AFI Fests Full Lineup Includes World Premieres Of Freuds Last Session And Albert Brooks: Defending My Life

AFI Fests Full Lineup Includes World Premieres Of Freuds Last Session And Albert Brooks: Defending My Life

The American Film Institute on Thursday revealed the full lineup for this year’s AFI Fest, taking place in Los Angeles from October 25-29. It joins the previously announced fest opener, Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind, and closer in Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story is the Centerpiece film.

Additional highlights include the world premieres of Albert Brooks: Defending My Life directed by Rob Reiner and Freud’s Last Session directed by Matthew Brown. Other fest-season films in the lineup include All of Us Strangers directed by Andrew Haigh, Toronto winner American Fiction directed by Cord Jefferson, The Bikeriders directed by Jeff Nichols, The End We Start From directed by Mahalia Belo, Fingernails directed by Christos Nikou, Memory directed by Michel Franco, Quiz Lady directed by Jessica Yu, and Society of the Snow directed by J.A. Bayona which will screen in the Special Screenings section (see that full list below).

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This year’s program is set to feature an expanded selection of features and shorts compared to last year, offering 141 titles for the public to enjoy across five days. The program includes 3 Red Carpet Premieres, 10 Special Screenings, 15 Luminaries, 12 Discovery, 16 World Cinema, 13 Documentary, 42 Short Film Competition, and 30 films in the AFI Conservatory Showcase presented by AMC Networks. Of the official selections, 44% are directed by women, 37% are directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 18% by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. There are 4 World Premieres, 3 North American Premieres and 4 U.S. Premieres.

This year’s program represents 49 countries and includes 18 Best International Feature Oscar submissions, including About Dry Grasses. The Captain (Italy), Do Not Expect Too Much From The End of the World (Romania), Fallen Leaves (Finland), Four Daughters (Tunisia), Inshallah Boy (Jordan), The Peasants (Poland), Perfect Days (Japan), Picture of Ghosts (Brazil), The Promised Land (Denmark), The Settlers, Shayda (Australia), Slow (Lithuania), Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Estonia), Society of the Snow  (Spain), The Taste of Things (France), The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany) and Totem (Mexico).

Passes are now available at Tickets will be available starting October 2.

“Everyone on the AFI FEST team is proud to share this year’s selection of outstanding films from around the world with the audiences of Los Angeles,” said Todd Hitchcock, Director of AFI Fest. “Cinema is truly a global language, and the diversity of screen artistry represented here will widen the horizons for all moviegoers.”


AFI rolls out the red carpet for the most anticipated films of the festival. Sure to be an exciting celebration of the best in film, the section delivers world-class filmmakers and artisans, and a dose of Hollywood magic that can only be found at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Leave The World Behind
In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (MR. ROBOT), Amanda (Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world. DIR Sam Esmail. SCR Sam Esmail. CAST Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans, Kevin Bacon. USA

Follows the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan). A love letter to life and art, MAESTRO at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love. The film reunites Cooper with Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (AFI Class of 1992) and is co-written by Cooper and Josh Singer (Spotlight). 

Produced by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Cooper, Fred Berner and Amy Durning. DIR Bradley Cooper. SCR Bradley Cooper, Josh Singer. CAST Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Josh Hamilton, Scott Ellis, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Alexa Swinton, Miriam Shor. USA 

Maxine Baby: The Tyler Perry Story
Directed by Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz, grants the audience unfettered access to the inner world of Tyler Perry, whose story has never fully been told, as he becomes a father and a media mogul with a mission to pave his own road to the top. The film is a profound lesson on remembering where you came from to know where you want to go. Bekele produced the film under her Bekele Films banner alongside Jasmine K. White and Asante White. DIR Gelila Bekele, Armani Ortiz. SCR Gelila Bekele. 


Albert Brooks: Defending My Life
Lifelong friends, Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks, enjoy an intimate conversation about Brooks’ life and career. DIR Rob Reiner. USA

All Of Us Strangers
The latest from director Andrew Haigh is a moving, metaphysical ghost story that explores love, loss and memory. DIR Andrew Haigh. SCR Andrew Haigh. CAST Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, Claire Foy. UK

American Fiction
Cord Jefferson’s hilarious directorial debut stars Jeffrey Wright in a razor smart satire which confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. DIR Cord Jefferson. SCR Cord Jefferson. CAST Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown. USA

The Bikeriders
The rise and fall of a Chicago motorcycle gang is given epic treatment in Jeff Nichols’ film featuring Tom Hardy, Austin Butler and Jodie Comer in career-best performances. DIR Jeff Nichols. SCR Jeff Nichols. CAST Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Mike Faist, Boyd Holbrook, Norman Reedus. USA

The End We Start From 
Director Mahalia Belo  makes her feature debut with a tense and unexpected survival thriller starring Jodie Comer, Joel Fry, Mark Strong, Katherine Waterston and Benedict Cumberbatch. DIR Mahalia Belo. SCR Alice Birch. CAST Jodie Comer, Joel Fry, Katherine Waterston, Gina Mckee, Nina Sosanya, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch. UK 

Greek director Christos Nikou makes a bold English-language debut with this charming lo-fi sci-fi about the clash between our over-reliance on technology and the primal drive to find true love. DIR Christos Nikou. SCR Christos Nikou, Sam Steiner, Stavros Raptis. CAST Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Allen White, Luke Wilson, Annie Murphy. USA

Freud’s Last Session
Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode deliver crafty performances as Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, two great minds whose intellectual sparring demonstrates both men’s formidable strengths and emotional vulnerabilities. DIR Matthew Brown. SCR Mark St. Germain. CAST Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Goode. 

Haunted by their past, Sylvia (Jessica Chastain) and Saul (Peter Sarsgaard) have a chance encounter that opens new possibilities for their future in this heart-wrenching melodrama by Mexican provocateur Michel Franco. DIR Michel Franco. SCR Michel Franco. CAST Jessica Chastain, Peter Sarsgaard, Brooke Timber, Merritt Wever, Jessica Harper, Josh Charles. USA, Mexico

Quiz Lady
In Jessica Yu’s heartfelt and hilarious comedy, Awkwafina and Sandra Oh star as mismatched sisters who go on a cross-country road trip to appear on the legendary game show Can’t Stop The Quiz. SCR Jen D’Angelo. CAST Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Jason Schwartzman, Holland Taylor, Tony Hale, Will Ferrell. USA

Society of the Snow (La Sociedad De La Nieve)
Triumphantly returning to Spanish language cinema, J.A. Bayona brings breathless thrills and emotional gravitas to the tragic, true story of the crashed Uruguayan Flight 571 in this ferocious survival epic. Spain’s Oscar® submission for Best International Feature. DIR J.A. Bayona. SCR J.A. Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques, Nicolás Casariego. CAST Enzo Vogrincic, Agustín Pardella, Matías Recalt, Esteban Bigliardi, Diego Vegezzi. Uruguay, Spain

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