Press Releases

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ADDS ARETHA FRANKLIN DOCUMENTARY AMAZING GRACE

    Special Screening of West Coast Debut of Concert FilmTo Take Place Thursday, November 15, 8:00 p.m.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES SPONSORS AND CULTURAL PARTNERS

    Free Tickets to Screenings Available Online and at AT&T Box Office Limited Number of Priority Passes Still Available FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, November 7, 2018 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the sponsors and cultural partners for AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi, which takes place November 8-15 in Hollywood, CA, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CONVERSATIONS

    Conversation Will Follow Special Screening of VOX LUX onFriday, November 9FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA, October 26, 2018 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that a Conversation with Natalie Portman has been added to AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi.

  • A CONVERSATION WITH NATALIE PORTMAN ADDED TO AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI

    Conversation Will Follow Special Screening of VOX LUX onFriday, November 9FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA, October 26, 2018 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that a Conversation with Natalie Portman has been added to AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI SHORTS LINEUP REVEALED

    Shorts Award Winners Eligible for Academy Awards®AFI FEST Schedule Available Today on AFI.comFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA, October 25, 2018 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films playing in the Shorts lineup at AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi.The Shorts section features 47 films from filmmakers from all over the world, showcasing their distinct international viewpoints.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI SPECIAL SCREENINGS, CINEMA'S LEGACY AND MIDNIGHT LINEUPS ANNOUNCED

    Special Screenings Include World Premiere of First Episode FromAFI Conservatory Alumna Patty Jenkins’ Limited Series I AM THE NIGHTCinema’s Legacy Lineup Features Restored Classics Directed by WomenFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Los Angeles, CA, October 18, 2018 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films that will play in the Special Screenings, Cinema's Legacy and Midnight sections at AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi. This year's Special Screenings section showcases some of the most highly anticipated films and episodic series of the season.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES WORLD CINEMA LINEUP

    Section Includes Seven Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® Submissionsand a Total of 28 Titles From 27 CountriesFeaturing North American Premiere of Episodes of Elena Ferrante MiniseriesMY BRILLIANT FRIENDFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 16, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films that will play in the World Cinema section of AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi. The World Cinema section showcases the most celebrated international films of the year and features 28 titles from 27 countries.  The section includes seven official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions: CAPERNAUM (DIR Nadine Labaki), DOGMAN (DIR Matteo Garrone), “I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS” (DIR Radu Jude), NEVER LOOK AWAY (DIR Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck), SHOPLIFTERS (DIR Hirokazu Kore-eda), SUNSET (DIR László Nemes) and THE WILD PEAR TREE (DIR Nuri Bilge Ceylan).  AFI FEST will also present the North American premiere of the first two episodes of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND as part of the section.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES FULL LINEUP OF GALAS

    Galas Include World Premieres ofBIRD BOX and THE KOMINSKY METHODAlong With THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS, GREEN BOOK and WIDOWS.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES AN EVENING WITH NICOLE KIDMAN

    Festival Will Host Conversation With Kidman in Tribute to Her Career,Followed by Gala Screening of DESTROYERFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 9, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi will host An Evening With Nicole Kidman.

  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES NEW AUTEURS AND AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS LINEUPS 

       AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES NEW AUTEURS AND AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS LINEUPS Sections Feature 28 Films,Including 17 Films Directed by WomenFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — LOS ANGELES, CA, October 4, 2018 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films that will be featured in the New Auteurs and American Independents sections at AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi. Highlighting rising 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 18 films, with 12 helmed by female filmmakers.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 10 films — half of which are directed by women — from both new voices and filmmakers returning to AFI FEST.  Five are directed by women."The New Auteurs and American Independents sections are where you will find some of the boldest and most experimental work in the festival," said Lane Kneedler, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals.  "We encourage audiences to explore these unique films, and become acquainted with the emerging and provocative voices of their directors."NEW AUTEURSACID FOREST (RŪGŠTUS MIŠKAS)– A wispy stretch of land from Russia to Lithuania is home to an unlikely tourist attraction: a dying forest of leafless trees overtaken by thousands of ancient black birds ruining the area with their acid-fortified feces.

  • WORLD PREMIERE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS TO CLOSE AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 25, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST presented by Audi will close with the World Premiere of Focus Features and Working Title's MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.

  • ON THE BASIS OF SEX WORLD PREMIERE TO OPEN AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI

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  • AFI FEST 2018 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES FESTIVAL DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES

    32nd Edition of AFI FEST to Be Held November 8–15 Submissions Open Today Audi Returns as Presenting Sponsor FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — LOS ANGELES, CA, March 1, 2018 — AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi has officially announced its dates and call for entries.

AFI FEST 2017 PRESENTED BY AUDI AUDIENCE AND JURY AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Audience Awards Given in
World Cinema, New Auteurs and American Independents Sections

Jury Award Winners Eligible for Short Film Oscar
® Categories

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — November 17, 2017 — LOS ANGELES, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the films that received the Audience and Jury awards at AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi.

"As the 31st edition of AFI FEST comes to a close, this year's awards shine a light on the American independent, auteur and foreign cinema that resonated with our audiences and jurors," said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director.  "Audience awards help bring film lovers together, while building momentum for the filmmakers in this year's festival."

Audience Award – World Cinema
THE INSULT (DIR Ziad Doueiri)

Lebanon's official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission, this engrossing and unforgettable tale of modern life in the Middle East is a razor-sharp look at a country's long-simmering resentments toward Palestinian refugees, and its traumatized civil war wounds.

Audience Award – New Auteurs
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY (DIR Iram Haq)

Iram Haq's sophomore feature is a powerful story of a young woman growing up between two cultures, with no control over her life choices, who must carve out her own path despite a significant culture clash.

Audience Award – American Independents
BODIED (DIR Joseph Kahn)

Whether it's sci-fi, satire, or race relations, Joseph Kahn's auteur style defies anticipations. In BODIED, a white boy explores rap battle vernacular, immersed in a subculture that's simply spectacular.

Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short
GAZE (DIR Farnoosh Samadi)

Jury Statement:  "No good deed goes unpunished" is the phrase that stays with the viewer as you watch the film that captured the top honor this year.  The filmmaker lures you in and then, like any classic thriller, hooks you until the final gasp — the low hum of a motorbike replacing John Williams' iconic notes in JAWS.  Underneath, the film is a subtle examination of class and gender in Iranian society.

Grand Jury Award for Animated Short
THE BURDEN (DIR Niki Lindroth von Bahr)

Jury Statement:  A film whose stranded, unremarkable inhabitants convey the weight of the world through song and dance and reveal the anguish we all feel about life.

Special Jury Mention
SILICA (DIR Pia Borg)

Jury Statement:  We would like to recognize Borg's beautifully composed, lush 35mm cinematography.  Her blend of vivid landscape photography with microscopic and CG elements elevates this exploration of territorial constructs.

The Shorts Jury was comprised of Jeffrey Bowers (Senior Curator, Vimeo), Moira Griffin (Executive Director of Production, Creative Labs, 21st Century Fox) and Nathan Silver (director, ACTOR MARTINEZ, THIRST STREET).  The Grand Jury Award winners for Live-Action and Animated Short, as decided by the Shorts Jury, will be automatically eligible for the Academy Award® shortlists in the Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short categories.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

For the 14th consecutive year, Audi was the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST.  An enduring champion of the motion picture arts, Audi nurtures new and established voices through its support of AFI FEST and beyond, including the Audi Fellowship for Women at the AFI Conservatory, a new full-tuition scholarship investing in the future of female directors in film and television.

The AFI FEST program included 137 films (93 features, 44 shorts) representing 53 countries, including 40 films directed/co-directed by women, 19 documentaries and 14 animated films.  The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (6), Special Screenings (7), American Independents (10), New Auteurs (11), World Cinema (30), Midnight (3), Cinema's Legacy (9), Presentations (3), Retrospective (12), Youth and Family (2) and Short Films (44).  This year's program includes 14 official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions and 24 films featuring 75 AFI alumni.

The many highlights of the festival included Tributes to Errol Morris and Aaron Sorkin; conversations with Sofia Coppola, Patty Jenkins (AFI Class of 2000), Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung, Martin McDonagh and Sam Rockwell, Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, Andy Serkis and Agnès Varda; the Indie Contenders Roundtable with panelists Sean Baker (THE FLORIDA PROJECT), Richard Gere (NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER), Salma Hayek (BEATRIZ AT DINNER), Diane Kruger (IN THE FADE), Kumail Nanjiani (THE BIG SICK), Robert Pattinson (GOOD TIME), Margot Robbie (I, TONYA) and Lois Smith (MARJORIE PRIME); and the Doc Roundtable with panelists Evgeny Afineevsky (CRIES FROM SYRIA), Greg Barker (THE FINAL YEAR), Kasper Collin (I CALLED HIM MORGAN), Feras Fayyad (LAST MEN IN ALEPPO), Yance Ford (STRONG ISLAND), Bryan Fogel (ICARUS), Steve James (ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL), Amanda Lipitz (STEP) and Brett Morgen (JANE).

Additional guests and artists who attended the festival included Judd Apatow, Jonathan Banks, Ike Barinholtz, Warren Beatty, Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Ronee Blakley, Mary J. Blige, Alison Brie, Adrien Brody, Jim Carrey, Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Chastain, Scott Cooper, Elvis Costello, Tommy Davidson, Manny Davis, Francesca Eastwood, Peter Fonda, Ben Foster, Dave Franco, James Franco, Peter Gallagher, Andy Garcia, Craig Gillespie, Dan Gilroy, Melanie Griffith, Luca Guadagnino, Taylor Hackford, Garrett Hedlund, Bryce Dallas Howard, Josh Hutcherson, Kris Jenner, Spike Jonze, JR, Q'orianka Kilcher, Buz Kohan, Thomas Lennon, Courtney Love, Jason Mantzoukas, Kate Mara, Helen Mirren, Jason Mitchell, Matthew Modine, Rob Morgan, Rachel Morrison (AFI Class of 2006), Jared Moshé, Carey Mulligan, Marcus Mumford, Bob Odenkirk, Edward James Olmos, Haley Joel Osment, Ron Perlman, Sam Pollard, Bill Pullman, Dee Rees, Seth Rogen, Zoe Saldana, Paul Scheer, George Schlatter, Martin Sheen, Chris Smith, Sebastian Stan, Wes Studi, Michael Stuhlbarg, Donald Sutherland, Tamar-kali, Lily Tomlin, Leon Vitali, Jacki Weaver, Casey Wilson and Tommy Wiseau.

Sponsored by Audi, VIZIO, Dolby and HTC Viveport, this year's Tech Showcase opened with a case study presentation from Eugene Chung, President & CEO of Penrose Studios, a startup focused on augmented and virtual reality.  A special event was held spotlighting how Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology and tools were used to bring THOR to the big screen. The Tech Showcase also included hands-on virtual reality (VR) technology and experiences for festival-goers in The Hollywood Roosevelt, and panels on VR storytelling.

Audi was the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2017.  Additional sponsors included AT&T; American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.

About the American Film Institute
Celebrating its golden milestone, the American Film Institute began its mission on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. Established by Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential mandate in the White House Rose Garden, AFI is America's promise to educate today's audiences and tomorrow's artists. The Institute was anchored by a foundation of luminaries from the film community including Gregory Peck as Chair, Sidney Poitier as Vice Chair, George Stevens, Jr., as Director and CEO with board members Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Jack Valenti.

In 1969, AFI opened the Center for Advanced Film Studies, now called the AFI Conservatory, an elite MFA program whose inaugural class included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. The program's acclaimed film and television alumni include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Julie Dash, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch and Robert Richardson, among others.

In addition to the AFI Conservatory, 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 movies and TV series 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. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, instagram.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. Celebrating its 31st edition, 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 both Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. This year's edition took place November 9–16, 2017. 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/AFI.

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. The Audi Group is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. In 2016, AUDI AG delivered about 1.871 million Audi automobiles and broke all-time company sales records for the seventh straight year in the U.S. Visit www.audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

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CONTACTS:  Shari Mesulam, American Film Institute, 323.856.7672 or [email protected]Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or [email protected]