Michael Moore’s upcoming “Where to Invade Next” and director Patricia Riggen’s “The 33” are getting Centerpiece Galas during this year’s AFI FEST. The LA festival’s other galas include the world premieres of “Concussion,” starring Will Smith as a doctor who confronts the NFL about football-related brain trauma; 1970s-set “By the Sea,” from writer/director Angelina Jolie Pitt, which opens the fest; and Adam McKay’s treatment of the financial crisis, “The Big Short.”
In “Where to Invade Next,” Moore resumes his role as liberal rabble-rouser, visiting several countries to find out how the U.S. could improve its prospects in the next war. “The 33,” based on the harrowing true story of the Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months in 2010, stars Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, and James Brolin.
AFI FEST has also scheduled special screenings of “45 Years,” “Anomalisa,” “Carol,” “The Lobster,” and several fest faves hitting the awards circuit, as well as the North American premiere of “Queen of the Desert,” Werner Herzog’s portrait of explorer, cartographer, and archaeologist Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman), which met a mixed response at Berlin. AFI FEST runs Nov. 5 through Nov. 12.