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

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 8, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI

ANNOUNCES WORLD PREMIERE OF

MIRAMAX FILM’S “EVERYBODY’S FINE”

ROBERT DE NIRO AND KATE BECKINSALE

TO ATTEND

ALSO ANNOUNCED ARE FILMS SELECTED FOR FESTIVAL’S

DEBUT OF NEW LIGHTS COMPETITION

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.

EASIER WITH PRACTICE (USA)

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.

EVERYONE ELSE (ALLE ANDEREN)

(Germany)

Director: Maren Ade

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

FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA (FELICIA INAINTE DE TOATE)

(Romania/France/Belgium/Croatia)

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.

FISH TANK (UK)

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.

I KILLED MY MOTHER (Canada)

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.

THE MESSENGER (USA)

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.

THE MILK OF SORROW (LA TETA ASUSTADA)

(Spain/Peru)

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.

NORTHLESS (NORTEADO)

(Mexico)

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.

POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Romania)

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.

WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO (LA MUJER SIN PIANO)

(Spain/France)

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 AFI.com/AFI 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 AFI.com.

AFI FEST 2009 Announces First Official Selections

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on September 16, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES

FIRST TWELVE TITLES IN OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

LIONGATE’S “PRECIOUS” IS FIRST ANNOUNCED

GALA PRESENTATION

FILMS BY HERZOG AND BONG

MARK A RETURN TO AFI FEST

Los Angeles, CA, September 16, 2009—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi announces 12 films that will screen at this year’s Festival (October 30-November 7) including Lee Daniels’ PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE, Werner Herzog’s THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS and Bong Joon-ho’s MOTHER.

The film festival, which will debut it’s groundbreaking “See a Film on Us” initiative featuring complimentary tickets to all films including a limited number of seats at each Gala Presentation, will be headquartered at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel between October 30 and November 5. AFI FEST will then move to Santa Monica for the final two days of screenings presented in association with the American Film Market (AFM).

Lee Daniels’ PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE is the first announced Gala Presentation at this year’s AFI FEST. Set in 1980’s Harlem, the film tells a story of salvation through education against all odds as it follows the hopeful trajectory of ‘Claireece Precious Jones (played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), an overweight and illiterate teen pregnant with her second child and abused by her poisonously angry mother. The film also stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sheri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz. PRECIOUS will be released by Lionsgate on November 6.

AFI FEST 2009 will also mark the return of Werner Herzog to the Festival after Herzog’s celebrated panel appearance two years ago. Herzog’s THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS is a loosely interpreted re-imagining of Abel Ferrara’s gritty classic starring Nicolas Cage as a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). The film also stars Val Kilmer.

The Festival also welcomes back Bong Joon-ho (following the screening of THE HOST in 2006). The South Korean entry for the Academy Awards, Bong’s MOTHER is an inventive thriller that follows a woman’s personal investigation into a murder in order to clear the name of the accused – her son.

Two French/Italian co-productions, A PROPHET and VINCERE will also be presented to Los Angeles audiences for the first time. Jacques Audiard’s A PROPHET traces the journey of a young Arab man, who becomes a mafia kingpin after he is sent to a French prison. Marco Bellocchio’s VINCERE is a biographical drama that tells the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser and their son Albino.

Also included in the list of film titles announced today are the latest work by such noted auteurs as acclaimed French New Wave director Claude Chabrol (BELLAMY), Ken Loach (LOOKING FOR ERIC) and Harmony Korine (TRASH HUMPERS).

“These first dozen titles offer a wonderful preview to our lineup which is a survey of the year’s significant films. They represent a diversity of voices and we take great pride in being able to bring them to Los Angeles audiences for the first time,” said Rose Kuo, AFI FEST Artistic Director.

The twelve official selections include:

THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS (USA)

Director: Werner Herzog

Set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs — while playing fast and loose with the law. With the prostitute he loves, the couple  descends into a world marked by desire, compulsion and conscience. The film also stars Eva Mendes and Val Kilmer.

BELLAMY (France)

Director: Claude Chabrol

A famous French detective (played by Gerard Depardieu) on vacation in Languedoc investigates a mystery man who approaches him claiming to have killed someone. The film also stars Clovis Cornillac and Jacques Gamblin.

EVERYONE ELSE (Germany)

Director: Maren Ade

Drama follows the volatile relationship resulting from the psychological and emotional ties between two young lovers.

THE LAST STATION (UK/Germany)

Director: Michael Hoffman

A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things. The film stars Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer and Paul Giamatti.

LOOKING FOR ERIC (UK)

Director: Ken Loach

Eric, a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life-coaching from a poster of the famously philosophical footballer, Eric Cantona.

MOTHER (Madeo) (South Korea)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

This thriller follows the investigation of a murder by a mother desperate to find the killer who framed her son for the crime.

POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Romania)

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

This drama follows the impact on a young policeman’s life after he refuses to arrest another man for offering drugs to his friends.

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE (USA)

Director: Lee Daniels

In Harlem, an overweight and illiterate teen pregnant with her second child and abused by her domineering mother is invited to enroll in an alternative school with the dream to move her life in a new direction. The film stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz, and introducing Gabourey Sidibe.

A PROPHET (France/Italy)

Director: Jacques Audiard

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

RED RIDING (UK)

Directors: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker

Three inter-connected films set in the years 1974, 1980 and 1983 trace the crime and corruption in West Yorkshire, England. The films star Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Paddy Considine, Andrew Garfield and Rebecca Hall.

TRASH HUMPERS (USA)

Director: Harmony Korine

A cinema verite look at a fringe cult-freak collective with a penchant for anti-social behavior and activities.

VINCERE (Italy/France)

Director: Marco Bellocchio

This drama tells the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser and their son, Albino.

Free tickets are available to all festival screenings – in advance at AFI.com, at the Mann Theatres (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) on October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via rush lines. Reserved seating can be secured by becoming a patron of the film festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit AFI.com.