Anniversary American Film Festival
The 10th anniversary edition of the American Film Festival in Wrocław begins on November 5th. The event includes a record number of 125 productions, of which 69 will be Polish premieres. This year’s festival will last one day longer than previous editions and will end November 11th.
The latest film by Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, will open the 10th AFF, while the closing film will be Marriage Story directed by Oscar® nominee Noah Baumbach – a penetrating and empathetic portrait of a crumbling marriage, starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, with supporting roles by Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta.
The AFF program has traditionally included hits straight from the hottest international festivals and this year is no exception. This year’s selections include The Two Popes, which received raves reviews at the Toronto IFF. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes is the story of a meeting that changed the face of the Catholic Church (Oscar®-winner Anthony Hopkins as Benedict XVI, with Jonathan Pryce, who was honored in Cannes for his role as Cardinal Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis). Meanwhile, Ford v Ferrari by James Mangold is the story of pioneer car designer Caroll Shelby (Oscar®-winner Matt Damon) and racing driver Ken Miles (Oscar® winner Christian Bale). Knives Out is a detective story directed by Rian Johnson with an all-star cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Ana de Armas, Judy Rupert Goold, with Renée Zellweger as the legendary Judy Garland. We also recommend the moving drama Just Mercy by Destin Daniel Cretton, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson, and Seberg by Benedict Andrews, in which Kristen Stewart plays the actress and activist Jean Seberg. Fans of unusual comedies will enjoy Riley Stearns’ Art of Self-Defense – a dark perverse comedy about violence with an acting tour de force by Jesse Eisenberg. The program also includes two movies about the famous TV presenter Fred Rogers: the feature A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, directed by Marielle Heller and the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, directed by Morgan Neville. A special festival event will be the Other Side of the Wind, the unfinished work of Orson Welles, which was completed years later.
Moreover, AFF’s 10th anniversary edition coincides with anniversaries of iconic American film premieres. As part of the 10th American Film Festival audiences can watch Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (on the 50th anniversary of its release), Apocalypse Now: Final Cut directed by Francis Ford Coppola (40th anniversary), Spike Lee’s cinematic manifesto Do the Right Thing (30th anniversary) and Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick (20th anniversary). November is also the perfect time to watch Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner as 2019 is the year in which the film was set.
One of the hallmarks of the American Film Festival are its competition sections: Spectrum (15 titles) – a review of new trends and young talents of US cinema, and American Docs (13 titles) – the most lauded documentaries presenting different faces of America. Productions, rated by viewers, will compete for awards in two categories, feature and documentary film. BNY Mellon funded the prizes in both competitions. The hero of this year’s retrospective will be Gregory Peck – legendary actor, the epitome of classy America, awarded an Oscar® for the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (dir. Robert Mulligan).
Once again, the festival includes the US in Progress industry event in which Polish post-production companies help to complete independent American films while producers have the opportunity to learn about Polish co-production opportunities and meet potential partners in the Polish film industry.
Read more about US in Progress here
Find out more about American Film Festival 2019 here