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NEW AUTEURS AND AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS TITLES ANNOUNCED FOR AFI FEST 2015 PRESENTED BY AUDI 

Express Passes for all Regular Screenings on Sale Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, October 15, 2015 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films that will be featured in the New Auteurs and American Independents sections at AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi. The New Auteurs section highlights 11 first and second-time narrative feature film directors from around the world, whose films will be eligible for the Grand Jury Prize. The American Independents section represents the best of independent filmmaking this year. Pushing boundaries of form and content across both narrative and documentary cinema, this section boasts nine films from both new voices and talented directors returning to AFI FEST with their latest work.

“The women and men from around the world in the New Auteurs competition hold great promise for an acclaimed career,” said Lane Kneedler, Director of Programming of AFI FEST. “Watching past winners flourish since their time at AFI FEST has made running this competitive section over the last several years an incredibly rewarding experience. We are excited to see what this year’s emerging filmmakers will do next.”

New Auteurs is the festival’s platform for rising talent, which this year features seven out of 11 great films directed by women. For the past three years, the Grand Jury Prize has gone to a female director — to Shira Geffen for SELF MADE in 2014, to Katrin Gebbe for NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN in 2013 and to Gabriela Pichler for EAT SLEEP DIE in 2012.

As previously announced, the Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of BY THE SEA (DIR Angelina Jolie Pitt) on Thursday, November 5. Among the Centerpiece Galas will be the World Premiere of CONCUSSION (DIR Peter Landesman) on Tuesday, November 10. The Closing Night Gala will be the World Premiere of THE BIG SHORT (DIR Adam McKay) on Thursday, November 12. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled on Wednesday, October 21. The 29th edition of AFI FEST will take place November 5–12, 2015, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings and Galas will be held at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian and The Hollywood Roosevelt.

AFI FEST remains the only global event of its caliber to offer free tickets to screenings and events as a gift to the community. These free tickets will be available to the general public online at AFI.com beginning Monday, October 26. Available for purchase now at AFI.com are AFI FEST Patron Packages and Express Passes — which can include access to sold-out Galas and other high-demand films and events.

As part of their membership benefit, AFI members will receive a complimentary AFI FEST Cinepass, which allows access to all regular screenings at this year’s festival. Additionally, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Express Passes. Information about AFI membership is available at AFI.com/membership.

For the 12th consecutive year, AFI FEST is proud to have Audi as the presenting sponsor. Additional top sponsors include AT&T; American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI. The festival’s venue sponsors include TCL Chinese Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Hollywood & Highland Center, The Hollywood Roosevelt and the Egyptian Theatre.


NEW AUTEURS SELECTIONS (11 Titles)

This year’s New Auteurs jury features Inkoo Kang (TheWrap), Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times) and Nigel M. Smith (The Guardian).

DESDE ALLÁ – When a middle-aged man is assaulted and robbed by a young criminal, an unlikely relationship develops. DIR Lorenzo Vigas. SCR Lorenzo Vigas. CAST Alfredo Castro and Luis Silva. Venezuela/Mexico. U.S. Premiere

DISORDER – Matthias Schoenaerts plays an ex-soldier who becomes locked in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with ski-masked home invaders at a wealthy estate. DIR Alice Winocour. SCR Alice Winocour. CAST Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger, Paul Hamy, Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant, Percy Kemp, Victor Pontecorvo, Mickaël Daubert, Franck Torrecillas, Chems Eddine, Philippe Haddad, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h. France/Belgium

EVOLUTION – On an island inhabited only by women and boys, a 10-year-old receiving strange medical treatment investigates the horrific things the women do at night. DIR Lucile Hadžihalilović. SCR Lucile Hadžihalilović, Alanté Kavaïté, Geoff Cox. CAST Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier. France

THE GULLS (CHAIKI) – In winter near the Caspian Sea, a fisherman’s wife becomes free of her suppressed domestic existence after a life-altering event. DIR Ella Manzheeva. SCR Ella Manzheeva. CAST Evgeniya Mandzhieva, Sergey Adianov, Evgeny Sangadzhiev, Lyubov Ubushieva, Dmitry Mukeyev. Russian Federation. North American Premiere

IXCANUL – A young Mayan woman becomes pregnant outside of an impending arranged marriage, throwing her and her family’s future into dire uncertainty. DIR Jayro Bustamante. SCR Jayro Bustamante. CAST María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo, Marvin Coroy. Guatemala/France

LAND AND SHADE (LA TIERRA Y LA SOMBRA) – An aging farmer returns to rural Colombia where the family and land he long ago abandoned have been devastated by industrial progress. DIR César Augusto Acevedo. SCR César Augusto Acevedo. CAST Haimer Leal, Hilda Ruiz, Edison Raigosa, Marleyda Soto, José Felipe Cárdenas, Edison Raigosa. Colombia/France/Netherlands/Chile/Brazil. U.S. Premiere

MEDITERRANEA – In this timely film, a migrant from Burkina Faso makes a perilous journey from North Africa to Europe. DIR Jonas Carpignano. SCR Jonas Carpignano. CAST Koudous Seihon, Alassane Sy, Adam Gnegne, Davide Schipilliti. Italy/France/USA/Germany

MOUNTAIN – To escape her troubles at home, a young Orthodox Jewish woman falls in with a nocturnal community of prostitutes and drug dealers in the ancient cemetery atop Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. DIR Yaelle Kayam. SCR Yaelle Kayam. CAST Shani Klein, Avshalom Pollak, Haitham Ibrahem Omari. Israel/Denmark. U.S. Premiere

MUSTANG – Five Turkish sisters must fight back against harsh societal restrictions when a seemingly innocent act is blown out of proportion. DIR Deniz Gamze Ergüven. SCR Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour. CAST Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan, Ayberk Pekcan. France/Germany/Turkey

SWORN VIRGIN (VERGINE GIURATA) – A young Albanian woman bucks her destiny by appealing to an ancient regional law allowing her to live free as a man if she takes an oath of eternal virginity. DIR Laura Bispuri. SCR Francesca Manieri, Laura Bispuri. CAST Alba Rohrwacher, Flonja Kodheli, Lars Eidinger, Luan Jaha, Bruno Shllaku, Ilire Celaj, Drenica Selimaj, Dajana Selimaj, Emily Ferratello. Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Republic of Kosovo

UNTIL I LOSE MY BREATH – A Turkish teenager dreams of leaving her abusive home and moving in with her father, a long-distance truck driver. DIR Emine Emel Balcı. SCR Emine Emel Balcı. CAST Esme Madra, Rıza Akın, Sema Keçik, Gizem Denizci, Ece Yüksel, Uğur Uzunel, Yavuz Pekman, Pinar Gök, Yavuz Özata. Turkey/Germany. North American Premiere


AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS (9 Titles)

BOB AND THE TREES – A middle-aged logger gambles his personal and professional livelihood on harvesting an unyielding piece of land. DIR Diego Ongaro. SCR Diego Ongaro, Courtney Maum, Sasha Statman-Weil. CAST Bob Tarasuk, Matt Gallagher, Polly MacIntyre, Richard Bradley, Winthrop Barrett. USA

FIELD NIGGAS – Khalik Allah’s stylized documentary chronicles summer nights spent at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem. DIR Khalik Allah. USA

FUNNY BUNNY – A trio of people look to make meaningful connections in this sweet natured comedy. DIR Alison Bagnall. SCR Alison Bagnall. CAST Kentucker Audley, Joslyn Jensen, Olly Alexander, Louis Cancelmi, Josephine Decker, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Grace Gonglewski, Caridad de la Luz, Nicholas Webber. USA

H. – Two different Helens of Troy live parallel lives in this brilliantly unnerving apocalyptic vision. DIR Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia. SCR Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia. CAST Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble, Roger Robinson. USA/Argentina

JAMES WHITE – A young New Yorker is forced to take control of his self-destructive lifestyle as he navigates his mother’s fight with a serious illness. DIR Josh Mond. SCR Josh Mond. CAST Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh, Ron Livingston. USA

KRISHA – Estranged relative Krisha shows up to a family Thanksgiving to make amends, but as the day unfolds she can’t escape her dark past. DIR Trey Edward Shults. SCR Trey Edward Shults. CAST Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise, Trey Edward Shults, Chris Doubek, Olivia Grace Applegate, Alex Dobrenko, Chase Joliet. USA

MEN GO TO BATTLE – In this indie American period piece, two farming brothers in 1861 are torn apart by the encroaching Civil War. DIR Zachary Treitz. SCR Kate Lyn Sheil, Zachary Treitz. CAST David Maloney, Timothy Morton, Kate Lyn Sheil, Rachel Korine. USA

SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME – A brother and sister living on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation cope with the loss of their father in very different ways. DIR Chloé Zhao. SCR Chloé Zhao. CAST John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Irene Bedard, Eleonore Hendricks, Taysha Fuller, Cat Clifford. USA

STINKING HEAVEN – When a new member arrives at a home for sober living, a self-destructive spiral begins. DIR Nathan Silver. SCR Nathan Silver, Jack Dunphy. CAST Deragh Campbell, Keith Poulson, Hannah Gross, Eléonore Hendricks, Tallie Medel, Henri Douvry, Jason Giampietro, Jason Grisell, Eileen Kearney, Larry Novak. USA

About Audi

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About the American Film Institute

AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi

A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today’s Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Live Action and Animated Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. This year’s edition takes place November 5-12, 2015. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFIFEST.

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CONTACTS:

Emily Lu Aldrich, AFI FEST, 323.856.7718 or festpublicity@AFI.com

Festival artwork is available for press use only and can be downloaded at http://afifestpress.afi.com.