Los Angeles’ AFI Fest unveiled a bevvy of galas Wednesday including the world debut opening night selection, “Love and Other Drugs,” directed by Edward Zwick and starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal as mismatched lovers. Tom Hooper’s Toronto winner “The King’s Speech,” starring Colin Firth as King George VI will screen as the festival’s “Tribute Selection,” while five festival heavy-hitters including Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” Richard J. Lewis’ “Barney’s Version,” Diego Luna’s “Abel,” George Hickenlooper’s “Casino Jack” and John Wells’ “The Company Men” will screen as AFI Fest’s Centerpiece Gala Selections.
In other highlights, John Sayles’ latgest “Amigo,” John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole,” Nigel Cole’s “Made in Dagenham” and Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” will round our the festival’s Special Screening Selections, while Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” will close the eight-day event.
AFI Fest 2010 will take place in Hollywood at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the nearby Mann Chinese 6 theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from November 4 – 11. As previously announced, filmmaker David Lynch will take part as the festival’s first-ever “Guest Artistic Director.”
The announced 2010 AFI Fest gala selections with descriptions and information provided by the festival:
“Love and Other Drugs” (Opening Night): Edward Zwick’s satiric romp through the world of cutthroat Viagra sales stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal as mismatched lovers who discover that love is the ultimate drug. DIR Edward Zwick. SCR Charles Randolph and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Judy Greer, Gabriel Macht. World Premiere, November 4.
“The King’s Speech” (Tribute Selection): Colin Firth stars as the stuttering King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his maverick Australian speech therapist. DIR Tom Hooper. SCR David Seidler. Cast: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall. UK/Australia. November 5.
Centerpiece Gala Selections:
“Blue Valentine“: Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. DIR Derek Cianfrance. SCR Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams. USA. November 6.
“Bareny’s Version“: A wise and witty tale of a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. DIR Richard J. Lewis. SCR Michael Konyves. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman. Canada/Italy. November 6.
“Abel“: In his feature directorial debut, Diego Luna offers a strange, alluring fable of a disturbed child attempting to become his own father. DIR Diego Luna. SCR Diego Luna, Augusto Mendoza. Cast: Christopher Ruíz-Esparza, José María Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragón, Gerardo Ruíz-Esparza, Geraldine Alejandra. Mexico. November 7.
“Casino Jack“: Notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff finds himself in bed with mafia assassins in this fact-inspired film. DIR George Hickenlooper. SCR Norman Snider. Cast: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston, Rachelle Lafevre, Jon Lovitz. Canada. November 8.
“The Company Men“: Bobby Walker is living the American dream when corporate downsizing forces him and two co-workers to re-define their lives. DIR/SCR John Wells. Cast: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Rosemary DeWitt. USA. November 10.
“Black Swan” (Closing Night Selection): Darren Aronofsky’s stunningly operatic film stars Natalie Portman as a rising ballet star pushing her body and soul to the limit. DIR Darren Aronofsky. SCR Mark Heyman & Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin. Cast: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder. USA. November 11.
Special Screening Selections:
“Amigo“: Parallels to current events abound in John Sayles’ compelling drama about the moral quandaries facing U.S. soldiers and local cooperators a century ago in the Philippine-American War. DIR/SCR John Sayles. CAST Garret Dillahunt, Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, DJ Qualls, Brian Lee Franklin. USA/Philippines. U.S. Premiere. November 6.
“Rabbit Hole“: A vivid, honest, hopeful and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what remains possible in the most impossible of all situations. DIR John Cameron Mitchell. SCR David Lindsay-Abaire. CAST Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh. USA. November 7.
“Made in Dagenham“: Alongside 55,000 men, 187 women work as machinists in a car assembly plant and are paid a fraction of what the men earn. The women go on strike, eventually leading to a national crisis. DIR Nigel Cole. SCR William Ivory. Cast: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike. UK. November 8.
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams“: Visionary director Werner Herzog takes us on a 3-D journey into the most distant past of human history as his camera encounters the 35,000-year-old paintings of the Chauvet Cave. DIR Werner Herzog. USA. November 10.