‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ kicks off AFI

Fest boasts free screening tickets this year

AFI raised the curtain on its 2009 film festival at the Chinese Theater Friday with Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

AFI prexy-CEO Bob Gazzale kicked off the night by asking how many people were sick of talking about the economy before quickly reminding the crowd that tickets to fest screenings were free this year.

Anderson said the last time he’d been in the Chinese Theater was in 1996 to see “Independence Day” and figured it was about as full.

Among the crowds who filtered past a shiny Audi R8 to the after-party at the Roosevelt Hotel were the pic’s Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman as well as guests including Peter Bogdanovich and Ivan Reitman.

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