AFI Fest rounds out slate with ‘Mifune’

Organizers name categories

Danish Berlin fest winner “Mifune,” a spate of American indies, provocative nonfiction films and a selection of movies from the Latin universe round out the lineup for the AFI Los Angeles Intl. Film Festival, to be held Oct. 21-29.

Fest organizers announced picks in four sections, including the competitive New Directions. Also unveiled were titles in its European Showcase, Latin Cinema and Documentary series.

“Mifune,” the Grand Prix winner at Berlin, centers on the chaos of farm life in contemporary Denmark. Another entry hewing to the controversial Dogma 95, it’s one of 10 selections in the Euro sidebar that also includes “Schpaa,” a tale of drugs and youth gangs from Norway; the unusual German romance “Oskar and Leni”; and “East Is East,” the story of a group of Anglo-Pakistani children seeking British citizenship. The section also features a number of international pics that poke fun at the media, such as France’s “Rien sur Robert,” about an art critic trying to set his world right; the oddball “The Carriers are Waiting,” a Belgian film involving a radio contest; and Dutch pic “Guts,” in which a screenwriter falls for a model on a billboard.

American indies in New Directions (almost all making their world premieres) range from the romantic comedy “Snow Days,” with Bernadette Peters as a smothering Jewish mother, to “Pigeonholed,” an intense drama of five teenagers in a rehab center. “Suckers” focuses on a young man forced to sell cars to get out of debt; “Rendezvous in Samarkand” is an unusual adventure set in the Sahara; and “Bobby G. Can’t Swim” finds the protagonist racing against the clock to come up with $30,000 in missing cash.

Latin Cinema this year hails from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, South America and the U.S. Among the highlights are the Cuban tale of destiny and fate “Life is to Whistle”; “Exiles in New York,” a look at the immigrant experience; and Brazil’s “The Call of the Oboe,” about a dying musician who renews the spirit of a village. Other selections include Argentinean pic “The Lighthouse,” a tale of sisters coping with the death of parents in a car crash, and the Mexican period drama “Ave Maria,” about an aristocratic Spanish woman who risks all in defense of an Indian tribe.

The docu series takes on UFOs in “Six Days in Roswell,” rural Appalachian poverty in “American Hollow” and a dying movie theater in Northern India in “Kumar Talkies.” Another hot- button pic is “Super Chief,” an examination of alleged corruption involving a casino on a native reservation.

Complete fest information and tickets are available by contacting the AFI fest at (323) 520-2000.