater troupe celebrating the end of the war. DIR David Henry Gerson. SCRS David Henry Gerson, Martin Horvat, Brennan Elizabeth Peters. CAST Harrison Thomas, Beata Poźniak, Kristof Konrad, Kinga Philipps, Kasia Kowalczyk, Anthony Nikolchev. USA

BLOODY BARBARA – Barbara roams the streets covered in blood, reenacting the scenes from some of her favorite films. DIR Shawn Bannon. SCR Shawn Bannon. CAST Atheena Frizzell. USA

THE BLOOP – In 1997 an unusual sound was recorded. It lasted one minute and was never heard again. DIR Cara Cusumano. USA

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRINCESS X – A supercharged history of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s infamous “Princess X.” DIR Gabriel Abrantes. SCR Gabriel Abrantes. CAST Filipe Vargas, Francisco Cipriano, Joana Barrios. Portugal | France | UK 

A COAT MADE DARK – Two burglars strike it rich after stealing a mysterious coat. DIR Jack O’Shea. SCR Jack O’Shea. CAST Hugh O’Conor, Declan Conlon, Antonia Campbell Hughes. Ireland

CRYSTAL LAKE – A group of girls takes over the half pipe. There on the ramp, with no boys around, they are thriving and visible. DIR Jennifer Reeder. SCR Jennifer Reeder. CAST Marcela Okeke, Shea Glover, Sebastian Summers, Kristyn Zoe Wilkerson, Ron Stevens. USA

DEER FLOWER – A family visit to a deer farm results in a peculiar experience. DIR Kangmin Kim. SCR Kangmin Kim. CAST Kangmin Kim. USA

DIRT – Some things must die to live. DIR Darius Clark Monroe. SCR Darius Clark Monroe. CAST Segun Akande. USA

THE DISAPPOINTMENT TOUR – Three generations of women, crammed into a car along with their emotional baggage, experience an unexpected moment of connection on the side of the road.. DIR Erica Liu. SCR Erica Liu. CAST Michelle Farrah Huang, Grace Shen, Cindera Che, Gaby Santinelli. USA

DRAMATIC RELATIONSHIPS – The male gaze inspected through the relationship between a director and his female actors. DIR Dustin Guy Defa. SCR Dustin Guy Defa. CAST Lindsay Burdge, Elisa Lasowski, Hannah Gross, Keith Poulson, Stephen Gurewitz, Agostina Galvez. USA

DREAMING OF BALTIMORE – Freedom means only one thing: riding your dirt bike in the street, front wheel aimed at the sky. DIR Lola Quivoron. SCRS Lola Quivoron, Pauline Rambeau de Baralon. CAST Clark Gernet, Owen Kanga, Jean-Marie Narainen, Sébastien Lecouvreur, Benjamin Fortin. France

E.W.A – Ewa can’t stop bleeding. DIR Gigi Ben Artzi. SCRS Gigi Ben Artzi, Roy Ben Artzi, Adam Horowitz. CAST Alihah Galyautdinova, Gil Abramov. Ukraine

EARS, NOSE AND THROAT – A woman’s testimonial faculties are confirmed through medical examinations before she recites a tragic story, whose horrors we don’t see, hear or smell, but can imagine far too easily. DIR Kevin Jerome Everson. CAST Shadeena Brooks, Dr. Eric Mansfield, Dr. Heather Honeycutt. USA

FATA MORGANA – A grieving couple is forced to examine their marriage when they journey from China to the United States for the funeral for their only child. DIR Amelie Wen. SCRS Amelie Wen, Jon Keng. CAST Mardy Ma, Liu Peiqi, Anita Liao, Anna Pan, Laurie Faso, Dave Bean, Briana McLean, April Moreau. USA

GLOVE – The true story of a glove that’s been floating in space forever since 1968. DIRS Alexa Lim Haas, Bernardo Britto. CAST Henry Parker. USA

HAM HEADS – Larry and Barry are the world’s oldest living conjoined twins. They live in their brother’s basement. DIR Efren Hernandez. SCR Efren Hernandez. CAST Olan Montgomery, Thomas Montgomery, Mike Montgomery, Madeleine Russell, Robert “Lil’ Bob” McCall, Todd Lewis, Corey Pelizzi. USA

HIDDEN – Possessed by sibling rivalry, Parham must face his role in a series of events that have incapacitated his half-brother. DIR Farzad Ostovarzadeh. SCR Farzad Ostovarzadeh. CAST Daniel Zolghadri, Shary Nassimi, Bardia Seiri, Niousha Jafarian. Iran | USA

HOUNDS – On the day of a would-be promotion, a museum worker must deal with an accident involving a prized sculpture. DIR Omer Tobi. SCR Omer Tobi. CAST Orna Banai, Ilanit Ben Yaacov, Eti Levi, Hila Shalev, Dalia Beger, Anat Vaksman. Israel

ICEBOX – A young boy from Honduras finds himself in a difficult situation when he is arrested at the U.S. border. DIR Daniel Sawka. SCR Daniel Sawka. CAST Anthony Gonzales, Lane Garrison, José Alvarez, Jonathan Castellanos, Jeff Houkal, Sisa Grey, Steven Stapenhorst, Tonja Kahlens. USA

THE ITCHING – In this parable, a shy wolf tries to connect with a group of hip, party-loving bunnies, but finds her body is in revolt. DIR Dianne Bellino. SCR Dianne Bellino. USA

JÁAJI APPROX. – The distance between a father and son is narrowed when locations and language meet. DIR Sky Hopinka. SCR Sky Hopinka. CAST Sky Hopinka, Michael Hopinka. USA

KITTY – A young girl finds herself transformed. DIR Chloë Sevigny. SCR Chloë Sevigny. CAST Edie Yvonne, Ione Skye, Lee Meriwether, Jesse Pearson, Luke Adler, M Blash, Andrew Mixon. USA

LIMBO – The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. Thirteen kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore. DIR Konstantina Kotzamani. SCR Konstantina Kotzamani. CAST Felix Margenfeld, Aggelos Ntanos, Lucjano Cani, Haris Fountas, Hristos Psihramis, David Szymczak. Greece

LOVE – Affection is described in three different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system. DIR Réka Bucsi. SCR Réka Bucsi. France | Hungary

MADE. NOT BORN! – A home movie from 1981 turns out far more hypnotic than originally planned. DIR Mike Plante. USA

MOTHER (MADRE) – Sixteen-year-old Andrea travels downtown from her poor neighborhood to audition for a porno film. DIR Simón Mesa Soto. SCR Simón Mesa Soto. CAST Yurani Anduquia Cortés, María Camila Maldonado, Paulo de Jesús Barros Sousa. Sweden | Colombia

A NIGHT IN TOKORIKI (O NOAPTE ÎN TOKORIKI) – On Geanina’s 18th birthday, her boyfriend and Alin will give her a most surprising gift. DIR Roxana Stroe. SCRS Ana-Maria Gheorghe, Roxana Stroe. CAST Cristian Priboi, Cristian Bota, Iulia Ciochină, Sorin Cociş, Daniela Elena Preda, Cristian Toma, Costi Apostol, Andrei Ciopec, Tudor Morar, Adrian Loghin. Romania

PEDRO – Pedro gets home at dawn. Before he falls asleep, his lonely mother drags him to the beach. DIRS André Santos, Marco Leão. SCRS André Santos, Marco Leão. CAST Filipe Abreu, Rita Durão, João Villas-Boas, Marcello Urgeghe. Portugal

PUSSY (CIPKA) – A young girl decides to have a pleasurable evening at home, but not everything goes according to plan. DIR Renata Gasiorowska. SCR Renata Gasiorowska. Poland

SCENERY (DECORADO) – The world is a wonderful stage, but its characters are disgraceful. DIR Alberto Vázquez. SCR Alberto Vázquez. CAST Josep Ramos, Mireia Fuara, Angel Gómez, Kepa Cueto. France | Spain

THE SEND-OFF – Emboldened by a giant block party on the evening of their high school prom, a group of students enter the night with the hope of transcending their rural town and the industrial landscape that surround them. DIRS Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan. CAST Tiana Crawford, Chris Burgess, Jr., Jamila Smith-Boyce, Ta’Questa Browning. USA

SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT – Beginning in the present day, a scene of tragedy unfolds, telling a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable. DIR AJ Schnack. USA

A STROLL DOWN SUNFLOWER LANE (ذاكرة عبّاد الشمس) – An old grandfather, a little granddaughter, an old house and some glimpses of memory. She was growing up building hers. He was getting old losing his. DIR Mayye Zayed. SCR Mayye Zayed. CAST Ahmed Khalil, Jana Abdel Aziz. Egypt

SUMMER CAMP ISLAND – Oscar has to accept that his totally normal sleepover with Hedgehog isn’t going to be totally normal. DIR Julia Pott. SCR Julia Pott. CAST Ashley Boettcher, Thomas Vaethroeder, Anna Strupinsky, Kathleen Wilhoite, Judd Hirsch. USA

SUPERBIA – In the land of Superbia, strict rules divide the societies of women and men. DIR Luca Tóth. SCR Luca Tóth. Hungary | Czech Republic | Slovakia

TARGETING THE WORLD – In Fayetteville, NC, surveillance technologies are tested. DIR Jesse Moss. USA

A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS – A lyrical documentary following the social histories of black Americans. DIR Carlos Javier Ortiz. SCR Carlos Javier Ortiz. USA

THUNDER ROAD – Officer Arnaud loved his mom. DIR Jim Cummings. SCR Jim Cummings. CAST Jim Cummings, Melissa Papel, Kitty Barshay, Francesca Biasiolo. USA

UNIVITELLIN – A classic story in a far-from-classic reworking. DIR Terence Nance. SCR Terence Nance. CAST Aminata M’Bathie, Naky Sy Savané, Badara N’Gom, Maman Faso, Igor Tranchot, Raoul Tranchot, Tony Cortes, Florent Toudard, Jonathan Ynsa, Moustapha Sarr, Yanice Haboussa, Anderson Da Cruz Lima. USA

AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS

The American Independents section represents the best of independent filmmaking this year. Pushing boundaries of form and content across narrative and documentary cinema, this section includes eight films from both new voices and filmmakers coming back to AFI FEST.  

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ACTOR MARTINEZ – AFI FEST alums Mike Ott and Nathan Silver play themselves in this enjoyable experiment that blurs the lines between documentary and narrative. DIRS Nathan Silver, Mike Ott. SCRS Mike Ott, Nathan Silver. CAST Arthur Martinez, Lindsay Burdge, Mike Ott, Nathan Silver, Kenneth Berba, Rae Radke. USA

DARK NIGHT – A quiet meditation on the planning and impact of a Cineplex massacre in a suburban town, taking place over one day, from sunrise to midnight. DIR Tim Sutton. SCR Tim Sutton. CAST Robert Jumper, Anna Rose Hopkins, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias, Aaron Purvis, Marilyn Purvis, Ciara Hampton, Andres Vega, Bryce Hampton, Eddie Cacciola. USA

DONALD CRIED – This darkly funny character study centers on former childhood best friends who reconnect decades later in their working-class Rhode Island neighborhood. DIR Kris Avedisian. SCR Kris Avedisian. CAST Kristopher Avedisian, Jesse Wakeman, Louisa Krause, Ted Arcidi, Robby Morse Levy, Kate Fitzgerald, William Billington, Sr. USA

THE EYES OF MY MOTHER – In this enthralling horror debut, a young woman perpetuates the chilling cycle of violence that began with a traumatic event in her childhood. DIR Nicolas Pesce. SCR Nicolas Pesce. CAST Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Flora Diaz, Paul Nazak, Clara Wong, Diana Agostini, Olivia Bond. USA

FRAUD – One of the most fascinating debuts of the year focuses on one family — via home video footage on YouTube — who get swept up in American consumerism, recklessly spending money that may not be their own. DIR Dean Fleischer-Camp. SCR Dean Fleischer-Camp. USA

HUNTER GATHERER – Two men living in South L.A. – one recently out of prison and the other trying to save the life of his bedridden grandfather – form an unlikely friendship in this feature debut. DIR Josh Locy. SCR Josh Locy. CAST Andre Royo, George Sample III, Kellee Stewart, Ashley Wilkerson, Kevin Jackson, Antonio D. Charity, Celestial, Alexis DeLaRosa, Jeanetta Arnette. USA

LIVE CARGO – A young couple grieving after a terrible loss escape to the Bahamas, where they are confronted with simmering tensions and dark secrets. DIR Logan Sandler. SCRS Logan Sandler, Thymaya Payne. CAST Dree Hemingway, Keith Stanfield, Sam Dillon, Leonard Earl Howze, Robert Wisdom, Ayumi Iizuka, Frantz Lecoeur. USA

MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA – This painterly mixed-media animated film is a surreal cross between teen comedies and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. DIR Dash Shaw. SCR Dash Shaw. CAST Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, Susan Sarandon, John Cameron Mitchell, Alex Karpovsky, Thomas Jay Ryan, Louisa Krause. USA

MIDNIGHT

The festival’s Midnight section will captivate and terrify audiences with three genre-bending films from around the globe.

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FEAR ITSELF – Film essayist Charlie Lyne uses horror film footage to explore why the world’s most popular film genre burrows so deeply into our psyches. DIR Charlie Lyne. SCR Charlie Lyne. UK

THE LURE – Two man-eating mermaid sisters travel through 1980s Warsaw in human form. But time away from the water intensifies their craving for human flesh. DIR Agnieszka Smoczyńska. SCR Robert Bolesto. CAST Kinga Preis, Michalina Olszańska, Marta Mazurek, Jakub Gierszał, Andrzej Konopka, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Marcin Kowalczyk, Magdelena Cielecka, Katarzyna Herman. Poland

PREVENGE – In this pitch-black comedy, a pregnant woman receives murderous instructions from her misanthropic fetus to kill as many people as she can. DIR Alice Lowe. SCR Alice Lowe. CAST Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Jo Hartley, Dan Renton Skinner, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Davis, Tom Meeten. UK

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(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

 

 

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Announcing AFI FEST’s Inaugural Masters in Conversation Section

AFI FEST presented by Audi has a new section this year. The inaugural year of Masters in Conversation features three longtime international filmmakers who continually turn out provocative, challenging works that push the limits of what is possible in cinema. Films screening in this section are I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, followed by a discussion with director Raoul Peck, and THE WOMAN WHO LEFT, followed by a discussion with director Lav Diaz. Documentarian Gianfranco Rosi also joins this section for a conversation about his lauded documentary on the migrant crisis, FIRE AT SEA.

MASTERS IN CONVERSATION

Lav Diaz works as a director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, poet, composer,screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-23-59-am production designer and actor. Known for the daring length of his films, some of which run up to 11 hours, Diaz made his feature debut with THE CRIMINAL OF BARRIO CONCEPCION in 1998. His subsequent features include EVOLUTION OF A FILIPINO FAMILY (2004); CENTURY OF BIRTHING (2011); NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY (2013); FROM WHAT IS BEFORE (AFI FEST 2014), winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival; and A LULLABY TO THE SORROWFUL MYSTERY (2016). His film THE WOMAN WHO LEFT will screen at AFI FEST.

 

Raoul Peck’s complex body of work includes THE MAN BY THE SHORE (1993), whichscreen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-23-00-am competed at the Cannes Film Festival; LUMUMBA (2000), SOMETIMES IN APRIL (2005), MOLOCH TROPICAL (2009) and MURDER IN PACOT (2014), all of which premiered at top international festivals. His documentaries include LUMUMBA: DEATH OF A PROPHET (1990), DESOUNEN: DIALOGUE WITH DEATH (1994) and FATAL ASSISTANCE (2013). He served on the Cannes Jury in 2012, and is presently chairman of the French lm school La Fémis. In 2001, the Human Rights Watch Organization awarded him the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award. His film I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO will screen at AFI FEST.

 

Gianfranco Rosi is the director of the documentary BELOW SEA LEVEL (2008), which wonscreen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-21-31-am the Orizzonti Award at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at the European Film Awards; EL SICARIO, ROOM 164 (2010), which won the FIPRESCI Award at Venice; and SACRO GRA (2013), which won the Golden Lion at Venice. Living for a year on Lampedusa resulted in FIRE AT SEA, the Golden Bear and Ecumenical Prize winner at the Berlinale.

 

Tickets to Masters in Conversations will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1

*Featured photo from THE WOMAN WHO LEFT

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(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

 

AFI FEST Presents World Premiere of THE COMEDIAN with Robert De Niro & Leslie Mann

The World Premiere of THE COMEDIAN from Sony Pictures Classics and Cinelou Films will play as a Special Screening of AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi. The film stars Oscar® winner Robert De Niro, along with Leslie Mann, Oscar® nominee Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Charles Grodin, Oscar® winner Cloris Leachman, Patti LuPone and Oscar® nominee Harvey Keitel. Written by Art Linson, directed by Oscar® winner Taylor Hackford and produced by Art Linson, John Linson, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon and Taylor Hackford.
 

In THE COMEDIAN, an aging comic icon, Jackie (De Niro) has seen better days. Despite his efforts to reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played. Already a strain on his younger brother (DeVito) and his wife (LuPone), Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets Harmony (Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Keitel), and the two find inspiration in one another, resulting in surprising consequences.THE COMEDIAN will screen on Friday, November 11, at the Egyptian Theatre.

 

AFI FEST takes place November 10–17, 2016, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.

 

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Go to AFI.com for details to purchase Patron Packages, which include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events. Individual tickets will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.

(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

Annette Bening to Be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor actress Annette Bening with a Tribute and Centerpiece Gala screening at the festival.

The Tribute will celebrate her extraordinary career and will include a conversation with the actress followed by A24 and Annapurna Pictures’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (DIR Mike Mills) on Wednesday, November 16.

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Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest President (Photo credit: Indiewire)

“Annette Bening is a modern-day icon of American cinema,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director. “She brings her characters to life with an emotional intelligence that is luminous and powerful. In 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, she finds one of her richest roles yet, delivering a strong performance that anchors the film’s terrific ensemble cast.”

Bening is a four-time Academy Award® nominee for her indelible performances in THE GRIFTERS (1990), AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999), BEING JULIA (2004) and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010). Her other credits include VALMONT (1989), BUGSY (1991), THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1995), GINGER & ROSA (2012) and AFI FEST 2016 Opening Night film RULES DON’T APPLY (2016). She has won BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Awards, and garnered Emmy® and Tony® nominations for her television and stage work, respectively.

Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, set in Santa Barbara 1979, follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. When Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — free-spirited punk artist Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and savvy, provocative teen neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning) — a makeshift family forms that will mystify and inspire them for the rest of their lives.

The Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of RULES DON’T APPLY (DIR Warren Beatty) on Thursday, November 10. Isabelle Huppert will be honored with a Tribute on Sunday, November 13, followed by a Centerpiece Gala screening of ELLE (DIR Paul Verhoeven).

In celebration of the 30th edition of the festival, a trio of diverse female trailblazers are featured in both the festival’s 2016 key art and programming lineup. AFI FEST will spotlight Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award®; Ida Lupino, a pioneering director, writer, producer and actress who became the first woman to direct a film noir; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress to rise to international prominence.

(Source.www.blog.afi.com)

LA FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION HONORS SHIRLEY MacLAINE WITH CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), comprised of professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media, has announced it will Shirley MacLaine with its Career Achievement Award on January 17th, 2017 in Century City, California at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Ms. MacLaine, one of Hollywood’s legendary leading ladies, has an extensive body of work beginning with her breakthrough performance in The Apartment (1960)  and includes strong performances in Sweet Charity, Irma LaDouce and Terms of Endearment.  MacLaine won an Oscar with Terms of Endearment for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Aurora Greenway. More recently MacLaine played Marjorie Nugent alongside Jack Black in the dark dramedy, Bernie (2011). Her next role in The Last Word can be seen starting in the spring of 2017.  MacLaine is also a prolific writer having authored several books.

The 35th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Inside
Pictured above is Claudia Puig, LAFCA President (Photo credit: lacfa.net)

LAFCA President Claudia Puig lauded MacLaine by saying,

 

 

“We are very excited to be giving the award to someone who has had such an illustrious, versatile acting career, and who has contributed so much to our collective enjoyment of movies.”

 

MacLaine responded saying, “I’m thrilled with the honor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the recognition and the encouragement.”

Here’s a brief snippet from Shirley on criticism and Billy Wilder:

According to LAFCA’s website other top awards will be decided by the membership on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, and those honorees will join MacLaine at the January dinner.

This year’s awards ceremony is dedicated to director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys), who died on Sept. 20.

(Sources: www.lafca.net, HollywoodGlee archives)

Diane Keaton to Receive 45th AFI Life Achievement Award

Legendary actress Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Keaton at a Gala Tribute on June 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.

 

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Sir Howard Stringer (Photo credit:pcmag.com)

“Diane Keaton is one of the most beloved leading ladies of American film,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair, AFI Board of Trustees. “Peerless in her mastery of both comedy and drama, she has won the world’s heart time and again by creating characters of both great strength and vulnerability. Her career as a director and producer is even further evidence of her passion for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents. AFI is proud to present her with its 45th Life Achievement Award.”

Diane Keaton — multifaceted actor, director, producer, author, real estate developer and photographer — can boast more than 60 diverse credits across five decades. Her iconic roles span the cinematic spectrum, from long-suffering mob wife Kay Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) to the “la-di-da” heroine of Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (1977) — a role which earned her an Academy Award® for Best Actress and turned her into a national fashion icon. Perhaps best known for her long comedic collaboration with Allen — including PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972), SLEEPER (1973), LOVE AND DEATH (1975), MANHATTAN (1979) and more — she has proved herself equally adept at dramatic roles, with powerhouse performances in films such as LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR (1977), REDS (1981), THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (1984) and MARVIN’S ROOM (1996). During the 1980s, Keaton turned to directing — from feature narratives and documentaries to music videos and television. A perennial box office favorite, she’s maintained her popular profile with films including BABY BOOM (1987), FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991) and FATHER OF THE BRIDE II (1995), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (1996), SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003), MORNING GLORY (2010), THE BIG WEDDING (2013), AND SO IT GOES (2014) and Pixar’s FINDING DORY (2016). She will continue to grace the screen with her unique presence in the upcoming HBO miniseries THE YOUNG POPE.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its fifth year with Turner Broadcasting to air on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

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(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

Isabelle Huppert to be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert with a Tribute and a Gala screening at the festival. The Tribute will celebrate her storied career and will include a conversation with the actress, followed by a Gala screening of Sony Pictures Classics’ ELLE (directed by Paul Verhoeven) on Sunday, November 13.

In ELLE, Isabelle Huppert plays Michèle, who seems indestructible, bringing the same ruthless attitude to her love life as she does to her business as head of a leading video game company. But her life changes forever after an unknown assailant attacks her in her home. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game — a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

Among international film’s most seasoned actresses, Isabelle Huppert has countless awards to her credit — with 15 César Award nominations, the most for any actress, and a win for LA CÉRÉMONIE (1995). Her other films include VIOLETTE (1978), STORY OF WOMEN (1988), MADAME BOVARY (1991), THE PIANO TEACHER (2001), I HEART HUCKABEES (2004), WHITE MATERIAL (2009), AMOUR (2012) and THINGS TO COME (2016). She has twice won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, and is an Officer of both the National Order of Merit and the Legion of Honour.

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(Source: www.bolg.afi.com)

Meet Bill Gold: The Man Behind the Most Iconic Movie Posters Ever

Have a favorite vintage movie poster? Chances are, it was probably designed by Bill Gold, one of the most prolific designers ever to work in movies. Gaining early prestige working on CASABLANCA for Warner Bros., his legacy of posters spans from Hollywood’s Golden Age through New Hollywood, including a close and enduring collaboration with director Clint Eastwood.

AFI spoke with Gold, now retired, about an illustrious career that has proven as influential as the films for which he’s designed posters.

AFI: Tell us how you got started in the business, and where you are today now that you’ve retired.

Bill Gold: In my wildest dreams, I could not have foreseen the career I would have. As a young child, while other kids were out playing ball and riding their bikes, I was at home drawing. After graduating from Pratt Institute, I got a job in the poster department at Warner Bros. Who would have known that the first film I would work on would be the iconic CASABLANCA? That launched my remarkable career. By the early 1960s, I had started my own company, Bill Gold Advertising.screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-51-45-pm

As a kid in Brooklyn, I started drawing from the age of eight and never stopped. In elementary school I was winning art honors. I was drawn to the movies. I graduated from Pratt Institute and went looking for a job, and introduced myself to the art director of the poster department of Warner Bros. in their New York offices. He sent me away on trial to design posters for four earlier films: ESCAPE ME NEVER and ROBIN HOOD with Errol Flynn, THE MAN I LOVE with Ida Lupino and Bette Davis‘s WINTER MEETING. Afterwards he told me, “You’re hired.” My first assignment was for a film not yet finished: CASABLANCA.

I’ve been retired since 2004 with the exception of coming back to work with Clint on J. EDGAR and Warner Home Video on a special project. I’m currently enjoying life with my wife, Susan, and our dog Willoughby in Connecticut.

AFI: What is “the Bill Gold look”? What is it that makes your work yours?

Gold: I know what movie posters should look like, instinctively. My style is and has always been “less is more.” I don’t like a cluttered look. Clean, simple and to the point. I guess you could say black, red, gray and white are usually my trademark colors.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-53-00-pmYears ago, I looked at everything that MGM and Paramount and all the companies did, and I never liked anything that I saw. I always found fault with the fact that they showed three heads of the actors, and that’s about all the concept they would use. And when I started to work, I thought: “I don’t want to just do a concept with three heads in it. I want a story.”

I’ve worked on poster campaigns for films by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Federico Fellini, but my most significant relationship is with Clint Eastwood. We began working together in 1971 when I created the poster for DIRTY HARRY and continued until I retired in 2004.

AFI: What do you think are the ingredients of a successful/memorable movie poster?

Gold: You’d get an assignment and they’d tell you something of how the movie should bescreen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-49-25-pm marketed. I’d go see the film (I always got a kick out of seeing people’s reactions to movies), or if it wasn’t complete, I’d look at the stills. You then decide how you want the public to see it, then you think of the best way to communicate that. I had usually at least three art directors working for me in a given year, production people and assistants.

AFI: How has the poster making process changed today?

Gold: Posters illustrations are gone. They only use digital photos now. Anybody who can use a computer thinks they can do this. Having computer knowledge is very different from being an artist or an art director or a marketer. A 10-year-old can do a good job on the computer. With photos today the stars can’t say, “It doesn’t look like me.” We used to have to do it over.

My objective is to “sell” the film, to entice an audience to see it through a revealing and striking image and typography. To provoke an interest in the “story” of the film is what I am able to do best.

AFI: Looking back on your legacy and decades of work, how do you feel you have contributed to the history of American movies?

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-46-45-pmGold: It’s remarkable the range of styles I’ve used in creating numerous iconic works. It seems a bit unlikely that the designer responsible for the conventional rendering of James Cagney in patriotic garb in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY could have conceived the frilly pink collage of MY FAIR LADY, the blobbed, multi-colored hippie images for WOODSTOCK and the upside-down nocturnal reflections of Clint Eastwood’s MYSTIC RIVER.

Moving with the times as American graphics began to change in the 1950s, I went from relying on traditional illustration to embracing Modernism, Symbolism, Pop Art and psychedelia. I didn’t forget the early American influences, such as J.C. Leyendecker, or the folksy wit of Norman Rockwell.

BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)

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We got together with Warren Beatty and I believe we had Faye Dunaway at the meeting as well, and Warren was in charge: it was his movie. He wasn’t sure what he wanted, or how to market BONNIE AND CLYDE. It was a sensational, dramatic action-thriller but he also wanted it to look authentic and real and exact — so, looking at the poster, you couldn’t make the mistake of thinking it was just a story. It was about the Depression years, 1930s America. Hence the sepia and the period lettering and those kinds of aesthetic choices. We worked from a specially shot photograph. Beatty was delighted with the final campaign.

CASABLANCA (1942)

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My first assignment in 1942 after being hired by the Warner Bros. art department in New York was CASABLANCA. My initial thoughts were to put together a montage showing all the characters depicted in the film. I wanted to have Humphrey Bogart in the foreground and Ingrid Bergman behind him looking on. I didn’t want to give away their romance. The client loved it but said there was no excitement, so I put a gun in Bogart’s hand. The gun was taken from the film HIGH SIERRA.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)

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Kubrick always wanted to be in control. He wanted to be aware of every step I was taking. He needed to know he had input and was part of the thinking process.

DELIVERANCE (1972)

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The poster used in the domestic campaign for DELIVERANCE showed hands coming out of the river holding a rifle. But executives in charge of the international campaign wanted something a little more dynamic to represent a movie about a weekend canoe trip from hell. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if it had a three-dimensional quality, and it looked like it was coming out of the eye of one of the Southern characters? The tag line “What did happen on the Cahulawassee River?” added a final mysterious touch.

DIRTY HARRY (1971)

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Clint and I have become very good friends over the years. Professionally, he is as good as it gets. He appreciates everything I have done for him, and has wonderful taste and a remarkable eye for art. Of course, there have been a couple of times when he has asked me to “go back to the drawing board” and investigate another direction. But this is part of the working process, and most of the time we are both on the same page. Clint Eastwood wrote in the foreword to “Bill Gold: Posterworks,” “With Bill I knew he would bring great ideas, and the poster he created would be one less thing we had to think about. He respected the film, he respected the story, and he always respected what we were trying to accomplish.”

THE EXORCIST (1973)

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I picked the still of the priest, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), arriving at the house in Georgetown for the exorcism with a briefcase in his hand because it struck a chord with me. When you looked at this still, you knew somehow that whatever is about to happen inside that house is not going to be good! I adapted it by taking a lot of the detail out of the photo and turning it into a design, and after that no one wanted to see anything else. I’d been specifically told by William Friedkin and Warner Bros. that we must not use an image of the girl possessed, or show anything that had any hint of religious connotation. They were very concerned about that. Friedkin was very involved, and he and Warners rejected all our other comps. They knew what they wanted and certainly picked the right image, which was used all over the world. And the movie, at the time, became the biggest hit in Warners’ history.

MY FAIR LADY (1964)

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I had seen the stage musical on Broadway a couple of times, with Rex Harrison as Prof. Higgins and Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, and I knew it by heart. This campaign is a favorite of mine. With George Cukor directing, the movie had Audrey Hepburn instead of Julie Andrews, and Cecil Beaton’s costumes and sets which were important. Warner Bros. had invested about $17 million in it. Here we began with work-in-progress charcoal drawings, and squiggles to get our juices flowing. Eventually, I was happy with the way both principals looked, and now we had to add some extra elements to embellish it, such as the umbrella. The final poster is a collage of charcoal drawings, with color added on top. I designed the lettering, which has become so symbolic of the movie, inseparable from it almost.

CATCH-22 (1970)

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This was directed by Mike Nichols, for Paramount. We used military-style lettering and tried to capture the irreverence of the novel: putting war in its place. I like the clarity of these posters. But none were used in the end. They thought they were too clever. This one presents its message clearly with the overhead shot of a toilet with a toy bomber in the bowl. The tagline underneath the image simply says “The first film to put war in its place.” While that message does work with the film, perhaps it was a bit too risky a venture to go with at the time; or distributors felt that having a one-liner like this (despite the truth in it) wasn’t the best way to sell the movie.

(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

 

AFI Celebrates Young Filmmakers at the White House Student Film Festival

October 2, 2016 – Today’s White House Student Film Festival in Washington, DC, marked AFI’s third annual collaboration on the event, which inspires and celebrates young filmmakers from around the nation. AFI welcomed aspiring K–12 filmmakers to the White House to premiere their work for an audience of special guests and film artists from in front of and behind the camera, including Ty Burrell, Alfre Woodard and STRANGER THINGS creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer and star Millie Bobby Brown.

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AFI is a founding partner of the festival, which took place this year preceding South by South Lawn, an elaborate outdoor event celebrating the arts to be held on Monday, October 3. As part of AFI’s ongoing mission to educate today’s audiences and tomorrow’s storytellers — a mandate that began when AFI was born in the White House Rose Garden in 1965 — participating filmmakers will continue to learn about the art form after the festival by working closely with AFI Conservatory alumni as mentors.

 

Open to K–12 student filmmakers, storytellers were encouraged to submit their short film based on this year’s festival theme, “The World I Want to Live In.” Thirteen finalist films were screened at the event, followed by a meet-and-greet with festival attendees. In line with this year’s theme of looking toward the future, and the festival’s annual spirit of innovation, Virtual Reality stations were also part of the experience for guests, filmmakers and their families.

Since the White House Student Film Festival inception in 2014, AFI has worked on President Barack Obama’s program as an advisor and producer, reviewing submissions and creating a celebration that includes educational opportunities for the selected young filmmakers. This year, that partnership continued as the White House Student Film Festival highlighted both the Administration’s commitment to public service and AFI’s ongoing mission to nurture the next generation of storytellers.

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Read more about the festival at WhiteHouse.Gov/FilmFest.

(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

Dorothy Dandridge, Ida Lupino and Anna May Wong Honored at AFI FEST 2016

In celebration of the 30th edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi, a trio of diverse female trailblazers will adorn the festival’s 2016 key art and be featured in its programming lineup. AFI FEST will spotlight Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award®; Ida Lupino, a pioneering director, writer, producer and actress who became the first woman to direct a film noir; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress to rise to international prominence.

AFI FEST will screen three films featuring each artist in its expanded Cinema’s Legacy section that celebrates motion picture heritage and presents recent restorations of film classics and films about the history of cinema: Otto Preminger’s CARMEN JONES (1954) starring Dandridge; the Lupino-directed THE HITCH-HIKER (1953); and E.A. Dupont’s PICCADILLY (1929) starring Wong.

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Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965) rose to prominence alongside her sister Vivian and jazz singer Etta Jones as part of the song-and-dance trio the Dandridge Sisters, before becoming a solo artist who starred in Hollywood musicals. With CARMEN JONES (1954), she became the first black woman to receive an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress.

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London-born Ida Lupino (1918-1995) was a pioneering actress, director and producer. Her acting credits include THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940) and HIGH SIERRA (1941) opposite Humphrey Bogart. She made her writing/directing debut with NEVER FEAR (1949) before THE HITCH-HIKER (1953) made her the first woman to direct a film noir.

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Anna May Wong (1905-1961) was the first Chinese-American movie star, having achieved stardom in the Technicolor THE TOLL OF THE SEA (1922). Among her collaborators were Douglas Fairbanks, Josef von Sternberg and Raoul Walsh, with credits including THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924), PICCADILLY (1929) and SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932).

(Source: www.blog.afi.com)