Summit to Feature Discussions that WillSpotlight Trends in the Film Industry
Launching this year at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi, the AFI Summit is a six-day forum of intimate conversations and dynamic panel discussions that will feature acclaimed and thought-provoking filmmakers, industry leaders and academics who are making a difference. The lineup includes a conversation with Eva Longoria and Dr. Stacy Smith about the alarming lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film, The Hollywood Reporter’s Indie Contenders Roundtable moderated by columnist Scott Feinberg, the Executives of the Culture panel hosted by Blackhouse’s Brickson Diamond and the Doc Roundtable moderated by LA Times writer Amy Kaufman.
AFI Alumna Melina Matsoukas’s Feature Film Directorial Debut to Launch 33rd Edition of Festival on Thursday, November 14
The 33rd edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi will open with the world premiere of Makeready and Universal Pictures’ QUEEN & SLIM. Directed by two-time Grammy® winner Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005) and written by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe from a story by Waithe and James Frey, the film is a consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence. The film stars Academy Award® nominee Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Academy Award® nominee Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson and Indya Moore. Matsoukas was awarded AFI’s Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal earlier this year. The Opening Night Gala screening will take place Thursday, November 14, 2019, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, followed by an after-party at the Roosevelt Hotel.
In making the announcement, AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale said,
“Melina’s powerful voice is the embodiment of the AFI ideal, for we believe in the revolutionary power of visual storytelling to share perspectives, inspire empathy and drive culture forward. We are honored to shine a proper light upon her and QUEEN & SLIM.”
For Matsoukas, the AFI world premiere represents a homecoming.
“I feel privileged to present my first feature film, QUEEN & SLIM at the opening night of AFI FEST, a place that is integral to my story as a filmmaker. The tools I learned while receiving my Master of Fine Arts from AFI informs my artistry every day, and to have this moment come full circle is deeply moving,” said Matsouskas. “My mission as an artist is to create change in the world. My time at AFI further instilled the power of film as a tool for change, and I hope that QUEEN & SLIM sparks dialogue, leaving viewers thinking about themselves and the world long after leaving their seats.”
Said Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI Festivals: “The film is an outstanding debut – a fearless, gorgeous and powerful cinematic achievement that speaks, better than any film this year, to the effects of racism and violence in our country today.”
About The Film
While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Afraid for their lives, the man — a retail employee — and the woman — a criminal defense lawyer — are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.
As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.
QUEEN & SLIM will be released on November 27, 2019.
AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.
Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.
Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2019. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.
Passes are available now. Individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members beginning October 29 and for the general public on October 30.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif./PRNewswire/—Academy Award nominated actress, Angela Bassett, will be honored with the “Reel Icon” award by the American Black Film Institute, at their annual “New, Next, Now Legend” Oscar Week gala for her iconic roles and career achievement as one of cinemas all-time favorite actors, in a poll conducted by American Black Film Institute.
The event will be held at the fabulous Prestons-over-Hollywood at the Hollywood Loews Hotel, on Friday, February 24, and once again brings together actors, producers, writer/directors and top executives, as they celebrate and highlight the years’ accomplishments amid the backdrop of Hollywood’s most glamorous weekend.
ABFI’s theme for the evening “New, Next, Now, Legend” reflects its mission to preserve the cinematic legacy of African American films and films of the global Black experience, while nurturing its current crop of emerging talented writers, directors and artists who give voice to the continued enhancement of the Black experience on film.
“We are excited to bring the excitement and camaraderie of our previous Oscar festivities among industry professionals to Prestons-over-Hollywood, where we can pay well-deserved tribute to an iconic and well respected artist such as Angela Bassett, while fortifying partnerships, old and new, which is always the order of the day at the ABFI gala,” said American Black Film Institute Executive Director Gordon Kenney.
The ultra-chic venue which boasts a glass-enclosed wall-to-wall view of the iconic Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Hills, says it’s delighted to host Hollywood’s elite, in such an exclusive and elegant space, where the venues festivities at this time of year are normally reserved strictly for the Academy and its events. With the theme, “New, Next, Now, Legend,” other artists receiving awards include rising star of Survivor’s Remorse and Independence Day 2, Jessie T. Usher, HBO breakout star Issa Rae, creator and executive Producer of HBO’s hit “Insecure,” Golden Globe nominated director Barry Jenkins, Moonlight’s Naomie Harris, and emerging screen talent Janelle Monae, whose turns in both “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” have been garnering critical praise, as a rising screen talent worth watching.
The American Black Film Institute is a non-profit cinematic arts foundation, whose goal is to preserve and promote the legacy of diverse stories of people of color on film, while enhancing their financial viability and broadening their success. With Academy Awards weekend as the backdrop, and a new crop of stars on the rise, the word is out that the 2017 ABFI gala promises to be among the events not to be missed.