2016 AFI Fest Preview: 10 Feature Film Picks From a Vivid International Line-Up

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Donald Cried

Dir: Kris Avedisian       

Donald Cried

Donald Cried

Another personal story in the American Independents section is Donald Cried, one that explores the indie-favorite man-child subgenre. A big city success goes back to his small working class hometown in Rhode Island to bury his grandmother, but loses his wallet and is forced to stay with his next-door neighbor and childhood friend, Donald (played by the writer-director Kris Avedisian). It turns out, though, that Donald, who sports an ugly haircut and an aggressive strange energy, hasn’t changed one bit. A simple favor turns into an awkward 24-hour saga into their past.

Kneedler says that he is excited to bring out Avedisian for a Q&A after the film, as he is (thankfully?) very different from Donald. Avedisian writes, “It was important for us to keep the pendulum of whom we sympathized with swing back and forth so the audience [can] relate to both characters.” [Tickets]

The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)

Dir: Michaël Dudok de Wit

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle, co-produced by Studio Ghibli, is written and directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit, the Dutch visionary behind the 2001 Academy Award-winning short “Father and Daughter,” and the Academy Award-nominated “The Monk and the Fish” in 1994. In November 2006, he received an unexpected email from Tokyo asking him whether he would interested in working with the studio on his very own (and first) feature. He graciously accepted, having been long interested in what he calls an “archetypal” story of a man on a desert island. The Red Turtle is not a survival story à la Cast Away but one that explores themes of longing, timelessness and immortality.

In preparation, de Wit lived with locals in a small island in the Seychelles, going for walks alone and taking thousands of photos. What emerged from his gradual creative process, animated by digital pen, is a dialogue-free elicitation that exceeds the emblematic, deeply red creature that is the pic’s namesake. Even as Turtle visits milestones in the life of a human being, it understands time as circular, cyclical as well as absent. [Tickets]

 

Layla M.

Dir: Mijke de Jong

Layla M

Layla M.

Director Mijke de Jong says of her ninth feature that she wanted to make a film “set in the now,” about young people who do not feel at home in the country and multicultural society into which they are born, and whose opinions have to be “devised on a daily basis.” Protagonist Layla, in particular, is an 18-year-old girl who is struggling with her own identity. She wants to change the world with the love of her life, but when that love is torn apart by opposing views, needs the safe limits of a radical group.

The story follows her from Amsterdam, where her parents are completely assimilated, to Jordan. De Jong and writer Jan Eilander thought it important to shine a light on one of many such narratives, not about terrorism or Islamophobia as about the forces that shape radicalization and, in turn, the outlooks of young people—refugees or citizens—who feel increasingly displaced. [Tickets]

 

I Am Not Your Negro

Dir: Raoul Peck

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

Cutting across black America’s racially charged past, present and future by setting 30 pages from James Baldwin’s unfinished last book to image and music, I Am Not Your Negro is a powerful documentary from Haitian filmmaker and political activist Raoul Peck (The Man by the Shore, Lumumba). Peck draws upon Baldwin’s “cocked grenade” and musings on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and MLK in a manuscript entitled “Notes towards ‘Remember This House,” entrusted to Peck by Baldwin’s estate. The doc is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and exclusively uses the brilliant social critic’s words.

In his press kit, Peck says that he came upon this compilation at a time when he needed to connect his personal, nomadic history with “parallel stories” of the black experience from across the world. He found that only Baldwin could deconstruct these stories.

Peck will sit down for an in-depth discussion with Toronto International Film Festival Artistic Director Cameron Bailey after the screening. I Am Not Your Negro promises to be a unique, affecting experience, a poetically assembled cultural iconography still aching to ascend from dominant history’s footnotes. [Tickets]

 

Watch Our Picks

Visit afifest.com for the latest details and information on how to obtain free tickets.

Friday, November 11

7 p.m. – Kill Me Please, Chinese 3 Theater

7 p.m. – The Ornithologist, Chinese 5 Theater

Saturday, November 12

4:15 p.m. – Layla M, Chinese 4 Theater

7 p.m. – Fraud, Chinese 3 Theater

Sunday, November 13

4 p.m. – Kill Me Please, Chinese 2 Theater

9:45 p.m. – Always Shine, Chinese 6 Theater

9:45 p.m. – Layla M, Chinese 3 Theater

Monday, November 14

4:15 p.m. – Fraud, Chinese 4 Theater

9:15 p.m. – Mister Universo, Chinese 4 Theater

Tuesday, November 15

1:45 p.m. – Always Shine, Chinese 2 Theater

7 p.m. – The Red Turtle, The Egyptian Theatre

7:30 p.m. – I Am Not Your Negro, Chinese 1 Theater

Wednesday, November 16

1:15 p.m. – The Red Turtle, Chinese 4 Theater

3:30 p.m. – I Am Not Your Negro, The Egyptian Theater

3:45 p.m. – Mister Universo, Chinese 6 Theater

6:30 p.m. – The Woman Who Left, Chinese 6 Theater

Thursday, November 17

1:30 p.m. – The Woman Who Left, Chinese 4 Theater MM

AFI Fest 2016 runs November 10-17, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

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1 Comment

  1. jaran

    November 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    2016 afi fest preview which i liked the most in this year 2016. In this fest i have covered almost everything which was happened in this year 2016.
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