‘All of Us Strangers,’ ‘American Fiction’ and ‘The Bikeriders’ Among Selections of AFI Fest


Next month’s AFI Fest is coming into focus.

The Los Angeles event — headquartered at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre and set to take place from Oct. 25-29 — has revealed its full lineup including critical favorites that have emerged from the festival circuit so far and a world premiere from director Rob Reiner, Albert Brooks: Defending My Life.

The festival favorites to screen at AFI Fest include Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell and Claire Foy; Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction starring Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Adam Brody, Issa Rae and Sterling K. Brown; Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon; Mahalia Belo’s The End We Start From starring Comer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Fry and Katherine Waterston; Christos Nikou’s Fingernails starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed and Jeremy Allen White; Michael Franco’s Memory starring Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard; Jessica Yu’s Quiz Lady starring Sandra Oh and Awkwafina, Jason Schwartzman, Holland Taylor, Tony Hale and Will Ferrell; and J.A. Bayona’s Spanish language recreation of the 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash Society of the Snow.

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Erika Alexander stars as Coraline and Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious "Monk" Ellison in writer/director Cord Jefferson’s AMERICAN FICTION

Erika Alexander and Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction. Claire Folger/Orion

Other world premieres include Matthew Brown’s Freud’s Last Session starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode as Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. In total, of the lineup’s official selections, 44 percent are directed by women, 37 percent by BIPOC filmmakers and 18 percent by LGBTQ filmmakers. There are four world premieres, three North American premieres and four U.S. premieres.

The program features titles from 49 countries and 18 films that have been selected to submit as best international features for next year’s Oscars. Among those are Turkey’s About Dry Grasses, Italy’s The Captain, Romania’s Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World, Finland’s Fallen Leaves, Tunisia’s Four Daughters, Jordan’s Inshallah a Boy, Poland’s The Peasants, Japan’s Perfect Days, Brazil’s Pictures of Ghosts, Denmark’s The Promised Land, Chile’s The Settlers, Australia’s Shayda, Lithuania’s Slow, Estonia’s Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, Spain’s Society of the Snow, France’s The Taste of Things, Germany’s The Teachers’ Lounge and Mexico’s Tótem.

Todd Hitchcock, director of AFI Fest, said he and his team are proud of the roster they’ve curated for this year’s edition which is sponsored by Apple Original Films, Canva, AMC Networks and Participant. “Cinema is truly a global language, and the diversity of screen artistry represented here will widen the horizons for all moviegoers.”

Also noteworthy: The Hollywood Reporter’s resident awards guru and history buff will combine his passions by moderating a panel focused on the greatest film books of all time. The event is inspired by Feinberg’s forthcoming project that surveyed more than 300 of the world’s most prominent filmmakers, executives, authors and cultural tastemakers in a ballot to determine the 100 greatest film books of all time. THR will unveil the list in the Oct. 11 print edition. For Feinberg’s Oct. 28 panel, AFI will host some of them for what promises to be an engaging discussion.

As previously announced, AFI Fest will open Oct. 25 with a world premiere of Sam Esmail’s apocalyptic thriller Leave the World Behind starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans and Kevin Bacon. It will close Oct. 29 with a screening of Bradley Cooper’s Maestro starring the filmmaker opposite Carey Mulligan, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman and others. Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz’s Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story is serving as a centerpiece selection on Oct. 27.

The full program including documentaries, short films and other special events can be found here.


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