AFI Film Fest offers free tickets, while they last

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The Independent Culture

This 23rd year of the film fest, in an unprecedented move, the American Film Institute's Film Fest will offer free tickets in its "See a Film on Us" initiative. In a welcome move, AFI will make complimentary tickets available for all screenings during its event, October 30-November 7, happening at the famous Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Among the more than 65,000 attendees, patrons may purchase reserved passes and receive priority seating. Thanks to sponsor Audi, AFI will provide limited free seats to evening shows and Gala Presentations which must be acquired in advance, via the website, at the theater, and at the screening.

The "Official Selections" program of international work from emerging filmmakers and showcases of films by film masters include: South Korean Bong Joon-ho's return to the festival to screen his thriller Mother; French director Claude Chabrol's Bellamy and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet; Italy's Marco Bellochhio's Vincere drama about Mussolini; Police, Adjective by Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu.

Red-carpet gala premieres feature opening night for the North American premiere of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson's animated adaptation of the children's book by Roald Dahl ( Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach) with voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. The closing night presentation is with A Single Man with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, based on the moving Christopher Isherwood novel.

Among the 80 films scheduled, the program highlights many independent features of the fall season, such as The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and Everybody's Fine with Robert DeNiro and Kate Beckinsale, who will attend. Also there will be tributes to Viggo Mortensen after a screening of The Road and to Christopher Plummer with the UK/Germany production, The Last Station directed by Michael Hoffman and also starring Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, and Paul Giamatti.

Must-see films in the schedule include upcoming releases: Lee Daniels' Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (with newcomer sensation Gabourey Sidibe), Werner Herzog's The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, the remake of the 1992 film with Nicolas Cage in the roll of Harvey Keitel's rogue cop.

AFI DigiFest, November 4-5, showcases interactive cross-platform projects from around the world, including prototypes developed for and the Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation.

AFI FEST is a qualifying festival for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards.

The schedule of screenings includes the last weekend of showings located in Santa Monica, at the same time as the annual American Film Market. The AFM is an eight-day independent film production and distribution deal-making event with more than 8,000 participants from 70 countries at screenings, networking sessions and parties.