Seeing Stars: Movie Premiere

PRESS RELEASE


AFI FEST 2002 (November 7 - 17) Announces Opening Night
Opening Night Film: ANTWONE FISHER, Denzel Washington's Directorial Debut;
Centerpiece Gala: Atom Egoyan's ARARAT; 
Closing Night Film: Pedro Almodovar's TALK TO HER

Monday September 16, 6:01 pm ET
 

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- AFI FEST 2002's Opening, Centerpiece and Closing Night films were announced today by Festival Director Christian Gaines. Los Angeles' longest running film festival opens on November 7, 2002, with the US premiere of ANTWONE FISHER, the directorial debut of Academy Award®-winning actor Denzel Washington. The Centerpiece Gala on November 12 will be the US premiere of ARARAT, from Canadian writer/director Atom Egoyan. The Festival's closing night, November 17, 2002, will feature the Gala presentation of Pedro Almodovar's TALK TO HER.

"What a thrill to have the work of such exemplary directors, writers and actors presented at AFI FEST 2002," said Gaines. "I hope that it's a happy reminder to the people of Los Angeles that the extraordinary range and diversity still found in world cinema should be treasured and savored."

"This lineup of Galas reflects the high quality of the whole program," added Nancy Collet, Director of Programming.

AFI FEST 2002 kicks off with the US premiere of ANTWONE FISHER on Thursday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. A sailor with an explosive attitude, Fisher (Derek Luke) is ordered to see a naval psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) about his volatile temper. Little does he know that his first step into the doctor's office will lead him on a journey home. With the support of the doctor -- who becomes more like a father than anyone Fisher has ever known -- and the woman from whom he learns how to love (Joy Bryant), Fisher finds the courage to stop fighting and start healing.

In addition to the outstanding performance of newcomer Derek Luke in the title role, ANTWONE FISHER stars Joy Bryant, Denzel Washington, and Salli Richardson. ANTWONE FISHER is directed by Denzel Washington, from a screenplay by Antwone Fisher. Produced by Todd Black, Randa Haines and Denzel Washington, and executive produced by Nancy Paloian-Breznikar, ANTWONE FISHER is a presentation of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

AFI FEST 2002 will feature the US premiere of ARARAT as the Centerpiece Gala on Tuesday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m., from Miramax Films. This latest feature from Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan stars David Alpay, Charles Aznavour, Eric Bogosian, Brent Carver, Marie-Josee Croze, Bruce Greenwood, Arsinee Khanjian, Elias Koteas and Christopher Plummer.

ARARAT intertwines the paths of two families. At the center is 18-year-old Raffi (Alpay), a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, who has been attempting to unearth family secrets held by his mother Ani (Arsinee Khanjian), an art history professor. When Raffi returns to Canada with cans of 35mm film, digital videotapes and a mystery, David (Plummer), a customs official, determines to uncover his secret. Weaving throughout the film is the story of Edward Saroyan (Aznavour), a filmmaker who is trying to reconstruct the tragic events that befell the Armenian people in 1915. What begins as a search for clues and an attempt to reconstruct history becomes a quest for truth across a vast and ancient terrain of lies, deception, denial, fact and fears.

ARARAT is an Alliance Atlantis/Serendipity Point Films presentation of a Robert Lantos Production of a film by Atom Egoyan in association with Ego Film Arts and ARP.

AFI FEST 2002 will close with the West Coast premiere of Pedro Almodovar's TALK TO HER on Sunday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Sony Pictures Classics, TALK TO HER contemplates the unusual friendship between two men whose comatose lovers lie in the same hospital. Journalist Marco (Dario Grandinetti) loves Lydia, a wounded young matador (Spanish singing star Rosario Flores). A young male nurse, Benigno (Javier Camara), is in charge of the daily care of a beautiful young ballerina, Alicia (Leonor Watling), who is also in a coma. During this period of suspended time, the lives of the four characters flow in all directions -- past, present and future -- dragging all of them towards an unsuspected destiny.

Written, directed and produced by Almodovar, the cast includes Geraldine Chaplin, as well as Almodovar regulars Chus Lampreave and Loles Leon in supporting roles. The cinematography is by Javier Aguirresarobe, with music by veteran Almodovar composer Alberto Inglesias. The executive producer is Augustin Almodovar.

All three of the Gala Screenings will be held at the historic Cinerama Dome at ArcLight Hollywood (6360 Sunset Blvd. at Vine in Hollywood). The Opening Night Gala is sponsored by the Hollywood Sign Trust and Absolut, while the Closing Night Gala is sponsored by the Hollywood Celebrity Diet and Absolut. For Festival ticket sales and information, please call 1.866.AFI FEST or visit the AFI FEST Web site at www.AFI.com .

Now in its 16th year, AFI FEST is one of the nation's fastest-growing film events and the premier international film festival in Los Angeles. AFI FEST captures the cultural diversity of Los Angeles and provides new and established filmmakers with a crucial avenue of exposure to the film community, while celebrating the accomplishments of filmmakers worldwide.

In addition to the three Galas, AFI FEST 2002 will feature an International Competition of features, documentaries and shorts; as well as regional showcases of international cinema, including Asian New Classics, European Film Showcase, Latin Cinema Series, American Directions and the Made In Germany series.

AFI FEST 2002 is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. AFI FEST 2002 is proud to continue its collaborative partnership with Skirball Cultural Center.

Official AFI FEST 2002 sponsors include: AFMA, ArcLight Cinemas, Continental Airlines, DELL, Los Angeles Times, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), Ramada Plaza Hotel West Hollywood and SilverDocs: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival.

Major Sponsors of the Festival are: Adelphia, Eastman Kodak Company, German Cinema/German Export Union, Hollywood Celebrity Diet, Hollywood Sign Trust, Home Box Office, Los Angeles Magazine, TriCoast Studios and Variety.

AFI is the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of film, television and other forms of the moving image. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers, coordinates nationwide film preservation efforts and explores new technologies in moviemaking. AFI also presents the best of film through the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI FEST); the AFI National Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center in Silver Spring, Maryland (opening in 2003); and the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor given for a career in film. More information about AFI can be found by visiting its Web site, located at www.AFI.com .

For further information, please contact Jill Lieberman or Alyson Dewar or Lisa Danna, all of AFI FEST 2002, +1-323-856-7744, festpress@AFI.com.

 





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