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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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AFI day 5

AFI FEST's Day Five began with a bang, or should we say a beat, as an animated audience arrived early to soak up Paul Kell's FIVE SIDES OF A COIN. A vivid journey through the world of hip-hop, the documentary features interviews and performances from modern-day legends Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC, as well as legends-of-the-future like Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Kool Keith. "Was anyone on Earth left out?" asked an awed film-goer during the Q&A. "Only KRS-1," answered Kell. "Apparently, his wife wants him to become a preacher [and didn't want him to be involved]."

If KRS-1 is considering donning the cloth, he might want to take a look at John Deery's CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, which explores celibacy, Catholicism, and modern priesthood. Provocative and passionate, Deery's film attracted a diverse crowd that included several members of the clergy. An intense discussion followed, featuring Deery, leads Fintan McKeown and Jason Barry, and a brave guest spot by Catholic priest Father Bob. As the debate gathered momentum, an articulate admirer, with just a trace of a lilting Irish accent, raised his hand to offer Deery his most-sincere compliment: "If you had done this film 15 years ago, you would have been burned at the stake." Father Bob, for his part, applauded Deery's conviction, but added: "The honesty and courage portrayed in this film are also part of the Catholic Church."

Later, perhaps for the first time in AFI FEST history, a Serbian and a Bosnian film screened at the same time. Bosnian Pjer Zalica's award-winning FUSE cast its dark and colorful spell on fest-goers; while, down the hall, Serbian Milos Petricic's self-described "post-generation-X" flick, AN ALMOST ORDINARY STORY, played to a sold-out audience.

Meanwhile, a throng of French dignitaries and film lovers were still buzzing about the appearance of Omar Sharif before the U.S. Premiere of his new film, MONSIEUR IBRAHIM. Sharif, who will be feted tonight as the recipient of AFI FEST's 2003 Tribute, said that he hoped the film would give audience "a smile and a tear." Later, at the TV-5 party to celebrate Sharif and AFI FEST's French films and filmmakers, the tears were gone, and only laughter and smiles remained.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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