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AFI sets fest salute

Org to honor thesp Sharif, helmer Minghella

The American Film Institute will salute actor Omar Sharif and “Cold Mountain” helmer Anthony Minghella during the 2003 AFI Film Festival, which kicks off Nov. 6 in Los Angeles.

Tributes will be held as separate centerpieces during the fest’s 11-day run at the ArcLight Hollywood.

Sharif, who in his 50-plus-year career has appeared in more than 70 pictures — including such major films as “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Dr. Zhivago” and “Funny Girl” — will be feted on Nov. 11. Among the evening’s events will be a montage of his work, special guest appearances and an onstage talk with Daily Variety’s editor-in-chief, Peter Bart.

The Nov. 13 Minghella tribute, dubbed “Cold Mountain and the Collaborative Art of Anthony Minghella,” will unspool 20 minutes of footage from “Cold Mountain,” which bows in December. Minghella will join film critic Peter Hammond, host of KCET’s Cinema Series, in addition to surprise guests in anonstage interview focusing on the collaborative spirit of filmmaking.

As part of the Sharif tribute, AFI will host the U.S. preem of French helmer Francois Dupeyron’s period piece “Monsieur Ibrahim.” Pic will screen Nov. 10.

Rounding out the program will be an “Omar Sharif Retrospective” Nov. 12-13 at the Skirball Cultural Center. The showcase will include screenings of such titles as “Mackenna’s Gold,” “The Blazing Sun” and “Puppeteer.”

Sharif, who got his start in Arab cinema in the 1950s, next appears in Touchstone’s “Hidalgo,” which will unspool in 2004.

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