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AFI The Final Stretch

Caught Sherine Salama documentary yesterday called "The Last Days of Yasser Arafat". Too bad the Australian director, Salama wasn't able to be there. A few years ago, she screened her first documentary "A Wedding in Ramallah" at the festival and there was a lively discussion afterwards. I'll be posting the remaining interview with Nancy Collet, programming director at the AFI, later today. ...

Interview with Program Director for AFI

Interview With Nancy Collet, Director, Programming, AFI Fest Rita M. Johnson We were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to interview Nancy Collet, programming director for the AFI film festival. She has been with the festival for 10 years and is originally from Manhattan. In 2006, AFI Fest is celebrating its 20th year as a program of the American Film Institute. The festival grew out of Filmex, which premiered "The Last Picture Show" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. An ex The move to the...

Wrist Cutters: A Love Story

I spent the greater part of last evening oscillating between the Premiere Lounge/party for Wrist Cutters (to which stars Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon turned up) and the roof of the Arclight. The AFI roof parties are a great opportunity to hang out and just mingle with directors, actors, producers, etc from the festival. I spotted Michael Rappaport hanging out in the Arclight courtyard on the second level. ...


Well, the AFM has drawn to a close. Over 1500 exhibitors showed up. The number of sellers increased while the overall number of buyers decreased slightly --by something like 1%. Not a significant number, I'd say. And although there was no one breakout film at the market. First Look considered the festival a success as did Renegade Worlwide. "Blonde and Blonder", a Regal Entertainment film featuring Pamela Anderson and Denise Richards garnered loads of attention. I can't wait until the film ...

AFI Day 6 Part 2 The Lives of Others

At midday, I caught the German feature "The Lives of Others". Directed by Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, the film is set in East Berlin during the eighties, spanning from 1984 to around 1992. It tells the story of a Stasi officer who is assigned to watch a group of artists. As he puts a prominent theatre director, Georg Dreyman and his actress wife under survellience, he is drawn more and more into their story. As the officer gets grows to empathize with the couple, he begins to look the o...

AFI Day 6

I would have to say the Ngozi Onwurah directed, "Shoot The Messenger" is perhaps one of my favorite films of the festival thus far. A satire, the film tells the story of a disaffected teacher who tries to make sense of racial issues. Set in London during contemporary times, the BBC Film produced feature touches on loads of hot button issues. Its universal themes about family, relationship, scholarship and spirituality will resonates across all cultures and groups. The film debuted last night...

History Boys at AFI

Sunday afternoon, I went over to the Arclight to catch a couple of films at the AFI festival. "The History Boys" a british film directed by Nicholas Hynter is something I had ticked off early on as a 'must see' film. I was a bit disappointed by the end product. I believe the synopsis I read was a bit misleading. It's essentially a gay coming of age film organized around the back drop of a bunch of guys who get great A levels and then go on to try to get into Oxbridge. ...

AFI Features Penelope Cruz, First Look Hosts Classy Bash at Viceroy

Thursday night, AFI hosted the U.S. premiered Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" and a tribute to the excruciatingly talented Spanish actress, Penelope Cruz. Since her debut to American audiences in the international hit "Jamon Jamon", Penelope has become one of Europe's leading export. the AFI salute included a lively on-stage discussion about her impressive career alongside film clips. First Look, which is shopping the films "American Crime", featuring Catherine Keener and James Franco, and "Smiley ...

All Star Cast Sets Stage for Exciting Week

'Bobby', the Emilio Estevez directed film is a meaningful film chalk full of extraordinary moments. The various vignetes interweave themes of race, feminism as well as the vietnam war. Yet the film is the sum of it's parts and unfortunately, some of the parts were a bit weak. Hats off to Estevez for writing and directing what was seemingly a heartfelt attempt to portray los angeles, warts and all, during two days in 1968. The film was screened at Mann's Chinese on Hollywood Boulevard. Later, ...

AFI/AFM Launches in Los Angeles

Tonight, the AFI Film Festival kicks off with the U.S. Premiere of "Bobby", written and directed by Emilio Estevez. The film, produced by Dan Grodnik, Gary Michael Walters and Sir Anthony Hopkins, includes an all star cast consisting of Harry Belafonte, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, and Elijah Wood. "Bobby" was...


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