AFI FEST 2009: Shorts…and to the point! Todd Luoto (OIL CHANGE)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 31, 2009

Todd Luoto’s short film OIL CHANGE is one of those precise and finite works that remind me why I love film festivals.

Because without film festivals, you don’t get the acerbic bordering on acrid social interplay that happens in Luoto’s version of a date from hell. You don’t get it because things called “studio notes” and “lowest common denominator” thwart this kind of film, which keeps pushing the boundaries on of common decency in a social setting – literally. And joyfully, in my mind. You also don’t get it in this case, because Luoto’s “day job” is being a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. So – thank you film festivals for Todd Luoto and the shudder while you giggle nervously brilliance of OIL CHANGE.

The obvious question – can you and have you changed the oil in your car before? I really want to lie and say ‘yes’ here.  Make a point that the only reason I go to Jiffy Lube to get one done is for the complimentary vacuum and free coffee. Unfortunately, that’s dishonest and my father raised me better than that. Sure, he didn’t teach me much about mechanics, and one look at my scruff will assure you I’m not the shaving type, but the man instilled lessons/values in me that go far beyond grease and razors…like Jefferson Airplane for one.  Not that that should be a feather in anyone’s cap by any means, but oddly that’s the first thing that comes to mind.

In your mind, what would be a worse “bad date” scenario: Having to quell the desire to point out bad behavior on your date’s part to avoid confrontation or resist the urge to put their offensive friends in their place in deference to that person?
Both seem like pretty miserable options, but I think it’d be a lot more difficult to bite my tongue if my date wasn’t too cool. Then again, if she had my Playstation at her apartment, or perhaps my favorite pair of sneaks, I’d have an easier time holding my breath until I found a reasonable escape plan for them. The woman with the bad attitude, I could bear losing…Chuck Taylors or Grand Theft Auto, not so much.

How has the experience of making OIL CHANGE and then attending other festivals with the film colored the way you look at and approach programming now?
I think programming gives me a better idea of what works in terms of storytelling, and this film in particular had me really understand how difficult it can be to deliver your vision in abbreviated form.  There’s now an added appreciation for films I see that do and especially don’t work, and this project also probably left me a little more impressed by bigger budget fare.  We got lucky by making this on the cheap with limited resources, and I can’t imagine pulling off something much more elaborate.  Like the rapper/prophet/guy on my fav t-shirt, Biggie Smalls, said, ‘Mo’ Money, Mo problems,’ and I don’t think we could afford any more setbacks.

You made the film for very little money. Where did the bulk of it go? Camera rental, generic soda and licorice for the craft service table, and of course, the space battle sequence.

What is your favorite “ride”: Swing Set, See Saw or Slide?
Swing set – one of these days I’m gonna finally make it over the top and transport into another dimension. One in which Crystal Pepsi and Franken Berry cereal is still found in your local grocery store.

What will happen in the feature-length sequel to OIL CHANGE? Well, I’m thinking the two (ex-)lovers eventually get back together, find God, raise four wonderful children, and live happily ever after. I don’t think anyone, anywhere would actually ever program that version, but I’d finally feel comfortable letting my Mom watch something I made.

OIL CHANGE screens as part of the SHORTS PROGRAM 4:00PM November 2 @ Chinese Mann 6

Todd Luoto will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A afterwards.




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AFI FEST 2009: Ten Burning Questions – Jessica Oreck (BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 31, 2009

It’s a wonderful thing to begin a “journey” with a film and be taken to an unexpected place that at the least adds to the original charms and at best enhances and amplifies that initial interest point. Jessica Oreck’s BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO is a great example of this phenomenon. Yes, the exploration of the Japanese culture’s fascination with beetles and bugs that has created its own cottage industry would be fascinating enough for Oreck to focus on. But she has grander ambitions to look deeper and wider into the zen of miniatures that has long been a staple of Japanese culture and through her camera’s lens – to immerse and indulge the viewer into that world for a few brief, calming and exquisite moments.

1        You have said that you aim (through the film) to challenge the way Westerners view nature, beauty and the hectic monotony of our day-to-day routine. But what inspired you to want to do that?

I’m obviously generalizing here, but I think that Americans have a pretty limited relationship to nature, or none at all.

Working in the butterfly vivarium, I hear more kids asking if a butterfly is ‘broken’ than asking if they are ‘dead,’ I think that’s a real indication that we have a rather potent problem with the human/nature interaction.

It seems that a lot of the environmental messages our society is pumping out are getting lost on the masses, either because they are preaching to the choir, or because the scare tactics are working too well – and people come away feeling disheartened instead of inspired.

I think our first and most basic step is just getting people to look at nature – not just glance at a picture or watch some aerial view of a world they have no connection to – but encourage them to pick up a leaf or a bug in their own city and really take the time to look at it, to understand it, to realize its place in the extraordinarily complex system that makes up our environment.

From there we might be able to make a change.

2        Why do you believe the Japanese culture lends itself to the fascination with insects and life in miniature?
You’ll have to see the movie to find out!

3         What is the best thing about having your film at AFI FEST?
I’m always excited to see new films and meet interesting people, but I am also pretty thrilled to be going to California for the first time.

4         BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO has also been chosen to be part of AFI Project 20/20. What is the most exciting thing about being part of that program?
The idea of traveling around the world with a group of filmmakers, sharing our films and ideas – not much to complain about…

5         How did you own personal feelings about bugs change over the course of making the film?
My feelings towards bugs didn’t really change – I still love them – but the filming did make me want to move to Japan, or at least smuggle lots of their bugs back to America.

6         When you aren’t working filmmaking, you are an animal keeper and docent at the American Museum of Natural History. So, what exactly does that job entail?
It depends on what’s on exhibit.  Apart from our perennial butterfly vivarium, we have several rotating exhibit spaces at AMNH and when we present an exhibit with live animals – that’s my department.  So right now we are taking care of butterflies, sugar gliders, a variety of frogs, and silkworms.  It’s a lot of cleaning and feeding, but we also get to spend time in the exhibit, talking to visitors about the animals we keep.

It’s basically my dream job – and my boss has been incredible to let me take all this time off to travel with the film.

7         What recent documentaries have made an impact on you?
In the last few years, I liked Philip Gröning’s INTO GREAT SILENCE, and I enjoyed MAN ON WIRE.  In terms of what’s playing the festival circuit now, I’m partial to the Ross Brothers’ “45365.”

8         Your cameraman on the film also happened to be your boyfriend. So, what carries more potential for an argument: setting up a shot or visiting each other’s parents?
Setting up a shot – definitely.

9         Seriously, now… You find a spider in the house. Do you scoop it up in a cup and deliver it outside into some bushes or do you smush that sucker?
A spider?  I leave spiders in my house!  Spiders are really great at getting rid of the insects we humans abhor – like mosquitoes, gnats and fruit flies.  I always leave spiders where they are, or, if I have to, move them to a more convenient location.   A cockroach on the other hand…

10      Popcorn or candy? Candy.  I have an exceedingly unruly sweet tooth.

BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO screens  10:00AM October 31 @ Mann 1.

AFI FEST 2009 Announces Full Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 14, 2009











LOS ANGELES (October 14, 2009)—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi today announced the complete lineup of films for the 23rd edition of the Festival, including the Closing Night Gala, Centerpiece Screening, Tributes and Special Presentations.

The Weinstein Company’s A SINGLE MAN has been selected as the AFI FEST Closing Night Gala presentation. A SINGLE MAN will make its US Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Thursday, November 5, 2009.

Sony Pictures Classics’ THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS has been selected as AFI FEST’s Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS will make its US Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Monday, November 2, 2009.

The Closing Night Gala presentation of A SINGLE MAN features the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford from his script adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s acclaimed novel. The film follows a day in the life of a gay British college professor in Los Angeles as he attempts to cope with the death of his partner. Ford’s work helming the project and Colin Firth’s lead performance in the film have received critical acclaim following screenings at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Ginnifer Goodwin also star in the film. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters on December 11.

Ford, Firth and Moore are scheduled to attend.

“It is exciting to champion a talented artist like Tom Ford as he moves beyond the boundaries of one medium into another. In A SINGLE MAN, he delivers an elegant and beautiful personal story that will resonate with all audience members“ said AFI FEST Artistic Director Rose Kuo.

The Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation features the latest work by director Terry Gilliam. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS follows the leader of a traveling theater troupe who, having made a deal with the devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations. The film stars Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Heath Ledger in his final role. The Sony Pictures Classics release is due in theaters stateside on December 25.

Gilliam and Plummer are scheduled to attend.

“The mind-altering, looking-glass world that Terry Gilliam creates in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS,” notes Director of Programming Robert Koehler, “is like a model for his ideal cinema, in which anything can happen and all rules are broken. If audiences thought that THE DARK KNIGHT was their last glimpse of Heath Ledger, then what Ledger brings to Gilliam’s fantasy-adventure will surprise them.”

AFI FEST has selected actors Christopher Plummer and Viggo Mortensen to receive tributes at this year’s Festival. Sponsored by the Skirball Cultural Center, Plummer’s tribute event will precede the screening of his film THE LAST STATION on Tuesday, November 3. Mortensen’s tribute will precede the US Premiere of the film THE ROAD on Wednesday, November 4. Both Tributes will take place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

One of the world’s most respected actors, Plummer has won two Tony Awards (for CYRANO and BARRYMORE), three Drama Desk Awards, the National Arts Club Medal and two Emmys. He was a leading member of  Laurence Olivier’s Royal National Theatre and Peter Hall’s Royal  Shakespeare Company. Since appearing in Sidney Lumet’s STAGE STRUCK (1958), his more than 100 films have included WIND ACROSS THE  EVERGLADES (1958), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), WATERLOO (1970) and TWELVE MONKEYS (1995), THE INSIDER (1999), A BEAUTIFUL MIND (2001), SYRIANA (2005) and INSIDE MAN (2006). He stars as Leo Tolstoy in THE LAST STATION and plays the title role in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS.

John Hillcoat THE ROAD is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy, THE ROAD stars Mortensen as a father making his way with his young son across the scorched landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. Directed by Hillcoat from a script by Joe Penhall, the film also stars Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Molly Parker. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters November 25.

Mortensen, Hillcoat and Theron are scheduled to attend.

From his debut in Peter Weir’s WITNESS (1985) to his signature role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Mortensen’s career has been highlighted by intensely stunning portrayals of men of strict and uncompromising character dealing with a shifting moral universe. Notable films include Sean Penn’s INDIAN RUNNER (1991), Gregory Widen’s THE PROPHECY (1995), Ridley Scott’s G.I. JANE, Tony Goldwyn’s A WALK ON THE MOON (1999), David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005) and EASTERN PROMISES (2007)—for which he received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations—and Ed Harris’ APPALOOSA (2008).

“Viggo Mortensen and Christopher Plummer are two actors and film artists of the highest order,” said Kuo. “They share that rare trait of being looked up to by audiences and film fans around the world as well as being greatly respected by their peers.”

Other highlights among the complete film schedule announced today include Jonathan Demme’s music documentary NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW (with Demme and Young confirmed to attend) and the screening of two films connected by legendary art director and longtime AFI Conservatory Distinguished Lecturer Robert Boyle, who turned 100 on October 10. Those films are AFI Conservatory Alumnus Daniel Raim’s (Production  Design ’99) documentary SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

A follow-up to Raim’s Oscar-nominated documentary, THE MAN ON LINCOLN’S NOSE, SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE profiles Boyle (THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, THE BIRDS) and renowned art directors Henry Bumstead (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE STING), Harold Michelson (STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, CATCH-22) and Albert Nozaki (THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS), as well as master cinematographers Conrad Hall (IN COLD BLOOD, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) and Haskell Wexler (WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT). From snapshots, sketches and vintage footage interwoven with interviews and new scenes of these octogenarian artists at work, we get a behind-the-scenes look at master moviemaking.

Boyle and Wexler will attend the World Premiere screening.

On Monday, November 2, AFI FEST, in conjunction with Warner Home Video will present a special screening of Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The first Hitchcock film to be released on Blu-ray, the film has been restored and remastered for its 50th anniversary. As part of the Gala event, director William Friedkin will attend to moderate a Q&A with Boyle and the film’s stars Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.

Koehler noted, “In our 23rd year, our programming seeks to shine a light on an international cinema landscape filled with brilliant young filmmakers forging fresh, unexpected pathways, documentarians on a quest for truth, and a fascinating survey of stop-motion animation (FANTASTIC MR. FOX, IN THE ATTIC, A TOWN CALLED PANIC), while delivering what AFI FEST has done from the beginning—offering audiences a view of the vastness of cinema across the world.”

AFI FEST continues its unique and successful association with the American Film Market with 23 of the features in official selection at AFI FEST represented by distributors at AFM, unfolding concurrently with AFI FEST from November 4–November 11. The following films are among those that will participate in the market and screen at the festival: AFTER.LIFE; THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS; BELLAMY; CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH; EVERYONE ELSE; FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA; FISH TANK; THE HOLE; THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS; KANIKOSEN; THE LAST STATION; THE LOVED ONES; THE MESSENGER; THE MILK OF SORROW; MOTHER; NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW; PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE; THE ROAD; THE SILENT ARMY; A SINGLE MAN; THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN; WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO; YOUTH IN REVOLT.

Enhancing the AFI FEST/American Film Market alliance, the final two days of AF FEST (November 6-7) will screen at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, in close proximity to AFM headquartered activity.

AFI FEST 2009’s overall lineup will showcase 67 features (54 narrative, 13 documentary) and 26 shorts for a total of 93 films from 32 countries.

The breakdown by section is Galas/Tributes (7), New Lights Competition (11), Special Presentations (3), Documentary (13), World Cinema (27), Alt_Cinema (6) and Shorts (26).

The Festival is headquartered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. All screenings from October 30–November 5 will take place at the Grauman’s Chinese and Mann Chinese 6 theaters in Hollywood with the final two days of the Festival (November 6-7) screening at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex in Santa Monica.

Free tickets to all Festival screenings are available online at or by phone at 866-AFI-FEST beginning October 16, at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) in the Hollywood and Highland Center) beginning October 26, and on the day of scheduled screenings via Rush Lines. Early entry to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit

The complete program line-up for AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi is as follows:


Opening Night Gala—FANTASTIC MR. FOX (North American Premiere) Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker DIR: Wes Anderson PROD: Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Jeremy Dawson USA

Centerpiece Gala—THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS (US Premiere) Cast: Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell DIR: Terry Gilliam PROD: Amy Gilliam, Terry Gilliam, Samuel Hadida, William Vince EXEC PROD: Patrice Theroux, David Valleau USA

Gala—EVERYBODY’S FINE (World Premiere) Cast: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo DIR: Kirk Jones PROD: Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Ted Field, Glynis Murray, Gianni Nunnari EXEC PROD: Craig J. Flores, Callum Greene USA

Tribute—THE LAST STATION Cast: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy DIR: Michael Hoffman PROD: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling EXEC PROD: Andrei Konchalovsky, Robert Little, Phil Robertson, Judy Tossell UK/Germany

Gala—PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sheri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz DIR: Lee Daniels PROD: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness EXEC PROD: Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortes, Tom Heller USA

Tribute—THE ROAD (US Premiere) Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker DIR: John Hillcoat PROD: Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler EXEC PROD: Marc Butan, Mark Cuban, Rudd Simmons, Todd Wagner USA

Closing Night Gala—A SINGLE MAN (US Premeiere) Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin DIR: Tom Ford PROD: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno, Chris Weitz USA


A showcase honoring film history and its filmmakers.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau DIR: Alfred Hitchcock PROD: Herbert Coleman, Alfred Hitchcock USA

SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE (World Premiere) Subjects: Robert “Bob” Boyle, Haskell Wexler, Henry Bumstead, Harold Michelson, Albert Nozaki DIR: Daniel Raim PROD: Daniel Raim USA

WAKE IN FRIGHT Cast: Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson DIR: Ted Kotcheff PROD: George Willoughby, EXEC PROD: Bill Harmon, Howard G. Barnes Australia


This section features and honors vital, groundbreaking films by first- and second-time feature filmmakers from around the world.

AJAMI Cast: Fouad Habash, Nisrine Rihan, Elias Saba, Youssef Sahwani DIR: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani PROD: Moshe Danon, Thanassis Karathanos EXEC PROD: James Richardson Israel/Germany

EASIER WITH PRACTICE Cast: Brian Geraghty, Marguerite Moreau, Jeanette Brox, Jenna Gavigan, Katie Aselton DIR: Kyle Patrick Alvarez PROD: Cookie Carosella USA

EVERYONE ELSE (ALLE ANDEREN) Cast: Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Nicole Marischka DIR: Maren Ade PROD: Maren Ade, Dirk G. Engelhardt, Janine Jackowski Germany

FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA (FELICIA INAINTE DE TOATE) Cast: Ozana Oancea, Vasile Mentzel, Ileana Cernat, Adina Andrei DIR: Razvan Radulescu, Melissa de Raaf PROD: Ada Solomon Romania/France/Belgium/Croatia

FISH TANK Cast: Michael Fassbender, Harry Treadaway, Katie Jarvis, Kierston Wareing DIR: Andrea Arnold PROD: Kees Kasander EXEC PROD: Christine Langan, David M. Thompson, Paul Trijbits UK

I KILLED MY MOTHER Cast: Anne Dorval, Xavier Dolan, François Arnaud, Suzanne Clément DIR: Xavier Dolan PROD: Xavier Dolan EXEC PROD: Carole Mondello Canada

THE MESSENGER Cast: Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Ben Foster, Jena Malone DIR: Oren Moverman PROD: Benjamin Goldhirsh, Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller EXEC PROD: Steffen Aumueller, Nathaniel Bolotin, Christopher Mapp, Shaun Redick, Glenn M. Stewart, Matthew Street, David Whealy, Bryan Zuriff USA

THE MILK OF SORROW (LA TETA ASUSTADA) Cast: Magaly Solier, Susi Sánchez, Efrain Solis, Marino Ballón DIR: Claudia Llosa PROD: Antonio Chavarrías, Claudia Llosa, José María Morales Spain/Peru

NORTHLESS (NORTEADO) Cast: Harold Torres, Alicia Laguna, Sonia Couoh, Luis Cárdenas DIR: Rigoberto Perezcano PROD: Edgar San Juan EXEC PROD: Sergio Castro, Hector Hernandez-Pons, Alejandro Martinez-Gallardo Mexico/Spain

POLICE, ADJECTIVE Cast: Dragos Bucur, Vlad Ivanov, Irina Saulescu, Ion Stoica DIR: Corneliu Porumboiu PROD: Corneliu Porumboiu Romania

WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO (LA MUJER SIN PIANO) Cast: Jan Budar, Esperanza De la Vega, Tomás del Estal, Nadia de Santiago DIR: Javier Rebello EXEC PROD: Damián Paris, Stefan Schmitz, María Zamora Spain/France


This section presents a selection of new works by many of the world’s most renowned filmmakers.

ABOUT ELLY Cast: Taraneh Alidoosti, Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Mani Haghighi, Merila Zarei, Peyman Moadi, Ahmad Mehranfar, Rana Azadivar, Saber Abar  DIR: Asghar Farhadi PROD: Asghar Farhadi Iran

AFTER.LIFE Cast: Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci, Justin Long DIR: Agnieska Wojtowicz-Vosloo PROD: Brad Michael Gilbert, Bill Perkins, Celine Rattray EXEC PROD: Pamela Hirsch, Edwin L. Marshall, Galt Niederhoffer, James Swisher USA

THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendez, Val Kilmer DIR: Werner Herzog PROD: Edward Pressman, John Thompson, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Stephen Belafonte EXEC PROD: Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Elliot Rosenblatt USA

BELLAMY Cast: Gerard Depardieu DIR: Claude Chabrol PROD: Edward Pressman, John Thompson, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Stephen Belafonte  EXEC PROD: Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Elliot Rosenblatt France

CASTRO Cast: Edgardo Castro, Julia Martínez Rubio, Alberto Suárez, Carla Crespo, Esteban Lamothe DIR: Alejo Moguillansky PROD: Mariano Llinás, Laura Citarella EXEC PROD: Eduardo Costantini Argentina

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH Cast: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Fan Wei, Jiang Yiyan DIR: Lu Chuan PROD: Han Sanping, Steffen Wild China/Hong Kong

THE HOLE Cast: Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, Bruce Dern DIR: Joe Dante PROD: Robert Skotak EXEC PROD: Gary Michael Waters, Chris Bender, J.C. Spink USA

IN THE ATTIC Cast: Barbora Hrzánová, Boris Hybner, Vladimír Javorsky DIR: Jiri Barta PROD:  Milos Smídmajer Czech Republic/Slovakia/Japan

KANIKOSEN Cast: Matsuda Ryuhei, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kora Kongo, Arai Hirfumi, Emoto Tokio, Kinoshita Takayuki, Kimoto Takehiro DIR: Sabu PROD: Utagawa Yasushi, Mameoka Ryosuke, Tanabe Keigo EXEC PROD Takahito Kashino Japan

A LAKE (North American Premiere) Cast: Dmitry Kubasov, Natalie Rehorova, Alexei Solonchev, Simona Hülsemann, Vitaly Kishchenko, Arthur Semay DIR: Philippe Grandrieux PROD: Catherine Jacques  France

LONDON RIVER Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate DIR: Rachid Bouchareb PROD: Rachid Bouchareb, Jean Bréhat, Mattieu de Braconier, Bertrand Faivre Algeria/France/UK

LOOKING FOR ERIC Cast: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, John Henshaw, Stephanie Bishop DIR: Ken Loach PROD: Tim Cole EXEC PROD: Rebecca O’Brien UK

MOTHER Cast: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Park Eun-kyo DIR: Bong Joon-ho PROD: Choi Jae-won, Seo Woo-sik EXEC PROD: Miky Lee, Katharine Kim, Yang-kwon Moon South Korea

NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS Cast: Negar Shaghaghi, Askan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad DIR: Bahman Ghobadi PROD: Bahman Ghobadi EXEC PROD: Roxana Saberi Iran

PERPETUUM MOBILE Cast: Gabino Rodríguez, Teresa Sánchez, Francisco Barreiro DIR: Nicolás Pereda PROD: Nicolás Pereda, Catarina Coyoacan Mexico/Canada

A PROPHET Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichem Yacoub DIR: Jacques Audiard PROD: Martine Cassinelli, Antonin Dedet France/Italy

RED RIDING TRILOGY (1974, 1980, 1983) Cast: Sean Bean, Andrew Garfield, David Morrissey, John Henshaw, Anthony Flanagan, Rebecca Hall, Peter Mullan DIR: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker PROD: Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland, Wendy Brazington EXEC PROD: Liza Marshall, Hugo Heppell, Norman Merry UK

ROOM AND A HALF Cast: Alisa Freindlich, Sergei Yursky, Grigory Dityatkovsky, Artem Smola DIR: Andrey Khrzhanovsky PROD: Artem Vassiliev, Andrey Khrzhanovsky Russia

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES Cast: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella DIR: Juan José Campanella PROD: Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella Argentina/Spain

THE SILENT ARMY Cast: Marco Borsato, Andrew Kintu, Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga, Thekla Reuten DIR: Jean van de Velde PROD: Chris Brouwer, Richard Claus, Paul Brinks The Netherlands/France

SWEET RUSH Cast: Krystyna Janda, Pawel Szajda, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Julia Pietrucha, Jan Englert DIR: Andrzej Wajda PROD: Waldemar Dabrowski, Slawomir Jozwik, Michal Kwiecinski, Dorota Rakowska-Kosmicka, EXEC PROD: Katarzyna Fukacz-Cebula Poland

TO DIE LIKE A MAN Cast: Fernando Santos, Alexander David, Goncalo Ferreira de Almeida, Chandra Malatitch, Jenny Larrue DIR: Joao Pedro Rodrigues PROD: Maria João Sigalho, Judith Nora Portugal/France

A TOWN CALLED PANIC Cast: Stéphane Aubier, Jeanne Balibar, Veronique Dumont, Bruce Ellison, Frederic Jannin DIR: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar PROD: Philippe Kauffmann, Vincent Tavier Belgium/France/Luxembourg

VINCERE Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michela Cescon, Piergiorgio Bellocchio DIR: Marco Bellocchio PROD: Mario Gianani EXEC PROD: Olivia Sleiter Italy/France

YOUTH IN REVOLT Cast: Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Steve Buscemi, Jean Smart, Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place DIR: Miguel Arleta PROD: David Permut EXEC PROD: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Nan Morales USA


The best and brightest of challenging, thrilling documentary filmmaking from around the world, as chosen by the AFI FEST Programming Staff.

THE ART OF THE STEAL; DIR: Don Argott PROD: Sheena M. Joyce EXEC PROD: Lenny Feinberg USA


LOS HEREDEROS; DIR: Eugenio Polgovsky PROD: Camille Tauss Mexico

ICONS AMONG US; Subjects: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Olu Dara, Ravi Coltrane, Medeski Martin and Wood DIR: Michael Rivoira/Lars Larson/Peter J. Vogt PROD: John W. Comerford, Theo N. Ianuly USA

LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET; DIR: Frederick Wiseman PROD: Pierre-Oliver Bardet, Frederick Wiseman, Francoise Gazio France/USA

MOSCOW; DIR: Eduardo Coutinho PROD: Beth Pessoa EXEC PROD: João Moreira Salles, Mauricio Andrade Ramos, Guilherme Cezar Coelho Brazil

NE CHANGE RIEN; With: Jeanne Balibar DIR: Pedro Costa PROD: Francisco Villa-Lobos Portugal/France

NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW Subject: Neil Young DIR: Jonathan Demme PROD: Jonathan Demme, Elizabeth Hayes, Mark Kamine EXEC PROD: L.A. Johnson USA

PETITION; DIR: Zhao Liang PROD: Sylvie Blum France/China

REPORTER; With: Nicholas D. Kristof DIR: Eric Daniel Metzgar PROD: Mikaela Beardsley, Steven Cantor EXEC PROD: Ben Affleck USA

SWEETGRASS; DIR: Lucien Castaing-Taylor/Ilisa Barbash PROD: Ilisa Barbash USA

TRANSCENDENT MAN;  DIR: Robert Barry Ptolemy PROD: Barry Ptolemy, Felicia Ptolemy EXEC PROD: Joe DiSanto, John Ramsay, Wren Waters, Doobie White, Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle  USA

THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN; DIR: Byambasuren Davaa PROD: Byambasuren Davaa, Beatrix Wesle Germany/Mongolia


Home to alternative filmmaking, this section provides a platform for filmmakers who push the boundaries of culture and cinema.

THE ANCHORAGE Cast: Ulla Edström, Marcus Harrling, Elin Hamren, Bengt Ohlsson DIR: C.W. Winter/Anders Edström PROD: C.W. Winter, Anders Edström USA/Sweden

BEST WORST MOVIE; DIR: Michael Paul Stephenson PROD: Lindsay Rowles Stephenson, Michael Paul Stephenson, Brad Klopman, Jim McKeon, Mary Francis Groom, Ace Goerig EXEC PROD: Alan Hunter, Hugh Hunter USA

GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH Cast: Bernard Chazelle, Desiree Garcia, Jason Palmer, Frank Garvin, Sandha Khin DIR: Damien Chazelle PROD: Jasmine McGlade EXEC PROD: W.A.W. Parker USA

THE LOVED ONES Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee DIR: Sean Byrne PROD: Mark Lazarus, Michael Boughen EXEC PROD: Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street, David Whealy, Bryce Menzies Australia

MODUS OPERANDI Cast: Randy Russell, Danny Trejo, Mark Borchardt, Michael Sottile, Barry Poltermann DIR: Frankie Latina PROD: Shalyse Dominique, Laurie Foote, Mark Foote, Jon Krill, Zebedee LeTendre, Andrew Swant EXEC PROD: Bobby Ciraldo USA

TRASH HUMPERS Cast: Rachel Korine, Brian Kotzue, Travis Nicholson, Harmony Korine DIR: Harmony Korine PROD: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Amina Dasmal, Robin Fox EXEC PROD: Amina Dasmal, Robin Fox, agnès b USA/UK


A wide-ranging selection of shorts by some of the world’s leading film artists, including a fresh serving from the ongoing Lunchfilms series (from programmer and Cinemad founder, Mike Plante, in which Plante takes a cash-strapped filmmaker out to lunch, and they pay him back what they owe with a film).


ALL DAY ALL NIGHT DIR: Sarah Soquel Morhaim USA

THE CALL DIR: David Fenster/David Nordstrom USA






JEAN DIR: Kelly Sears USA





WHISKEYPRIEST DIR: Randy Walker/Jennifer Shainin USA




THE HISTORY OF AVIATION DIR: Balint Kenyeres Hungary/France




SEND ME TO THE ´LECTRIC CHAIR DIR: Guy Maddin, Isabella Rossellini Canada

SHORT TERM 12 DIR: Destin Daniel Cretton USA

S/T DIR: Lisandro Alonso Argentina

AFI FEST 2009 Announces EVERYBODY’S FINE and New Lights Competition

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 8, 2009








Los Angeles, CA, October 5, 2009—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi today announced that Kirk Jones’ EVERYBODY’S FINE will have its world premiere at a Gala Screening presentation on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. AFI FEST also announced the debut of the New Lights Competition, which will feature a selection of groundbreaking films by first and second time filmmakers from around the world.

EVERYBODY’S FINE, a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore’s STANNO TUTTI BENE, stars Robert De Niro as a widower who, upon realizing his only connection to his family was through his wife, sets off on an impromptu road trip to reunite and reconnect with each of his grown children. What follows is a series of eye-opening experiences for the working-class man as he learns the truth about each of their lives. Written and directed by Jones, the film also stars Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. Jones, as well as De Niro and Beckinsale, will attend the world premiere of the film. The Miramax Films release is due in theaters December 4.

The New Lights Competition was created to feature and honor vital, groundbreaking films by first- and second-time feature filmmakers from around the world. Films selected this year include Israel’s Ophir (Best Picture) winner and the country’s Official Selection to the Academy Award foreign-language competition, AJAMI, directed by the Israeli/Palestinian tandem of Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti; Andrea Arnold’s UK coming-of-age story FISH TANK; Oren Moverman’s wartime drama, THE MESSENGER, starring Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton; NORTHLESS, Rigoberto Perezcano’s debut from Mexico; the previously announced German drama, EVERYONE ELSE (directed by Maren Ade); and POLICE, ADJECTIVE (directed by Corneliu Porumboiu), the winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury prize and Romania’s Official Selection to the Academy Award foreign-language competition.

“The establishment of the AFI FEST New Lights Competition is another highlight this year,” said AFI FEST Artistic Director Rose Kuo. “These films represent a selection of the year’s most essential work from the international film festival circuit.”

AFI FEST Director of Programming Robert Koehler added, “This competition is a great example of what we hoped to achieve with the programming for this year’s festival. To a film, they are accomplished and challenging works that strive to be memorably cinematic.”

New Lights competition selections (with descriptions by Koehler) are:

AJAMI (Israel/Germany)

Directors: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani

The film follows the interconnected stories of people of different faiths living side by side in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Israel’s foreign-language Academy Award submission, the film won a special mention Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, where it played in Directors’ Fortnight.


Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

A young author sets out on a book promotion road trip with his younger brother. However, a random phone call from a mysterious woman begins a funny and intimate long-distance relationship that leads the man on another path to discover not only the truth about their relationship but also about himself.



Director: Maren Ade

A couple’s psychological and emotional ties as they are put to the test during an increasingly volatile holiday in Sardinia.



Directors: Razvan Radulescu, Melissa de Raaf

A grown daughter experiences an extremely frustrating day as she attempts to return home from a family visit in Bucharest.


Director: Andrea Arnold

Winner of Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize, this explosively realistic coming-of-age tale reveals the power dynamics beneath a girl’s dangerous friendship with an older man.


Director: Xavier Dolan

Directed by a 20-year-old wunderkind and winner of three Cannes awards, this miraculous debut follows a teenager as he wrestles with his sexuality, his talent and his mom.


Director: Oren Moverman

Winner of two awards at the Berlin Film Festival, this unforgettable, potent debut feature by acclaimed screenwriter Moverman follows soldiers on a tough assignment: informing the families of the dead. The cast includes Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone and Ben Foster.



Director: Claudia Llosa

Winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear, this landmark work transmutes Peru’s brutal civil war into an allegorical tale: a young woman determined to turn the fear she inherited into hope.



Director: Rigoberto Perezcano

A touching drama follows a would-be migrant from Oaxaca who finds friendship at a Tijuana market as he attempts to cross the border into the United States. The film explores what is left behind when a Mexican crosses the border into El Norte.


Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

Articulate and brilliantly constructed, this Cannes winner tracks a weary officer who resists busting a hash-smoking teen: Will he ruin a kid’s life because of youthful indiscretions? This drama follows the impact on a young policeman’s life after following his actions.



Director: Javier Rebello

The second feature from one of Spain’s most exciting talents follows the nocturnal adventures of a homemaker in Madrid as she attempts to escape her mundane family life only to wind up caring for an escaped Polish immigrant.

Free tickets are available beginning October 16 to all Festival screenings at FEST, at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) beginning October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via Rush Lines. Priority seating to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit