AFI Fest has announced the first twelve titles that will screen at its 2009 edition. Among the selections are Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” Werner Herzog’s “The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother.” This year’s festival will take place October 30 through November 7 in both Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
As previously reported, free tickets are available to all festival screenings this year.
“These first dozen titles offer a wonderful preview to our lineup which is a survey of the year’s significant films,” said Rose Kuo, AFI Fest Artistic Director, in a statement. “They represent a diversity of voices and we take great pride in being able to bring them to Los Angeles audiences for the first time.”
The twelve official selections are (synopses courtesy of AFI Fest):
“The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” (USA)
Director: Werner Herzog
Set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs — while playing fast and loose with the law. With the prostitute he loves, the couple descends into a world marked by desire, compulsion and conscience. The film also stars Eva Mendes and Val Kilmer.
Director: Claude Chabrol
A famous French detective (played by Gerard Depardieu) on vacation in Languedoc investigates a mystery man who approaches him claiming to have killed someone. The film also stars Clovis Cornillac and Jacques Gamblin.
“Everyone Else” (Germany)
Director: Maren Ade
Drama follows the volatile relationship resulting from the psychological and emotional ties between two young lovers.
“The Last Station” (UK/Germany)
Director: Michael Hoffman
A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things. The film stars Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer and Paul Giamatti.
“Looking for Eric” (UK)
Director: Ken Loach
Eric, a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life-coaching from a poster of the famously philosophical footballer, Eric Cantona.
“Mother” (Madeo) (South Korea)
Director: Bong Joon-ho
This thriller follows the investigation of a murder by a mother desperate to find the killer who framed her son for the crime.
“Police, Adjective” (Romania)
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
This drama follows the impact on a young policeman’s life after he refuses to arrest another man for offering drugs to his friends.
“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” (USA)
Director: Lee Daniels
In Harlem, an overweight and illiterate teen pregnant with her second child and abused by her domineering mother is invited to enroll in an alternative school with the dream to move her life in a new direction. The film stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz, and introducing Gabourey Sidibe.
“A Prophet” (France/Italy)
Director: Jacques Audiard
A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.
“Red Riding” (UK)
Directors: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker
Three inter-connected films set in the years 1974, 1980 and 1983 trace the crime and corruption in West Yorkshire, England. The films star Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Paddy Considine, Andrew Garfield and Rebecca Hall.
“Trash Humpers” (USA)
Director: Harmony Korine
A cinema verite look at a fringe cult-freak collective with a penchant for anti-social behavior and activities.
Director: Marco Bellocchio
This drama tells the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser and their son, Albino.
For more information visit AFI Fest’s official website.