The American Film Institute’s AFI Fest 2023 has officially unveiled its programming, marking the respective world premieres of Rob Reiner’s documentary “Albert Brooks: Defending My Life” and Matthew Brown’s “Freud’s Last Session,” starring Anthony Hopkins as the titular psychiatrist.
This year’s AFI Fest will take place from October 25th to 29th. The dystopian drama “Leave the World Behind” by Sam Esmail opens the festival. The Tyler Perry documentary “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story” will premiere as the centerpiece of the screening; Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein film “Maestro” is set to close the festival.
The entire AFI program includes a total of 141 titles, including 18 Oscar submissions for Best International Feature Film. The expanded selection of features and shorts includes three red carpet premieres, 10 special screenings, 15 Luminaries, 12 Discovery, 16 World Cinema, 13 documentaries, 42 short film competitions and 30 films in the AFI Conservatory Showcase, presented by AMC Networks.
The program consists of 44 percent films directed by women, with 37 percent directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 18 percent directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers.
Film highlights include Victor Erice’s return to the cinema with “Close Your Eyes”, Kim Jee-Woon’s “Cobweb” and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Venice winner “Evil Does Not Exist”. Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes winner “La Chimera” starring Josh O’Connor and Catherine Breillat’s provocative “Last Summer” are in the program alongside Steve McQueen’s Nazi occupation documentary “Occupied City” and Wim Wenders’ Japanese Oscar entry “Perfect Days”. Luminaries program with world-renowned filmmakers.
AFI Fest has compiled many of the most acclaimed films from the fall festivals this year. “The Bikeriders” by Jeff Nichols and “Fingernails” by Christos Nikou, Michel Franco’s Venice award-winning “Memory” with Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard, “Quiz Lady” with Awkwafina and Sandra Oh, “All of Us Strangers” with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott, Cord Jefferson’s TIFF People’s Choice Award winner “American Fiction” and Raven Jackson’s award-winning feature debut “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” produced by Barry Jenkins, round out the program.
The program also includes a panel discussion honoring the best film books of all time. Hollywood Reporter reporter Scott Feinberg will moderate. About 300 of the world’s best-known filmmakers, film executives, authors and cultural tastemakers cast their votes to create a list of the 100 best books about film, which The Hollywood Reporter will publish in a special edition on October 11. Many of them will come together at the AFI Fest on October 28th.
The full line-up can be found at The AFI Fest website can be found here.