AFI Fest is less than three weeks away and today the annual awards season event revealed its three centerpiece galas. To say it’s looking like a stranger than usual AFI Fest is sort of an understatement.
As previously announced, Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” will open the festival on Thursday, Nov. 9. It’s the first opening night film that’s not a world premiere in at least five years. The closing night film is Ridley Scott’s “All The Money In The World” which will have its world premiere on Nov.
The galas begin on Friday, Nov. 10 when Luca Guadagnino‘s celebrated “Call Me By Your Name” has its official Los Angeles debut. That Sony Classics release was expected to be part of the gala slate, the following two galas were not.
On Sunday Nov. 12 James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” will also hit LA, the birthplace of its cinematic inspiration, “The Room.” The third and final gala is on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and showcases Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” which received mixed reviews at both the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
“Hostiles” will hope for better luck the third time around in order to bolster hopes for star Christian Bale in the Best Actor category while “Disaster Artist” fights for an Adapted Screenplay nod and Best Actor recognition for Franco.
A number of films skipped the opportunity to have a gala this year including “Darkest Hour,” “Wonder Wheel,” “Molly’s Game,” “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” “Coco,” “I, Tonya,” “The Shape of Water,” “The Post” and “Phantom Thread” although, in theory, the later two could “sneak” during the festival. It’s also possible some of those films will just have regular screenings instead of galas, but it seems unlikely. AFI’s Nov. 9th kick-off means that potential players such as “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Lady Bird,” “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” or “Last Flag Flying” were already in theaters by the time the festival begins or opening that same weekend.
The festival also announced that a tribute will be held for documentary filmmaker Errol Morris centered around his latest endeavor, “Wormwood.”
AFI Fest 2017 runs from Nov. 9-16.