What could make a Hollywood gala more special than a handprint and footprint ceremony at the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood? The American Film Institute opens its annual festival with Academy Award®-winning actress Emma Thompson being honored with a handprint-footprint ceremony at today’s (Thursday) opening night gala of AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi. The opening night gala on Thursday, November 7th at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood features Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” in which Thompson stars as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers.

Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Walt Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen and also stars Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is directed by John Lee Hancock,  produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer. The screenplay was written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Christine Langan. The film will release in U.S. theaters on December 13, 2013, limited, and open wide on December 20, 2013.

At the AFI Festival, the 1964 family favorite “Mary Poppins” will screen on 9 November 2013, at the TCL Chinese Theatre, 1 p.m. If you haven’t seen this movie which stars Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke on the big screen, then this is your chance. The movie was nominated for 13 Oscars and won five–including Best Actress of Andrews.

There will be a red carpet Gala each night of the festival which runs from 7-14 November 2013.  The additional Centerpiece Galas are AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (DIR John Wells) on Friday, November 8; THE LAST EMPEROR 3D (DIR Bernardo Bertolucci) on Sunday, November 10; and the World Premiere of LONE SURVIVOR (DIR Peter Berg) on Tuesday, November 12. All Galas will be presented in the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

AFI FEST’s Special Screenings are HER (DIR Spike Jonze); THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (DIR Ralph Fiennes); JODOROWSKY’S DUNE (DIR Frank Pavich); MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (DIR Justin Chadwick); THE PAST (LE PASSÉ) (DIR Asghar Farhadi); PHILOMENA (DIR Stephen Frears); and THE UNKNOWN KNOWN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DONALD RUMSFELD (DIR Errol Morris).

As previously announced, Agnès Varda, considered “the Mother of French New Wave cinema,” will serve as Guest Artistic Director.  The North American Premiere of SAVING MR. BANKS (DIR John Lee Hancock) is the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, November 7 and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (DIR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) is the Closing Night Gala on Thursday, November 14.  Previously announced Centerpiece Galas include the World Premiere of OUT OF THE FURNACE (DIR Scott Cooper) on Saturday, November 9, NEBRASKA (DIR Alexander Payne) featuring a Tribute to Bruce Dern on Monday, November 11, and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (DIR Ben Stiller) on Wednesday, November 13.

The Star Patron Package and Marquee Patron Package will provide reserved seating for the festival’s announced Galas and the Special Screenings Pass offers priority seating for all of the festival’s Special Screenings. These and other AFI FEST Passes are on sale now at AFI.com/AFIFEST.

For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings.  On Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29, AFI Members will have an exclusive 48-hour advanced opportunity to select tickets before they become available to the general public on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31.  In addition, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes.  Information about AFI membership is available at AFI.com/membership.

For the 10th year, Audi returns as the festival’s presenting sponsor.  Additional sponsors include American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; The American Film Market (AFM); AT&T; Coca Cola; The Egyptian Theatre; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; National Geographic Channel; Stella Artois and TCL Chinese Theatre, among many others.

About the American Film Institute:

AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 42nd year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, recognized for the quality of its instructors and speakers and its notable alumni. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

Advertisements