AFI Fest Completes Lineup, Includes 10 Foreign-Language Oscar Contenders

The American Film Institute has completed its AFI Fest lineup: 127 films from 45 countries will screen from Nov. 5 to 12.

The festival includes 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries and 10 official foreign-language Oscar contenders, including Argentina’s entry “The Clan,” Guatemala’s “Ixcanul,” Hungary’s “Son of Saul” and Romania’s “Aferim!” along with Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan.” The screenings and events will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, El Capitan Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt.

AFI has already announced a trio of world premieres: the opening night film, Angelina Pitt Jolie’s “By the Sea,” on Nov. 5; the Will Smith drama “Concussion” on Nov. 10; and the closing night film, Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” on Nov. 12. It’s also scheduled galas for Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” on Nov. 7 and the Chilean miners drama “The 33” on Nov. 9.

The program will also present 18 films from 39 AFI Conservatory alumni, including “The 33” writer Michael Thomas, “Anomalisa”  director/producer Duke Johnson, “Carol” editor Affonso Gonçalves, “Last Days in the Desert” director/writer Rodrigo Garcia and “Son of Saul” cinematographer Matayas Ederly.

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The festival unveiled the titles Wednesday in the world cinema, midnight, breakthrough and cinema legacy categories:

WORLD CINEMA (29 Titles):

AFERIM! – This Romanian Western is an odyssey through the landscape of feudal Eastern Europe, following a father and son on a mission to find a gypsy. DIR Radu Jude. SCR Radu Jude, Florin Lazarescu. CAST Teodor Corban, Mihai Comanoiu, Cuzin Toma, Alexandru Dabija, Alexandru Bindea, Luminița Gheorghiu, Victor Rebengiuc, Alberto Dinache, Mihaela Sîrbu. Romania/Bulgaria/Czech Republic

BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (SANGUE DEL MIO SANGUE) – In this dual narrative, lust plays out in a 17th-century convent and a modern-day count lives a bizarre life within those same walls. DIR Marco Bellocchio. SCR Marco Bellocchio. CAST Roberto Herlitzka, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Lidiya Liberman, Fausto Russo Alesi, Alba Rohrwacher, Federica Fracassi, Alberto Cracco, Bruno Cariello, Toni Bertorelli, Filippo Timi, Elena Bellocchio, Ivan Franek, Patrizia Bettini, Sebastiano Filocamo, Alberto Bellocchio. Italy/France/Switzerland. U.S. Premiere

CHEVALIER – In this wonderfully absurdist farce, six men at sea play a strange game that measures every aspect of who they are. DIR Athina Rachel Tsangari. SCR Athina Rachel Tsangari, Efthimis Filippou. CAST Yorgos Kentros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas, Yiannis Drakopoulos, Nikos Orfanos, Kostas Philippoglou. Greece

CHRONIC – Tim Roth stars as an end-of-life caregiver who struggles with the intense relationships he develops with his patients. DIR Michel Franco. SCR Michel Franco. CAST Tim Roth, Robin Bartlett, Michael Cristofer, Sarah Sutherland, Nailea Norvind, Rachel Pickup, David Dastmalchian, Bitsie Tulloch. Mexico/France

THE CLAN (EL CLAN) – Argentina’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® follows the vicious crime saga of the notorious Puccio family. DIR Pablo Trapero. SCR Pablo Trapero. CAST Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich, Gastón Cocchiarale, Giselle Motta, Franco Masini, Antonia Bengoechea, Stefania Koessl. Argentina/Spain

THE CLUB (EL CLUB) – At a bucolic seaside home for aging priests, the arrival of a new member unearths long-buried secrets about the Catholic Church. DIR Pablo Larraín. SCR Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos, Pablo Larraín. CAST Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farías, Antonia Zegers, Jaime Vadell, Alejandro Goic. Chile

DHEEPAN – In this 2015 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, a refugee concocts a fake family to gain passage to France — but his violent past still haunts him. DIR Jacques Audiard. SCR Noé Debré, Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard. CAST Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers, Marc Zinga. France

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE) – This hypnotic epic follows the journey of a shaman and a German explorer in the Colombian Amazon. DIR Ciro Guerra. SCR Ciro Guerra, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal. CAST Jan Bijvoet, Brionne Davis, Nilbio Torres, Antonio Bolívar, Yauenkü Miguee. Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina

FREE IN DEED – When a young mother brings her special-needs son to a local storefront church for healing, a Pentecostal minister is forced to confront his own demons. DIR Jake Mahaffy. SCR Jake Mahaffy. CAST David Harewood, Edwina Findley, RaJay Chandler, Preston Shannon, Prophetess Libra, Helen Bowman, Zoe Lewis, Kathy Smith. USA/New Zealand. North American Premiere

IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN (L’OMBRE DES FEMMES) – Master French filmmaker Philippe Garrel returns with this gentle, profound tale of a Parisian couple dealing with mutual infidelity. DIR Philippe Garrel. SCR Jean-Claude Carrière, Caroline Deruas, Arlette Langmann, Philippe Garrel. CAST Clotilde Courau, Stanislas Merhar, Lena Paugam, Vimala Pons, Antoinette Moya, Jean Pommier, Thérèse Quentin, Mounir Margoum, Louis Garrel. France/Switzerland

THE LADY IN THE VAN – Maggie Smith stars as a cantankerous yet eloquent homeless woman who sets up residence on the curb outside the home of a single writer. DIR Nicholas Hytner. SCR Alan Bennett. CAST Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Frances De La Tour, Roger Allam. UK

LANDFILL HARMONIC – In a landfill community in Paraguay, inhabitants turn trash into unique instruments for a world-touring orchestra of young musicians. DIR Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley. USA

A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS – A Mexican woman with a cancer-stricken husband embarks on a series of increasingly violent confrontations with uncaring insurance stakeholders and bureaucrats. DIR Rodrigo Plá. SCR Laura Santullo. CAST Jana Raluy, Sebastián Aguirre Boëda, Hugo Albores, Nora Huerta, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Emilio Echeverria, Ilya Cazés, Noé Hernández, Verónica Falcón. Mexico. North American Premiere

MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART – Jia Zhang-ke’s tender, melancholic epic follows a capitalist Chinese family over a quarter-century of intense change. DIR Jia Zhang-ke. SCR Jia Zhang-ke. CAST Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Liang Jin Dong, Dong Zijian, Sylvia Chang, Han Sanming. China/France/Japan

EL MOVIMIENTO – In this stark black-and-white vision of anarchy, groups of armed men belonging to “The Movement” cause havoc on a war-scarred landscape. DIR Benjamín Naishtat. SCR Benjamin Naishtat. CAST Pablo Cedrón, Marcelo Pompei, Francisco Lumerman, Céline Latil, Alberto Suarez, Agustin Rittano. Argentina. U.S. Premiere

MY GOLDEN DAYS – Upon a man’s arrival home after years away abroad, he reflects on his youth, spent with little parental guidance, and ultimately a turbulent love affair. DIR Arnaud Desplechin. SCR Arnaud Desplechin, Julie Peyr. CAST Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Mathieu Amalric, Dinara Drukarova. France

NAHID – A poor Iranian mother enters a “temporary marriage” with a well-off hotelier — with devastating results. DIR Ida Panahandeh. SCR Ida Panahandeh, Arsalan Amiri. CAST Sareh Bayat, Pejman Bazeghi, Navid Mohammad Zadeh, Milad Hossein Pour, Pouria Rahimi, Nasrin Babaei. Iran

NEON BULL (BOI NEON) – A young cowboy working the Brazilian rodeo circuit dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer. DIR Gabriel Mascaro. SCR Gabriel Mascaro. CAST Juliano Cazarré, Aline Santana, Carlos Pessoa, Maeve Jinkings. Brazil/Uruguay/Netherlands

NO HOME MOVIE – The late Chantal Akerman’s sweet, melancholic ode to her mother, an Auschwitz survivor, is about home and the wild places beyond it. DIR Chantal Akerman. SCR Chantal Akerman. Belgium

OUR LITTLE SISTER (UMIMACHI DIARY) – At a family patriarch’s funeral, three sisters make the impulsive decision to invite their much younger half-sister to live with them in the city. DIR Hirokazu Kore-eda. SCR Hirokazu Kore-eda. CAST Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose. Japan

PARADISE – In this powerful film, shot guerrilla-style on the streets of Tehran, a violent act throws the life of a 25-year-old woman into turmoil. DIR Sina Ataeian Dena. SCR Sina Ataeian Dena. CAST Dorna Dibaj, Fateme Naghavi, Fariba Kamran, Nahid Moslemi, Roya Afshar. Iran/Germany

RAMS (HRUTAR) – Two estranged brothers in rural Iceland must come together when a fatal outbreak strikes their sheep herds. DIR Grímur Hákonarson. SCR Grímur Hákonarson. CAST Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Theodór Júlíusson, Charlotte Bøving. Iceland

RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN (JIGEUMEUN MATGO GEUTTAENEUN TEULLIDA) – In Hong Sang-soo’s latest, a director spends 24 hours with an attractive artist. This story then repeats itself midway through the film, but with important variations. DIR Hong Sang-soo. SCR Hong Sang-soo. CAST Jung Jae-young, Kim Min-hee. South Korea

SON OF SAUL (SAUL FIA) – This sparse yet resonant film, set in Auschwitz near the end of World War II, follows an internee on a mission to give a young boy a proper burial. DIR László Nemes. SCR László Nemes, Clara Royer. CAST Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnar, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Sándor Zsotér, Marcin Czarnik, Jerzy Walczak, Uwe Lauer, Christian Harting, Kamil Dobrowlski, Amitai Kedar, István Pion, Juli Jakab, Levente Orbán. Hungary

SWEET BEAN (AN) – In this heartwarming yet subtle tale, an aging Japanese woman brings surprise success to a small bakery with her special homemade recipe. DIR Naomi Kawase. SCR Naomi Kawase. CAST Nagase Masatoshi, Kiki Kirin, Uchida Kyara. Japan

TALE OF TALES (IL RACCONTO DEI RACCONTI) – From the director of GOMORRAH, this collection of three ancient fairy tales features a star-studded cast set against the backdrop of Italy’s greatest wonders. DIR Matteo Garrone. SCR Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso. CAST Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, Shirley Henderson, Hayley Carmichael, Bebe Cave, Stacy Martin, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees, Guillaume Delaunay, Alba Rohrwacher, Massimo Ceccherini, John C. Reilly. Italy

THE TREASURE (COMOARA) – A financially struggling family man enters into a crackpot plan to find buried treasure in this masterfully deadpan comedy. DIR Corneliu Porumboiu. SCR Corneliu Porumboiu. CAST Cuzin Toma, Adrian Purcarescu, Corneliu Cozmei, Cristina Toma, Nicodim Toma. France/Romania

A WAR – When a routine mission in Afghanistan turns ugly, a company commander must make an impossible decision to save his men. DIR Tobias Lindholm. SCR Tobias Lindholm. CAST Pilou Asbæk, Tuva Novotny, Dar Salim, Søren Malling, Charlotte Munck, Dulfi Al-Jabouri. Denmark. U.S. Premiere

THE WHITE KNIGHTS (LES CHEVALIERS BLANCS) – This drama from Joachim Lafosse centers on the 2007 Zoé’s Ark scandal, when a French NGO illegally trafficked orphans out of war-torn Africa. DIR Joachim Lafosse. SCR Joachim Lafosse, Bulle Decarpentries, Thomas Van Zuylen. CAST Vincent Lindon, Valérie Donzelli, Reda Kateb, Louise Bourgoin, Rougalta Bintou Saleh. France/Belgium

MIDNIGHT (3 Titles):

BASKIN – A squad of Turkish policemen become entrapped in the basement of a cult of Devil-worshipping amputees. DIR Can Evrenol. SCR Can Evrenol, Cem Ozuduru, Ogulcan Eren Akay, Ercin Sadikoglu. CAST Gorkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu, Muharrem Bayrak, Mehmet Fatih Dokgoz, Sabahattin Yakut, Mehmet Cerrahoglu. Turkey

DER NACHTMAHR – A teenage girl who experiences severe nightmares makes a meaningful connection with a strange creature that has been haunting her. DIR AKIZ. SCR AKIZ. CAST Carolyn Genzkow, Kim Gordon, Julika Jenkins, Arnd Klawitter, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht, Alexander Scheer, Sina Tkotsch. Germany

SOUTHBOUND – In this refreshing take on the horror anthology, a series of characters encounter sinister forces on an isolated desert road. DIR Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence. SCR Roxanne Benjamin, Susan Burke, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Dallas Hallam, Patrick Horvath. CAST Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Kristina Pesic, Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Dana Gould, Susan Burke, Davey Johnson, Anessa Ramsey, Mather Zickel, Fabianne Therese Karla Droege, Zoe Cooper, Roxanne Benjamin, Justin Welborn, David Yow, Tipper Newton, Matt Peters, Maria Olsen, Tyler Tuione, Kate Beahan, Gerald Downey, Hassie Harrison, Larry Fessenden. USA


THE LIAR – In this tightly wound thriller, beautiful, immaculately dressed Ah-young attempts to fool everyone into believing that she has it all. She doesn’t. DIR Kim Dong-myung. SCR Kim Dong-myung. CAST Kim Kkobbi, Chun Sin-hwan, Lee Sun-hee, Le Da-hae, Jang Seo-ee, Shin Yeon-suk, Kwon Nam-hee, Han Jin-hee. Korea

MA – Director Celia Rowlson-Hall uses her background as a choreographer to create MA, a modern-day retelling of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage. DIR Celia Rowlson-Hall. SCR Celia Rowlson-Hall. CAST Celia Rowlson-Hall, Andrew Pastides, Amy Seimetz, Matt Lauria, Peter Vack. USA. U.S. Premiere

THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF PÉROLA (A MISTERIOSA MORTE DE PÉROLA) – A young student, living alone in an old apartment, begins to lose herself in loneliness until reality merges with dreams. DIR Guto Parente. SCR Guto Parente. CAST Ticiana Augusto Lima, Guto Parente. Brazil/France. North American Premiere

NECKTIE YOUTH – Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, this bristling debut looks at a group of millennials, all peripherally related to a wealthy white teen who commits suicide. DIR Sibs Shongwe-La Mer. SCR Sibs Shongwe-La Mer. CAST Bonko Khoza, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, Colleen Balchin, Kamogelo Moloi, Emma Tollman, Jonathan Young, Kelly Bates, Ricci-Lee Kalish, Giovanna Winetzki. Netherlands/South Africa

THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING – This poetic experimental documentary captures with raw force the modern migrant experience in Europe, as seen through the eyes of a deceased shipwreck victim. DIR Morgan Knibbe. SCR Morgan Knibbe. Netherlands


Now in its third year, Cinema’s Legacy is AFI FEST’s celebration of motion picture history, and a special opportunity to screen both classic films and films about the history of cinema.

FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933) – Dolores Del Río, the glamorous face of AFI FEST 2015, stars in this pre-Code musical with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and fabulous song-and-dance routines. DIR Thornton Freeland. SCR Cyril Hume, H.W. Hanemann, Erwin Gelsey. CAST Dolores Del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Blanche Frederici, Franklin Pangborn, Eric Blore. USA

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM – Winnipeg filmmakers Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson search the human subconscious in this cinematic head-trip. DIR Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson. SCR Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk. CAST Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Mathieu Amalric, Geraldine Chaplin, Amira Casar, Charlotte Rampling, Karine Vanasse, Jacques Nolot, Udo Kier. Canada

HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT – For one week in 1962, French New Wave auteur François Truffaut interviewed the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. DIR Kent Jones. SCR Kent Jones, Serge Toubiana. CAST Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Arnaud Desplechin, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Richard Linklater, Olivier Assayas, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader. France/USA

SAFETY LAST! (1923) – In Harold Lloyd’s brilliant and most famous film, the great silent comedian plays a small-town bumpkin in the big city who plans a breathless publicity stunt to attract attention for the department store where he works. DIR Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor. SCR Hal Roach, Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan. CAST Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother, Noah Young, Wescott Clarke. USA

SEMBENE! – In this intimate documentary, the work of Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène is spotlighted, showing why he came to be known as the Father of African Cinema. DIR Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman. Senegal/USA

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