Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coming Attraction: AFI Fest Presented by Audi 2013

"Saving Mr. Banks," starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, opens AFI Fest.
AFI Fest presented by Audi kicks off Nov. 7 in Hollywood with a family-friendly bang this year, as it screens the North American premiere of Disney film Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

The story centers on Walt Disney (Hanks) and his quest to talk Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Thompson) into turning her book into that now-famous film.

And while AFI Fest (Nov. 7-14) is known for its edgy offerings, Saving Mr. Banks isn't the only film on the lineup that could also work for families—or parents who are interested in thought-provoking pics about that fascinating challenge we call parenting.

Here's a quick rundown of highlights from the festival (descriptions are from the festival site). For those interested in attending, tickets are free and can be found online here. The films will be playing at the TCL Chinese Theater, Chinese 6 Theaters and the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

For more info about the film guide and schedule, click here.

"The Wind Rises"
* The Wind Rises (Nov. 8) -- The latest animated wonder from Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of the legendary Studio Ghibli, is the master’s first directorial effort in five years, and quite sadly, may very well be his last. Eschewing his typically fictional characters ensconced in a fantasy world, the skilled animator instead brings to life the story of Jiro Horikoshi, visionary designer of one of history’s most beautiful airplanes – the prototype for the Zero WWII fighter – in a fictionalized story based on very real figures who lived and loved in troubled times. 

"The Rocket"
* The Rocket (Nov. 8, 11) -- This Australian film  begins with the birth of twin boys in rural Laos. Local superstition dictates that one is blessed, while the other is cursed, and the only way to return balance to the village is to get rid of them both. But when the second baby emerges stillborn, the young mother hides the truth – and raises her “cursed” child Ahlo without the knowledge of his possible destiny.

"We Are Mari Pepa"
* We Are Mari Pepa (Nov. 10, 11) -- Alex has big plans for his summer in Guadalajara. He hopes to get a girlfriend, make money with a new job, learn a new song with his band, Mari Pepa, and win the upcoming ”battle of the bands” concert.  His summer expectations quickly become impossible to fulfill as he realizes everything in his life is shifting. 

"Like Father, Like Son"
* Like Father, Like Son (Nov. 9, 10) -- This Japanese film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year. It tells the story of two families who learn that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth.

"The Selfish Giant"
* The Selfish Giant (Nov. 9, 10) -- Inspired by the children she met in Bradford in northern England when researching her previous acclaimed documentary, THE ARBOR, Clio Barnard creates a moving tale that combines fairytale with contemporary reality. Arbor is a feisty menace who rejects his meds and roams the streets with his mellow best friend, Swifty. After a fight at school, the duo is expelled and seems as forsaken as the desolate countryside surrounding them.

There are too many films and presentations to list here, but check out the website below for more updates.

AFI Fest presented by Audi
Nov. 7-14
TCL Chinese Theater, Chinese 6 Theaters, Egyptian Theater (Hollywood)

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