Press Releases

AFI FEST 2017 PRESENTED BY AUDI TECH SHOWCASE ANNOUNCED

Featuring Innovative Animation, Virtual Reality and Cinema Technology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — LOS ANGELES, CA, November 7, 2017 — The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the Tech Showcase lineup for AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi.  The Tech Showcase will include a selection of 360-degree, virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive short film experiences representing a cross-section of what's currently possible in this new cinematic medium.  The Showcase will be on display November 11–14 at The Hollywood Roosevelt, in the Academy Room and Johnny Grant Suite.

Audi, VIZIO, Dolby and HTC Viveport are sponsors of this year's Tech Showcase. VIZIO and Dolby will present a panel discussion that will focus on creating and delivering the highest quality visual experience for home entertainment. In addition, a special event will be held at the Dolby Cinema at Vine spotlighting how Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology and tools are used to bring stories to the big screen. The VR projects will be showcased on a variety of platforms including Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Positron's Voyager chair.

The Tech Showcase will open on November 11 with a case study presentation from Eugene Chung, President & CEO of Penrose Studios, a startup focused on augmented and virtual reality. Formerly, Chung was Head of Film & Media at Oculus VR, which was later acquired by Facebook for $2 billion.  While at Oculus, Chung co-created Story Studio, bringing together storytellers and artists from Pixar. 

TECH SHOWCASE PANELS

PENROSE STUDIOS: A CASE STUDY OF EUGENE CHUNG'S INNOVATIVE ANIMATION

Join us for a presentation by Penrose Studios Founder and CEO Eugene Chung, the creator of cutting-edge VR animation such as ALLUMETTE and ARDEN'S WAKE: THE PROLOGUE. Both of these pieces will be on view following the case study presentation.

IMMERSIVE SHORT FORM STORYTELLING: SHORT FILMS AND THEIR VR COUNTERPARTS

This panel features creators whose VR works started as short films and whose 360-degree works incorporate strong narrative storytelling. Some are companion VR pieces that heighten the experience of the original films, while other works are standalone projects. Panelists include Wes Hurley (POTATO DREAMS), Cameron MacLaren (DEERBROOK) and Simon Shterenberg (WONDER BUFFALO).

FUNDING AND FINANCIAL MODELS FOR VR

This panel discussion centers on how and where VR artists can find funding, as well as platforms and models for distribution. Panelists will include Jeffrey Abramson, DiscoveryVR, Head of Programming and Development; James Kaelan, Acquisitions and Licensing for Positron; and Kaleidoscope Founder René Pinnell; as moderated by Daniel Burwen, Creative Director and Head of Cognito Comics.

BUILDING WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS: DESIGNING WITHIN VR

Join Apelab CEO and co-founder Emilie Joly and Mindshow's Virtual Experience Designer Jim Toepel to discuss new tools for designing VR experiences within a virtual environment.

TECH SHOWCASE PIECES

AFTER SOLITARY – Spend time inside a Maine State Prison solitary confinement chamber to hear the harrowing story of one man's time there and what happened when he got out. (DIR Cassandra Herrman, Lauren Mucciolo)

ALTERATION – Alexandro volunteers for a dream experiment, unaware that scientists will inject him with Elsa, an Artificial Intelligence. (DIR Jérôme Blanquet)

ARDEN'S WAKE: THE PROLOGUE – The sea levels have risen, and a young woman and her father live in a lighthouse perched atop the ocean's surface. When he goes missing, she must descend deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. (DIR Eugene Chung)

BREAK A LEG – Taking inspiration from 19th-century magic shows, BREAK A LEG puts you in the magician's shoes, allowing you to perform the art of illusion. (DIR Emilie Joly)

DEAR ANGELICA – Entirely painted by hand, DEAR ANGELICA is a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. (DIR Saschka Unseld)

DEERBROOK – Two strangers show up at a family's cottage claiming to have spent their childhood summers there, but their behavior seems to be driven by something more sinister than nostalgia. (DIR  Grayson Moore, Jon Riera, Aidan Shipley, Connor Illsle)

FISTFUL OF STARS – A multidimensional view into space, using photorealistic simulations of iconic imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope. (DIR Eliza McNitt)

GARY & CLAIRE – The charming story of the unlikely friendship between a sloth and a baby bird. (DIR SEHSUCHT Berlin)

HALLELUJAH – Place yourself at the center of every rhythm, hymn and octave in a reimagining of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." (DIR Zach Richter)

HAROLD LLOYD STEREOSCOPIC MUSEUM – A collection of Harold Lloyd's stereoscopic photography and film clips, set in a modern museum. (DIR Suzanne Lloyd, Danilo Moura) 

KO'KO'S CURSE – In this augmented reality piece, aid the Great Ko'Ko in finding his lost feather and restore balance to the world. (DIR Emilie Joly)

LIFE OF US – Scream, run, dance and evolve with a friend as LIFE OF US starts from a single-cell organism and ends as a posthuman robot. (DIR Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin)

MODERAT – Take a journey through this heightened dystopian reality, in this black-and-white computer animated music video. (DIR Mate Steinforth)

NEUROSPECULATIVE AFROFEMINISM – Spend time in a Neurocosmetology lab, where black women pioneer techniques of brain optimization and cognitive enhancement. (DIR Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov)

NIGHT NIGHT – Utilizing D-BOX haptic technology, enter the nightmares of a young child terrorized by clowns. (DIR Guy Shelmerdine)

POTATO DREAMS – Experience firsthand a young man's journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union, along with his mother's struggles to create a better life for them, and their escape to America. (DIR Wes Hurley)

SON OF JAGUAR – In this heartwarming and vividly animated VR experience, luchador Son of Jaguar takes to the ring to fight his next opponent. (DIR Jorge Gutierrez)

SONARIA – An immersive tale of sound and light, SONARIA follows two ever-changing creatures as they flow from one lifeform to another. (DIR Scot Stafford, Chromosphere)

THROUGH YOU – This immersive experience told through movement and dance follows a couple as they move through the life cycle of their relationship. (DIR Saschka Unseld, Lily Baldwin)

TREE – With your arms as branches and your body as the trunk, experience a tree's growth from a seedling into its fullest form, and witness its fate firsthand. (DIR Milica Zec, Winslow Porter)

WONDER BUFFALO – The coming-of-age story of a Thai-American teen finding acceptance and empowerment cosplaying as her favorite superhero. (DIR Christine T. Berg)

AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

AFI FEST takes place November 9–16, 2017, 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, Dolby Cinema at the Vine, the Mark Goodson Screening Room at the American Film Institute and The Hollywood Roosevelt. Free tickets are now available on AFI.com/AFIFEST.

The Opening Night Gala will be MUDBOUND (DIR Dee Rees) on Thursday, November 9. The Centerpiece Galas will be CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (DIR Luca Guadagnino) on Friday, November 10; THE DISASTER ARTIST (DIR James Franco) on Sunday, November 12; and HOSTILES (DIR Scott Cooper) on Tuesday, November 14. On Saturday, November 11, Academy Award®-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris will be honored with a Tribute following a screening of WORMWOOD. 

This year, AFI FEST will present a retrospective of the work of Robert Altman (1925–2006), with screenings and discussions of 12 films:  M*A*S*H (1970), MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971), THE LONG GOODBYE (1973), CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974), NASHVILLE (1975), 3 WOMEN (1977), VINCENT & THEO (1990), THE PLAYER (1992), SHORT CUTS (1993), KANSAS CITY (1996), GOSFORD PARK (2001) and A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (2006).

In addition, the American Independents, Cinema's Legacy, Midnight, New Auteurs, Shorts, World Cinema, Conversations and Presentations sections have also been announced.  More information about these sections is available via the 2017 Film Guide here.

New educational experiences taking place as part of the festival this year include an AFI FEST Storytelling Bootcamp for Los Angeles Unified School District students.

AFI FEST will once again bring the best in global cinema to Los Angeles thanks to the visionary support of Audi — now in its 14th consecutive year as presenting sponsor of the festival.  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.

Patron packages ensure reserved seats for Galas and all proceeds benefit the educational programs of the American Film Institute.  A limited number of individual tickets to Galas and other screenings are also made available at no charge thanks to the event sponsors.  Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events.

As part of their membership benefits, AFI members will receive a complimentary AFI FEST Cinepass, which allows access to all regular screenings and special offers 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.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2017.  Additional sponsors include 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, 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 takes 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]