After announcing Angelina Jolie’s “By the Sea” and the heavyweight ensemble drama “The Big Short” will open and close the 2015 AFI FEST, the American Film Institute continues to round out their upcoming celebration with news that “Concussion,” the Will Smith drama about football-related head trauma, will screen as the Centerpiece Gala.
Written and directed by “Parkland” director Peter Landesman, the drama is a true story and stars Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who first discovered the the detrimental medical repercussions of football-related head injuries. His discovered brought to light the dark underbelly of the NFL and resulted in a legal battle between him and the league. The movie is produced by Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman and Elizabeth Cantillon.
“AFI FEST is for movie lovers who understand and appreciate the power of stories on the big screen, said Jacqueline Lyanga, director of AFI FEST. “‘Concussion’ packs that punch by shining a light on a topic that has caught the country’s attention, here expertly expressed through the direction of Peter Landesman and an unforgettable performance by Will Smith. We are proud to present the World Premiere of ‘Concussion’ as aour Centerpiece Gala at AFI FEST.”
“AFI FEST is the perfect stage to unveil ‘Concussion,’ and we are privileged to have been chosen as the Centerpiece Gala,” added Ridley Scott and Giannina Scott. “‘Concussion’ is a powerful and uncompromising film about an issue that was ignored for far too long and continues to play out today. It’s a story that had to be told, and we were determined to tell it right.”
The Centerpiece Gala screening will take place Tuesday, November 10 at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood.