‘Mother’ of a closing

AFI Fest skeds Almodovar pic, more preems

The Cannes-prized “All About My Mother,” from helmer Pedro Almodovar, will close the 13th American Film Institute Intl. Film Festival on Oct. 29.

Pic centers on a young woman who, after the death of her son, searches for the father who abandoned her as an infant. The offbeat and poignant movie is already a huge success in Europe, where it has grossed more than $25 million. Almodovar is scheduled to appear at the fest.

Event organizers also unveiled the program’s list of special screenings, which include a number of world and U.S. premieres. Unspooling in special slots will be the epic “The Legend of 1900,” directed by Oscar winner Guiseppe Tornatore and starring Tim Roth; “Music of the Heart,” helmed by Wes Craven and featuring Meryl Streep in the real-life story of a music teacher in Harlem; and the Agnieszka Holland-helmed drama of conscience “The Third Miracle.”

Special attendees

“The Legend of 1900” is the story of an infant found on an ocean liner at the start of the last century who becomes a gifted pianist. The character struggles with the prospect of going ashore throughout his entire life.

“Third Miracle,” which premiered in Toronto, deals with a priest whose faith is shaken by passion. Pic stars Ed Harris and Anne Heche, who will attend with Holland. Roth and Craven will attend the “1900” and “Music of the Heart” screenings, respectively.

“Bad City Blues,” a U.S. indie by third-generation filmmaker Michael Stevens (grandson of George), will world preem at the fest. The noirish yarn involves a doctor and a bleeding woman with $2 million in cash who’s on his doorstep.

Also added to the lineup are Japan’s all-time local B.O. champ, the animated “Princess Mononoke,” “Dreaming of Joseph Lees” from the U.K. and the Australian romantic comedy “Siam Sunset Australia.”

The AFI fest will kick off with the U.S. debut of “The Cider House Rules” on Oct. 21. Further info on the program and ticketing is available by calling (323) 520-2000.

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