The Barbie phenomenon is spreading to AFI Fest.
Greta Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote the billion dollar blockbuster starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has been tapped to serve as guest artistic director of the Los Angeles-based festival. In the role, Gerwig will curate a number of films to add to the festival lineup and will be on hand to present one or more of those films depending on her schedule. Filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ava DuVernay, David Lynch and Agnès Varda have held the role in previous festivals.
The move brings Gerwig back into the AFI Fest fold after having screened her previous films Lady Bird and Little Women there in years past. Gerwig also served on the shorts jury in 2010. “Greta Gerwig is devoted to cinema, and AFI is devoted to her,” said AFI’s president and CEO Bob Gazzale who said they are “honored to welcome her home.”
She comes to the gig after having released Barbie in July with Warner Bros. The film has gone on to become the most successful release of the year with a worldwide box office gross to-date of north of $1.4 billion. In 2017, she made her directorial debut with Lady Bird earning Oscar nominations for best director and original screenplay in the process. She followed it up with an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which was nominated for six Oscars including best picture. As an actor, she was most recently seen in her partner Noah Baumbach’s White Noise.
AFI Fest — headquartered at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre and set to take place from Oct. 25-29 — recently revealed its full lineup, which includes 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 on opening night. 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.