See It First! Your Guide to World Premieres at FEST 2020 – American Film Institute


See It First! Your Guide to World Premieres at FEST 2020

AFI’s eight-day festival showcases the best in world cinema and features films, panels and conversations with both master filmmakers and new voices to enthusiastic audiences in Los Angeles. Now in its 34th year, the 2020 edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi takes place online October 15-22, 2020 – and for the first time, audiences across the country can enjoy the festival from their own home – including 8 World Premieres!

Be one of the first to see these extraordinary films! Get your ticket at before the screenings sell out.



I’M YOUR WOMAN Oct. 15 at 8:00 p.m. PDT

One night, Jean’s husband arrives at home with a baby – their new baby. She’s always wanted to be a mother. Jean doesn’t ask questions. Sometime later, Kene, an associate of her husband’s, wakes her in the middle of the night. She and her child must leave the house, now, he says. Her husband’s crime forces Jean to go on the run. She learns how to navigate her dark, new world with the help of Kene and his wife and creates an unlikely bond with the couple while finding a way out of her toxic marriage. Rachel Brosnahan stars as the keen and brave Jean in this crime thriller set in the 1970s from FAST COLOR and STAR GIRL director Julia Hart. BUY TICKET



A psychedelic head trip crossed with a possible CIA conspiracy and wrapped in a fascinating love story, Errol Morris’ latest documentary takes us on an Alice in Wonderland adventure deep inside a largely forgotten episode of the early ‘70s. Told through the lens of Timothy Leary’s lover, the Swiss-born, Paris-raised free spirit Joanna Harcourt-Smith, MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY examines the twists and turns that led Leary, the High Priest of LSD, to seemingly sell out the millions he urged to “turn on, tune in and drop out” and become a narc in 1974. At the heart of the story is the woman Leary described as his “perfect love.” Was she a government pawn, a Mata Hari, or simply a beautiful, young, intelligent woman on the trip of a lifetime? BUY TICKET


PINK SKIES AHEAD Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. PDT

Los Angeles, 1998. After dropping out of college and moving back home to live with her parents, Winona is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Skeptical of her doctor’s opinion — she hasn’t had a panic attack after all —Winona carries on with her wild lifestyle. Only when things begin to truly unravel around her, does she reluctantly decide to see a therapist and face her truths.

Jessica Barden gives a magnetic performance as the passionate and struggling Winona. The directorial debut film of Kelly Oxford, based on her essay “No Real Danger,” PINK SKIES AHEAD is a powerful and empathetic portrait of mental health often hidden beneath the surface. BUY TICKET


THE REAGANS Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. PDT

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer, this fascinating new four-part Showtime series focuses on the rise and reign of America’s ultimate power couple: Ronald and Nancy Reagan. AFI FEST is pleased to present Parts 1 and 2 of this compelling and extremely timely re-examination of President and Mrs. Reagan. Chock full of evocative archival footage and illuminating contemporary interviews, THE REAGANS asserts Nancy’s central role in her husband’s career, shines a light on the darker aspects of the Reagans’ climb to power and provides a revelatory perspective on how the political tactics used in the ‘60s and ‘70s are a progenitor of our current national politics. BUY TICKET


REALLY LOVE Oct. 16 at 7:00 p.m. PDT

Set in a gentrifying Washington, DC, a rising Black artist, Isaiah (Kofi Siriboe), spends most of his days pouring his heart into his paintings but still struggles to find his place in the prestigious and competitive art world. At a gallery show, Stevie (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing), an impressive and intelligent law student, catches his eye. A chance encounter is one thing, but the stars align and they meet again, leading to a whirlwind romance. When both Isaiah and Stevie hit crossroads in their careers, they are forced to consider if their relationship is a love for a season or a love for a lifetime. In director and writer Angel Kristi Williams’s debut feature, she delivers a poignant look at the sacrifices we make for careers and life-changing relationships. This well-crafted script by Williams and Felicia A. Pride is complemented by an impeccable soundtrack and incredible art. BUY TICKET


RIVAL (RIVALE) Oct. 21 at 12:00 p.m. PDT

From the opening scenes of a little boy brandishing a huge gun, the audience is immediately drawn in. Bolstered by beautiful cinematography and an evocative score, nothing is predictable about this suspenseful tale of young Roman, his Ukrainian mother working illegally in Germany and Gert, the employer with whom she becomes romantically involved. Director Marcus Lenz weaves a compelling narrative largely from the perspective of a child. In addition, the film raises important questions about the perilous state of undocumented immigrants. This powerful film explores Roman’s endearing bond with his mom, as well as his complex, evolving relationship with Gert. Roman’s fascination with nature is captured in several winning scenes. A mother-son bowling montage to the accompaniment of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” leaves an indelible impression. Audiences will be mesmerized by this intimate three-person saga. BUY TICKET


SHE PARADISE Oct. 19 at 12:00 p.m. PDT

A film about sisterhood and dance that celebrates the sheer joy of movement, SHE PARADISE is an engaging coming-of-age tale. Audiences get a potent sense of life in Trinidad and the fresh energy and allure of Soca music, which stands for “soul of calypso” and combines elements of African and Caribbean styles. Seventeen-year-old Sparkle spends her days taking care of her grandfather when she discovers a free-spirited dance troupe. Initially shy and tentative, Sparkle soon lives up to her name, forming strong friendships, surrounding herself with vibrant music and earning more money than she ever has, performing in music video shoots. She also endures a traumatic experience that helps her grow into a strong woman who stands up for herself. Trinidadian director/writer Maya Cozier expanded the story from an earlier short film she made. BUY TICKET



Theremins, synthesizers and feedback machines abound in this glorious ode to the women who helped shape, not just electronic music but the contemporary soundscape as we know it. Poetic narration delivered in the soothing tonalities of avant-garde composer Laurie Anderson accompanies fascinating archival footage to trace the history of the technological experimentation of sound, the deconstruction of its parts and the manipulation into something altogether other. While traversing a range of musical approaches and personalities, from academia to outsider art to television commercials, we meet Clara Rockmore, Bebe Barron and Eliane Radigue, among many other fascinating and enigmatic musical geniuses. Aficionados of music and culture in general are certain to fall in love with these talented women and their peculiar way of hearing the world. BUY TICKET


Learn more at FEST.

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