AFI Fest: A to Y | Film | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

AFI Fest: A to Y 

Winds of change blow through 2007 event

Wednesday, Oct 31 2007

The tide has turned at AFI Fest, from embarrassment to embarrassment of riches. When it was announced this past spring that longtime AFI Fest programming director Nancy Collet would be vacating her post to “pursue other career opportunities,” I questioned in these pages whether festival director Christian Gaines and other American Film Institute higher-ups would seize the opportunity to start anew with someone who would (unlike Collet) actually take the job of programming our city’s longest-running film festival seriously. As it happens, they’ve done just that: In the barely four months since she hit the ground running as Collet’s replacement, Rose Kuo and her team of programming associates (some new, some holdovers from Collet’s regime) have managed to assemble exactly the sort of eclectic, ambitious film lineup that local audiences have always deserved from AFI Fest but have long been denied. (Collet, meanwhile, recently made headlines for inviting, then uninviting the acclaimed Israeli film The Band’s Visit from Abu Dhabi’s Middle East International Film Festival, where she has momentarily taken up residence.)

Among AFI Fest 2007’s highlights (discussed in more detail in the pages that follow): three of the major prizewinners from this year’s Cannes Film Festival (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Secret Sunshine, and Silent Light); strong new works from established masters (including Jacques Rivette and Hou Hsiao-Hsien); inspired debuts by young independent filmmakers (including Jonas Cuaron’s Year of the Nail and Alex Holdridge’s In Search of a Midnight Kiss); and a special evening (on Friday, November 9) with avant-garde filmmaker Jennifer Reeves, whose latest work revives the nearly extinct tradition of multiple-projection film “performance.” (Fret not: There are a smattering of high-profile Hollywood premieres too.) And as any serious festival should, AFI Fest has pulled these disparate elements together under one roof as if to say, “This is cinema today.” Since its own internal shakeup in 2001, Film Independent’s summertime Los Angeles Film Festival has seemed like the only thing close to a world-class festival in the world’s supposed movie capital. Now, there is another horse in that race, and we all know that a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Unless otherwise noted, all AFI Fest films screen at ArcLight Cinemas, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd. For complete showtimes and to purchase tickets, visit

Related Stories

  • 10 Movies at AFI Fest You Need to See

    AFI Film Festival is one of L.A.'s top cinephile gatherings, aiming to feature the best films from the world's best film festivals throughout the year. 2013's edition, in particular, offers an embarrassment of riches. Narratives about family weigh heavily in this year's programming, with filmmakers from around the globe tackling...
  • AFI Fest 2013: Frequently Asked Questions

    What is AFI Fest? A self-described "almanac of the year in cinema" put on by the American Film Institute, it's the highest-profile film festival in Los Angeles. This year's program runs from Nov. 7–14, and tickets again are free. Where is it? Deep in the black heart of Hollywood. Most...
  • AFI Fest: The Race to Find the Year's Best Indie Films

    While waiting for a movie to start at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Lane Kneedler learned that his wife was pregnant. He was there scouting movies as part of his job as associate director of programming at AFI Fest — the most prestigious film festival in Los Angeles, which...
  • Charlie Victor Romeo's Script Uses Actual Black Box Recordings From Plane Crashes

    Every fatal plane crash has the same, sad ending. But the minutes before are unique. We think of these disasters as plane versus sky, but the 3-D docudrama Charlie Victor Romeo, which plays at the AFI Fest this week, takes us inside the cockpit to show us the almost mundane...
  • L.A. Film Festival 2013: The Best Films to See

    See also: *L.A. Film Festival 2013: The Basics *L.A. Film Fest 2013: Documentaries About the City, From Rappers to the LACMA Rock *L.A. Film Festival 2013: Music Videos for the Sake of Art, Not YouTube Views The Los Angeles Film Festival doesn't always share the same "event" status as its...
Reach the writer at

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Wed 17
  2. Thu 18
  3. Fri 19
  4. Sat 20
  5. Sun 21
  6. Mon 22
  7. Tue 23

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Now Trending