Category Archives: #AFI

UPDATE: Saturday Afternoon Premiere at AFI FEST 2021 – Almodovar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today at 2:00 P.M, Pedro Almodavar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS, starring Penelope Cruz, is making an afternoon Red Carpet Premiere at the historic Chinese Theatre, in Hollywood, Calif. Visit fest.afi.com for more information including ticketing.

Pedro Almodovar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS, starring Penelope Cruz, is slated for an AFI FEST Red Carpet Premiere, today, November 13th, 2021, 2:00 P.M., at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo from fest.afi.com)

UPDATE: There will be a post-screening conversation with Pedro Almodóvar(Director) moderated by film critic Alonso Duralde.

PARALLEL MOTHERS, follows two women Janis and Ana – both single mothers – from the moment they give birth to two daughters. Janis is thrilled by her accidental pregnancy, seeing it as perhaps her last chance at motherhood, while the adolescent Ana is scared and traumatized by the ordeal.

According to AFI Movie Club, Almodovar has been percolating the idea since 1999, when he first pitched it to Penelope Cruz while she was working on Almodvar’s ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER. This is the eighth collaboration between the Spanish duo. In addition, PARALLEL MOTHERS marks the 13th collaboration between Sony Pictures Classics and the production company El Deseo, which Almodovar operates with his brother Augustin Almodovar.

The Power of a Dog Left Audience Members Howling for More @AFIFEST 2021

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Jane Campion’s latest film, The Power of the Dog, with Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee present, lit up the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard last night with an AFI FEST 2021 Red Carpet Premiere.

Once inside the hallowed Hollywood landmark, AFI President Bob Gazzale welcomed the audience before eloquently introducing the film and Director Jane Campion to loud cheers and hearty rounds of applause. Following the film’s screening a conversation moderated by Hollywood’s delightful Kathryn Hahn entertained the house.

The Power of the Dog, a semi-dark psychological drama, is a magnificent and majestic work tantalizing and titillating – a bonafied Oscar contender in multiple categories.

The evening embodied a new peak for film festival entertainment as post-screening 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.

Kirsten Dunst, Red Carpet Premiere Screening of ‘The Power of the Dog’, Intro and Q and A, AFI FEST, TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA – 11 Nov 2021
Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jane Campion, Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch – AFI FEST 2021 Red Carpet Premiere Screening of THE POWER OF THE DOG, TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, California, Nov. 11, 2021

The AFI FEST continues through November 14th, offering the best in global cinema.

Tickets Are Still Available for Select In-person Screenings Tomorrow! Check out these selections for your viewing.

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

AFI FEST 2021 – Day 2 @AFIFEST

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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

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

Here are a few recommendations for today.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Last but not least. The Shorts Program 1. 

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

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Opening Night Red Carpet AFI FEST 2021

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Last night, the AFI FEST audience at the TCL Chinese Theatre was treated to the World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM! Check out the exclusive photos from the red carpet, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens, Judith Light, Robin de Jesus, Joshua Henry, Alexandra Shipp and more.

Check out the red carpet video tick, tick…BOOM!

Judith Light – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Andrew Garfield and Alexandra Shipp – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Andrew Garfield and Lin-Manuel Miranda – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Andrew Garfield – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Director Lin-Manuel Miranda – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Robin de Jesus, Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Vanessa Hudgens, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Julie Oh – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Robin de Jesus – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Isabella Gomez – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM
Julie Larson – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!
Alice Brooks, Cinematographer – AFI FEST 2021: World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!

Tickets Still Available for Select In-person Screenings Tomorrow!

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AFI FEST 2021 – Day 1

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Meet the Press Film Festival in collaboration with AFI opens the first day of the 2021 AFI FEST. Meet the Press Film Festival highlights topics such as criminal justice reform, climate change, immigration and racial and gender bias. Along with the shorts, the festival also features live discussions with filmmakers, subjects, NBC News correspondents and anchors. These are excellent films with timely topics! Also available today virtually. Director of AFI Festivals, Michael Lumpkin on the Meet The Press Film Festival:

 

Michael Lumpkin, Director AFI Festivals

“We are all storytellers, whether as journalists or filmmakers, our job is the same. We share a commitment to bringing important truths to our audience — be it in a theater, on television or any other screen..

 

 

Julia

Julie Cohen’s deliberative documentary Julia on Julia Childs, the 20th Century American pioneer in the kitchen and out is an informative piece – well researched. The night belongs to the Jane Campion directed The Power Of the Dog as it makes its Red Carpet Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre – a “must-see” film for AFI FEST 2021.

The Power of the Dog

 

The Virtual Screenings make their premiere as well with the Meet the Press viewings available and the AFI Conservatory Showcase. Both are HollywoodGlee recommended selections. The short form is often overlooked, yet the stories are succinct, informative, while showcasing fresh voices and pertinent messaging.

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

 

For ticketing and more information visit fest.afi.com.

Boom! It’s Opening Night at the 2021 AFI FEST!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

OPENING NIGHT

World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!

 

AFI FEST 2021 kicks off tonight with AFI FEST’s return to the theaters with the Red Carpet Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM! directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Bob Gazzale, AFI President

“AFI was created to fulfill a need, and that need seems to change every year, certainly during a global pandemic,” Gazzale says. “And what we determined early was that the goal of AFI this year was to manifest what we learned during the pandemic: that experiencing life with others is a joy. To laugh together, to experience a jump scare, to experience a story well told has always proven a tonic for dark times.”

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of “Rent.”

Jon is a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan, who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security; amidst an artistic community ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have?

There will be a post-screening conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Director), Andrew Garfield (Actor), Robin De Jesus (Actor), Alexandra Shipp (Actor) and Steven Levenson (Screenwriter) moderated by filmmaker Rian Johnson.

More films playing this week at AFI FEST:

THE POWER OF THE DOG

Academy Award® winner Jane Campion crafts an enthralling psychological drama set in the American West starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a brutally beguiling rancher. Jane Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and more in attendance for post-screening conversation. Screening in person Thursday, November 11, 7:30 p.m. One of HollywoodGlee’s Select Pics! The performances led by Cumberbatch and strongly supported by Plemons and Dunst make this a “don’t miss” film.

UPDATE: There will be a post-screening conversation with Jane Campion (Director), Benedict Cumberbatch (Actor), Kirsten Dunst (Actor), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Actor), Ari Wegner (Cinematographer), Peter Sciberras (Editor), and moderated by recently announced actress and comedian, Kathryn Hahn.

MEDUSA

Deeply seeded carnal desires bubble to the surface and topple over in this cathartic narrative which fuses the darkly morbid with the sublimely feminine. Director Anita Rocha da Silveira (KILL ME PLEASE) returns to AFI FEST with this modern horror-satire that fiercely critiques evangelical fanaticism in a Brazil. Screening in person Saturday, November 13 at 8:30 p.m.

TO WHAT REMAINS

World Premiere

This powerful documentary follows Dr. Pat Scannon and a team of professionals, volunteers and other veterans searching for those left behind in forgotten battles. Screening in person Thursday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m. and virtually beginning November 12.

MON AMI QUI BRILLE DANS LA NUIT

A ghost struck with memory loss makes an ephemeral friendship with Arthur, a human, and learns patience in its journey to the afterlife…It’s the ghost story that ghosts deserve to have. Screening as part of Shorts Program 2. Screening virtually beginning November 11 and in person November 12 at 6:00 p.m.

CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: AMERICA’S SECRET NAZIS

During WWII, a group of young Jewish refugees are sent to a secret POW camp near Washington, DC – and soon discover that the prisoners are Hitler’s top scientists. Join us for these compelling – and true – stories as part of the Meet The Press Film Festival at AFI FEST. Post-screening conversation moderated by NBC News journalists. Screening virtually beginning November 11 and in person Thursday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.

WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE OF RACISM IN AMERICA

Directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, this powerful documentary is an essential deep dive into a divided nation’s history and the ongoing racial reckoning of our times. Join us for a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers and the ACLU’s Jeffery Robinson, moderated by Variety’s Clayton Davis. Screening in person Thursday, November 11 at 6:00 p.m.

 

 

The complete AFI FEST program includes 115 titles (48 Features, 1 Episodic, 49 Short Films and 17 Conservatory Showcase Shorts) of which 51% are directed by women, 40% directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 13% are directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. This year’s program represents 50 countries and includes six World .

 

AFI FEST 2021 Starts Tonight!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Final preparations were taking place bright and early this morning at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., as the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 2021 AFI FEST, Nov.10-14th, is slated to open tonight with the World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! starring Andrew Garfield.

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2021 Production Crew begin preparations at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10th, 2021, for tonight’s Opening Night World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2021 Production Crew begin preparations at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10th, 2021, for tonight’s Opening Night World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2021 Production Crew begin preparations at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10th, 2021, for tonight’s Opening Night World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2021 Production Crew begin preparations at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10th, 2021, for tonight’s Opening Night World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

On Thursday, the Red Carpet Premieres continue with a sizzling POWER OF THE DOG directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst. The performances led by Cumberbatch and strongly supported by Plemons and Dunst make this a “don’t miss” film. Campion is a front runner for her second screenwriting Oscar and may well make it a twofer ala Chloe Zhao with Nomadland – Writing and Directing!

More to come as the best in global cinema is about to get underway! Stay tuned…

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST 2021 Production Crew begin preparations at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10th, 2021, for tonight’s Opening Night World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

Tickets to in-person and virtual screenings are available on FEST.AFI.com.

 

AFI FEST 2021: Music Films

Posted by Larry Gleeson

What do The Buzzcocks, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Bernstein have in common? What about rappers from Morocco and rappers from Chicago? And what connects the next great American musical and a classic Chinese love song? The answer is….. in all of this great music in films at this year’s AFI FEST! These toe tappers are sure to strike a chord or two with something for everyone’s audible enjoyment – and plenty of new tunes to discover. Check ’em out!

ALI & AVA

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

This contemporary working-class romance – filled with rich and tender performances from Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar – is a charming and heartwarming portrait of love, beauty and acceptance. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 12, 7:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

BERNSTEIN’S WALL

For the better part of the 20th century, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was a household name due to his music in WEST SIDE STORY (for which he won an Academy Award®), his role as Musical Director of the New York Philharmonic and his work on television making classical music accessible to the general public. This documentary follows the life of this extraordinary first-generation son of Ukrainian-Jewish parents, from his early life in New England, to the many “firsts” he claimed during his early orchestral career and his constant advocacy of worthy causes. The narration uses Bernstein’s own words, harvested from his many recorded appearances on the radio, television and in-person interviews, which offers a strikingly intimate perspective. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 12, 3:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

CASABLANCA BEATS (HAUT ET FORT)

Morocco Official International Feature Film Oscar® Submission

North American Premiere

Based on director Nabil Ayouch’s own experiences opening a cultural center for young people in Casablanca, his new film depicts a group of Moroccan students trying their hand at rap with the guidance of a former rapper and navigating their way through differences in identity, religion and politics. As students and teacher find themselves in direct conflict with the social issues they explore through music, each of them must reckon with the decision to continue rapping or return to the silence of their previous lives. With a dynamic ensemble of first-time actors, Ayouch’s film brings a passionate perspective on a cathartic story with sincerity and depth for an audience of all ages. CASABLANCA BEATS encompasses the heart of youthful inspiration in this lyrical slice of life, as well as the discovery that self-expression cannot be curbed or controlled. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 11, 8:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

JUICE WRLD

World Premiere

The SoundCloud rap generation, known for music that explores emotional vulnerabilities, prescription drug use and mental health, has greatly impacted American music and culture in the last decade. After posting songs from his home in Chicago, Juice WRLD catapulted to stardom and quickly connected with fans for his profound lyrics and impressively long freestyles. But just three years after his career started, Juice WRLD succumbed to an oxycodone and codeine overdose as he celebrated his 21st birthday.

Filmmaker Tommy Oliver explores the life and final days of this talented, young rapper with footage from studio sessions of unreleased songs, behind-the-scenes moments on tour and emotional interviews with the friends he left behind. Almost two years after his death, the impact of Juice WRLD’s music lives on. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 12, 6:30 p.m.   | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

MISERY LOVES COMPANY

One night, Seolgi is lying on a grass field with friends. A shooting star falls, and dark and intrusive thoughts hits her and her melancholy blooms into “flower people.” Screens as part of Shorts Program 1. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 12, 3:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

ONLY THE MOON STANDS STILL (明月依旧)

Three generations of Chinese women say goodbye to their family ballroom dance studio. Executive produced by Lena Waithe, starring Shirley Chen and Mardy Ma. Screens as part of Shorts Program 3. Learn more about the film. 

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 3 |  November 12, 9:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

tick, tick…BOOM!

Opening Night / World Premiere 

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of “Rent.”

Jon is a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan, who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security; amidst an artistic community ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have? Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 10, 7:30 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at FEST.AFI.com.

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

BECOME A MEMBER

 

AFI FEST 2021 Starts Tomorrow!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The best in global cinema starts tomorrow!

Powerful, enlightening, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Experience it all at AFI FEST 2021. Opening night kicks off tomorrow with the World Premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! And on Thursday, the Red Carpet Premieres continue with THE POWER OF THE DOG directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst.

Don’t miss all of the screenings launching virtually!

Buy your tickets to in-person and virtual screenings today on FEST.AFI.com.

SWAN SONG

World Premiere

In this intimate sci-fi drama starring two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali and eight-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close, the moral complexities of cloning force a man to examine everything he knows about love, loss and happiness. Feature directorial debut from Academy Award® winner Benjamin Cleary. Screening in person Friday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.

 

PARALLEL MOTHERS

In this powerful exploration of how generations and families are held together amongst the greatest challenges, Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film follows two new mothers (Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit) whose bond unravels in complicated and surprising ways that neither of them expected. After the screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre, join us for a special conversation with director Pedro Almodóvar and The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde. Screening Saturday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m.

TO WHAT REMAINS

This powerful documentary follows Dr. Pat Scannon and a team of professionals, volunteers and other veterans searching for those left behind in forgotten battles. AFI FEST is honored to host the World Premiere of this remarkable film on November 11 to celebrate all U.S. veterans. Screening in person Thursday, November 11 at 5:00 p.m and virtually beginning November 12.

AHED’S KNEE

Spinning wildly around such complex questions as the moral obligation of a citizen whose country is becoming increasingly oppressive and censorial, and the inherent privilege in speaking out against such injustices, the latest from celebrated Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid is a provocation as intimate as it is extreme. Screening in person on Friday, November 12 at 4:30 p.m.

(Sourced from AFI News)

The Week of AFI FEST 2021: Festival Programming Intern Payton Ewalt Picks

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Festival Programming Intern Payton Ewalt

I’d never imagined that the extent of my connection with AFI would go farther trying to complete the AFI 100 Greatest American Films list, but I was beyond lucky to participate in an internship this semester that allowed me to work closely with the amazing AFI FEST Programming team.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been privileged enough to screen incredible films, work with the film database and be a part of a wonderful team that immediately welcomed me and taught me everything to know about AFI FEST.

As a first-time festivalgoer, I’ll admit I’ve never been more excited for anything than to finally see how this all comes together!

From this year’s festival lineup, I’ve had far more than a few favorites, nevertheless, here are my top three short films:

MON AMI QUI BRILLE DANS LA NUIT

A ghost struck with memory loss makes an ephemeral friendship with Arthur, a human, and learns patience in its journey to the afterlife. Minimalist animation with striking colors are combined with the seamless blending of animation over realistic stills for a unique experience. This story becomes a film that makes you feel held in its comforting storytelling. It’s the ghost story that ghosts deserve to have, and one I loved watching. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 2 | November 12, 6:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

SHARK

A film that makes you wish your intuition would be wrong. A man who loves practical jokes marries a girl who loves them just the same, but their story continues with some anxiety-ridden twists. With a wonderful cast and set to beautiful scenery, this makes for an entertaining short that plays off the rest of the films in Shorts Program 4 perfectly and shouldn’t be missed! Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 | November 13, 2:15 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

ONLY THE MOON STANDS STILL (明月依旧)

Johnson Cheng’s heartwarming and heartbreaking film beautifully captures another facet of the Chinese-American experience through the relationship of a mother and daughter who choose to sacrifice for each other through trying circumstances. Grief, love and tradition are intertwined in this piece to transcend a culturally specific experience that becomes a part of a shared history for any audience. An absolute must-see! Learn more about the film. 

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 3 |  November 12, 9:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

With health and safety being a top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at FEST.AFI.com.

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

BECOME A MEMBER

(SOURCE: AFI News)