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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 Arclight happened because according to Collet, "They came to us at the very beginning." She enjoys the location, saying " Arclight is wonderful. It gives us the ability to centralize everything. Our festival has its core at Arclight. --All of our boxoffice and hospitality." Prior to relocating to the Arclight theatres, in the center of Los Angeles, on the legendary Sunset Boulevard, the festival bounced around a bit and had at various points in time used Laemmelles in Santa Monica, the Egyptian, the El Capitan, and the Vogue.

This year, AFI has introduced a new category called, "Dark Horizons". Collet says, "We had these films that wouldn't have stood out in a way. We wanted to really highlight these films and group them thematically. " "Alien Autopsy", a Fox film about the spoof autopsy of an alien that was widely circulated on T.V. and the internet in the 90s is making its North American Premiere at the festival.

AFI 2006 has numerous disparate films from around the world. It features "Gbravica", a Bosnian film and the winner of the Berlin Film Festival, "Offside", an Iranian film about football, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, "Shoot The Messenger", a UK film, making its North American premiere; "The Lives of Others", a German film, distributed by Sony in the U.S. which also made its North American premiere at the AFI.

Although the majority of the films at the festival don't have U.S. distribution, one should recognized, according to Collet that "The U.S. distribution for foreign language films is a small percentage." But she sees that AFI's audience is "...growing every year. I have seen over the 10 years a willingness to embrace pictures from other countries"