Universal Pictures’ “By the Sea” will world premiere Nov. 5 as the opening-night film of the AFI Fest. Pic, to screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, was written, directed, produced by and stars Angelina Jolie Pitt and also stars and was produced by Brad Pitt.
The cast includes Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer.
The 29th AFI Fest takes place Nov. 5-12 in Hollywood. Screenings and galas will be held at the Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.
Film festivals are increasingly important in a film’s awards campaign, and last year, the AFI Fest confirmed its key role when it premiered “Selma” and “American Sniper,” which both wound up with best-picture nominations. Last year’s AFI opening-night film was “A Most Violent Year.”
AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga said, “We are launching this year’s AFI Fest with a film that is fueled by the influence of both American and foreign cinema. Angelina Jolie Pitt’s intelligent artistry in ‘By the Sea‘ proves that she is among the most creative and expressive filmmakers today. It is a perfect way to kick off what will be eight days of incredible films from Hollywood and across the globe.”
Jolie Pitt said, “AFI has long supported the boldness and experimentation that accompanies provocative cinema. As a filmmaker, and on behalf of our cast and crew, I am honored to launch the film at the Opening Night Gala for AFI Fest.”
AFI president-CEO Bob Gazzale said, “Time and again, Angelina Jolie Pitt has proven herself an artist of the highest caliber. It is an honor for AFI to celebrate her latest story with its world premiere — and in doing so — to shine a proper light upon her boundless creative energies as actor, director, writer and producer.”
“By the Sea” follows American writer Roland (Pitt) and his wife Vanessa (Jolie Pitt) in a seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis.