Film fest to honor actresses at 21st edition

The AFI Los Angeles Film Festival will fete Catherine Deneuve and Laura Linney during its 21st annual edition early next month.

Each tribute will precede an ArcLight screening — of Linney starrer “The Savages” on Nov. 9 and of the animated “Persepolis,” for which Deneuve provides a lead voice, the following day.

There are three galas skedded at the fest, which runs from Nov. 1-11: The opening-night event for the North American premiere of “Lions for Lambs”; a centerpiece gala for Jason Reitman’s “Juno”; and a closing night event for “Love in the Time of Cholera,” also a North American preem.

A number of other high-profile pics, including “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “Margot at the Wedding,” “Mr. Warmth” and “Southland Tales,” will receive special presentations at the fest.

A total of seven pics will world preem, and 35 more will receive their North American or U.S. preems. In addition, at least 30 of the features in official selection will be represented by exhibitors at the American Film Market, unfolding concurrently from Oct. 31-Nov. 7.

There are 97 features and 51 shorts in this year’s festival representing 37 countries. Fest features several competitions for international fare, a Latin showcase and a dark horizons section devoted to horror and experimental work.

Artistic director Rose Kuo said the event was “given tremendous support to take risks so that we could make bold selections” on experimental work and tackle hot-button political issues without “limiting ourselves to choosing films based on fulfilling preordained categories or achieving premiere ‘quotas.'”

Among the world preems: “Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story,” featuring John Waters and John Landis; docu “1000 Journals”; and “It’s Better If Gabriela Doesn’t Die.”

“The Art of Negative Thinking,” “Elvis Pelvis” and “Never Apologize” will receive their North American bows at the fest.

Event will also unspool “Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema,” helmed by Daily Variety chief film critic Todd McCarthy.

It will also present works of recently departed filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Ed Yang, Laszlo Kovacs and Ousmane Sembene in its milestone section.

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