On Thursday, November 5, 2015 to Thursday, November 12, 2015, the 29th annual AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi took place, in the heart of Hollywood.
By the Sea was the world premiere gala screening at the TCL Chinese Theater 6925 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood, CA 90028. By the Sea was written, directed, produced by and starring Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie Pitt and also starring and produced by Academy Award ® winner Brad Pitt.
The AFI FEST program featured 130 films (77 features, 53 shorts), representing 45 countries. The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (5), Special Screenings (8), American Independents (9), New Auteurs (11), World Cinema (29), Midnight (3), Breakthrough (5), Cinema’s Legacy (5), Presentations (2) and Shorts (53), and included 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries, 10 official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions and 10 animated short films.
The many highlights of the festival included the world premieres of Opening Night film BY THE SEA (DIR Angelina Jolie Pitt), Centerpiece Gala film CONCUSSION (DIR Peter Landesman) and Closing Night Gala film THE BIG SHORT (DIR Adam McKay); a Tribute to 45 YEARS stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay; Conversations with director Ridley Scott (THE MARTIAN), actor Benicio Del Toro (SICARIO), director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan (SUFFRAGETTE), actor Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino (YOUTH) and director Scott Cooper and star Johnny Depp (BLACK MASS); and the Indie Contenders Roundtable, which included writer/director Ramin Bahrani (99 HOMES), actress Blythe Danner (I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS), actress Saoirse Ronan (BROOKLYN), actor Jason Segel (THE END OF THE TOUR), actress Sarah Silverman (I SMILE BACK), actress Lily Tomlin (GRANDMA) and actress Olivia Wilde (MEADOWLAND).
Many international film artists attended the festival this year, including CHEVALIER director Athina Rachel Tsangari; CHRONIC director Michel Franco and star Tim Roth; DHEEPAN director Jacques Audiard; OUR LITTLE SISTER director Hirokazu Kore-eda and actress Kiki Kirin; QUEEN OF THE DESERT directory Werner Herzog; as well as many artists representing Oscar® entries, including director Pablo Trapero, producer Matias Mosteirin with actors Guillermo Francella and Peter Lanzani (THE CLAN, Argentina); actor Alejandro Goic (THE CLUB, Chile); director Jayro Bustamante with producers Pilar Peredo and Edgard Tenenbaum (IXCANUL, Guatemala); director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, producer Charles Gillibert, screenwriter Alice Winocour with cast members Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Tugba Sunguroglu and Ilayda Akdogan (MUSTANG, France); director Grímur Hákonarson (RAMS, Iceland); director László Nemes, cinematographer Mátyás Erdély and star Géza Röhrig (SON OF SAUL, Hungary); and director Tobias Lindholm, producer Rene Ezra and star Pilou Asbæk (A WAR, Denmark).
Another highlight included this year’s State of the Art — Innovation, Storytelling and Technology showcase, dedicated to immersive storytelling and virtual reality (VR). Keynote speaker Glen Keane kicked off the two-day event, a weekend program that included panel discussions with leading artists, interactive installations and VR display stations.
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®. For more information visit http://afi.com/AFIFEST/
Screenings and Galas were held at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, the El Capitan Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.
Photos Credit: “Courtesy of AFI“