Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. to bow new film at AFI

Soloist - Robert Downey Jr.By Kat Kramer

AFI FEST 2008 Announces Lineup

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 10/7/08 – The upcoming popular American Film Festival 2008 has recently announced its stellar lineup for opening and closing night Galas. “The Soloist” starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. directed by Joe Wright, will open the Fest on October 30, and Paramount Vantage’s “Defiance” has been selected as the festival’s closing night Gala presentation.

Directed and co-written by Edward Zwick, “Defiance” stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell, and is based on the true story of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. “Difiance” will have its world premiere at the festival on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at Arclight’s Cinerama Dome Theatre, presented by Audi. Zwick is an AFI alumni, and is proud to have the film close the Fest. He has directed such films as the multiple Academy Award-winning “Glory,” “Legends Of The Fall,” “The Last Samurai,” and “Blood Diamond.” Zwick is also a past recipient of AFI’s prestigious Franklin J. Shaffner alumni medal. “As part of the AFI family, I am deeply honored they have chosen “Defiance,” a ten year labor of love, as their closing night film,” stated Zwick.

AFI’s president and CEO Bob Gazzale seemed pleased with the selection, “AFI is honored to host the world premiere of ‘Defiance’ at AFI Fest. The event symbolizes the very heart of the American Film Institute – to train the next generation of filmmakers and then have them come home to premiere a film of the highest artistic ideals.”

The two centerpiece Galas at the fest include two much anticipated films coming out later this year, Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” and Stephen Soderbergh’s “Che.” Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” presents a powerful portrait of a battered dreamer, Randy “The Ram” Robinson – played by Mickey Rourke in a headlining performance that has been getting buzz. Aronofsky received an M.F.A. in directing from AFI, and “The Wrestler” will have its official west coast debut on Thursday, November 6 at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

“Che” will be the centerpiece screening presentation, and will have its west coast premiere in a screening sponsored by Farmer’s Insurance Group at The Festival on Saturday, November 1, also at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Soderbergh’s “Che” tells the epic story of the iconographic revolutionary Che Guevera (Ernesto “Che” Guevera) played by Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro. “Che” will be screened in its entirety with a 30 minute intermission. Benicio del Toro won the best actor award at The Cannes Film Festival, and will open for one week on December 12 in New York and Los Angeles, at The Landmark Theatre, and then will re-open nationwide in January in theatres. The film also stars Julia Ormond.

AFI Fest 2008 just announced four additional special screenings that have been added to the schedule. They include: “The Brothers Bloom” (USA) starring Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and Rachel Weisz. “Sugar” (USA) from the directors of the indie drama “Half Nelson,” “Tokyo” from Japan/France, and “Two Lovers” directed by James Gray, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Isabella Rossellini.

AFI Fest 2008 will run from October 30-November 9, 2008. For more information please visit www.AFI.com or call 1-866-AFI FEST.

Hollywood Today