With film festivals in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York all taking place this month, it seems nearly every movie with awards season hopes has already had — or has at least booked — its world premiere. But Hollywood's own AFI Fest was able to land a highly anticipated, still-under-wraps title to help kick off its November event: "Foxcatcher," director Bennett Miller's wrestling drama.
The film, which stars
"Saving Mr. Banks," featuring
AFI organizers also said Wednesday that 85-year-old French New Waveauteur Agnès Varda, who has directed over 30 films including "Cleo From 5 to 7" and "The Beaches of Agnes," will serve as the festival's guest artistic director.
"Foxcatcher," Miller's follow-up to his 2011 hit
The picture is based on Mark Schultz's autobiography, which described Du Pont as a mentally unstable man who used his money to build a wrestling training facility on his Pennsylvania estate. The film will be released by
The Disney tale, meanwhile, is about the lengths the Mouse House creator went to so he could get "Mary Poppins" on the big screen. Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, the "Poppins" author who had a contentious relationship with Disney. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic film about the English nanny — which premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 1964 — AFI Fest will hold a special screening of "Mary Poppins" during its opening weekend.
Held in the heart of Hollywood, AFI Fest attracted roughly 75,000 filmgoers last year. The event, now in its 27th year, has long had a reputation for bringing festival circuit favorites to Angelenos. In 2012, Sacha Gervasi's
For the fifth year, AFI Fest will offer free tickets to the event. AFI members will be able to secure their tickets 48 hours before the general public, who can snatch their own beginning Oct. 30 at http://www.afi.com/afifest/.