As we approach the annual film awards season, we are not met with the changing of leaves or crisp fall air…at least not in California. No, in City of Angels we are met with pumpkin spice lattes, beach days in Venice and road closures. Why? Because, Hollywood shuts down as the red carpet is rolled into the streets and the stars are out in droves showing off what they believe to be the next big winner.

The American Film Festival or AFI FEST, a yearly festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre features a week of artistic expression and stands alone as one of the first to impact your daily commute.

For those of you who are not familiar with AFI FEST – here is some background:

“Each year, AFI FEST showcases more than 125 films each year in several exciting sections which include Galas, Special Screenings, New Auteurs, Documentary, World Cinema, Cinema’s Legacy and Shorts. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Films categories of the annual Academy Awards®.”

The AFI FEST has featured and honored some of Hollywood’s greatest such as: Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Steve McQueen, Natalie Portman, Sophia Lauren and a long, long list of others. This year? AFI FEST is still bringing the A-List, this years AFI FEST brings the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Kathy Bates, Olivia Wilde, Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Josh Hamm, Anthony Mackie and more.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What’s premiering? How can I go? How Do I find out more?

What is premiering?

At the time of this blog post, we do not have a publicly available list of all the showings but, there are some notable heavy hitters, Oscar worthy heavy hitters.

Two Popes

Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins star in this drama where the former conservative Pope Benedict (Pryce) and future liberal Pope Francis (Hopkins) must find common ground to create a new path for the Catholic Church – fava beans and a nice glass of chianti not included in this Oscar contender.

Richard Jewell

Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates and Jon Hamm will be bringing the story of Richard Jewell’s now (in)famous Saturday and how one man’s heroic efforts were reported as terrorism. Directed by Hollywood legend, Clint Eastwood, Richard Jewell promises to be one hell of a film. 

The Crown – Season 3

One of my mother’s personal favourites. The Crown has garnered a lot of attention in its two seasons and if season three is anything like the previous two – it will not disappoint. Olivia Colman Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Josh O’Connor, Erin Doherty, Marion Bailey, and others round out the Royal Family that helped shape the twentieth century.

The Banker 

THE Samuel L. Jackson stars in this true story – what more do you need? Nothing. Give this man every award for everything, ever. 

Based in the 1950s, two African American entrepreneurs hire a blue-collar white man to pose as the head of their business empire all while posing as chauffeur and janitor. Anthony Mackie and Nicholas Hoult star opposite Jackson in this mid-century American drama.

Queen & Slim 

Making her feature film directorial debut, Melina Matsoukas (If you don’t recognize the name, don’t fret. Matsoukas has directed works with some of the world biggest starts – click here and be impressed.)  tells the story of one couple’s, Queen (Jodie Turn-Smith) and Slim’s (Daniel Kaluuya) first date, that takes one hell of a turn… I will let you watch the trailer and make your own choices, but this movie promises to stir up some passionate conversations.

But what about me?

Ticket are one sale now for the general public. If any of these movies piqued your interest and the thought of watching a movie in one of the most famous theaters in the world really has you excited. Click here to buy your tickets right now - ticket are one sale for the general public.

Keep your eyes on that website, as more information gets released AFI FEST will continue to update their website.

Let us know which film you think will take home the golden statue by tweeting at us! I am sure we will agree, if not, you’ll probably receive a GIF with an awkward smile or something because your movie tastes are…eclectic? Let’s go with eclectic. 😊