AFI FEST 2012 hits Hollywood screens beginning November 1 for eight days of festival features and shorts from all over the world. 133 films will screen at AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi. Of the 3,400 films submitted 77 features and 56 shorts were selected from 28 countries; 22 of these films were directed by women. France, the United Kingdom and Germany lead the foreign contenders with 23, 13 and 12 films respectively.
Opening the festival is the World Premiere of “Hitchcock.” Starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as Hitch’s wife Alma, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, the film is directed by Sacha Gervasi. “Hitchcock” follows the famed director’s later years during his making of “Psycho.”
Equally star-studded is the November 8 closing night film – Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Already receiving Oscar buzz for Daniel Day Lewis’ performance as Abraham Lincoln, the film also has an acclaimed cast of Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader and Jared Harris.
Bernardo Bertolucci is named as AFI FEST 2012’s Guest Artistic Director. Film aficionados will recognize Bertolucci from such films as, “The Last Emperor,” “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Conformist,” and “Sheltering Sky.” As Guest Director, Bertolucci has chosen four films for his sidebar program. Those films are “42nd Street” (directed by Lloyd Bacon), “The Rules of the Game (directed by Jean Renoir), “Sunrise” (directed by F.W. Murnau), and “Vivre Sa Vie” (directed by Jean-Luc Godard).
Also as part of Bertolucci’s program is the festival’s presentation of “Electric Chair,” a behind-the-scenes film about the Bertolucci’s latest movie, “Me and You.”
Other special sections of AFI FEST 2012 are the Galas, which include such films as “Life of Pi,” “On the Road,” “Rise of the Guardians,” and this month’s London Film Festival winner, “Rust and Bone” starring Marion Cotillard.
Special screenings consists of films like “Silver Lining Playbook,” the moving and important documentary, “The Central Park Five,” “Holy Motors,” “The Impossible,” and documentary “Room 237” about the symbols and hidden messages behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
Other series to note are the New Auteurs Selections which are films of first and second-time feature film directors from around the world. The Young Americans Selections are films from emerging U.S. filmmakers.
World Cinema Selections presents twelve films that comprise the Foreign Language Oscar submissions. Midnight Selections tend to be of the frightening variety. Six films make up the Breakthrough Selections. There are also six programs of short films that run throughout the festival.
Celebrating its 26th year, the AFI FEST takes place in Hollywood at The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The festival offers free tickets for the screenings, which are now available – but beware, more tickets are given out than seats, so arrive to the venues early.
Information about film schedules and tickets can be found out AFI.com/AFIFEST.