Watch: AFI Conversations with the 93rd Academy Award Best Picture Nominees – American Film Institute


Watch: AFI Conversations with the 93rd Academy Award Best Picture Nominees

The 93rd Academy Award®​ nominations have been announced and AFI is excited to celebrate! Watch the videos below, showcasing conversations we’ve held with the stars and filmmakers for each of the eight films nominated in the Best Picture category this year. These exclusive discussions took place at the AFI Conservatory, AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI AWARDS and were also included as part of our daily AFI Movie Club. Get exclusive content like this and more delivered straight to your inbox: sign up now for AFI Newsletters.



At AFI FEST 2020 presented by Audi, programmer Claudia Puig led a conversation between director/co-writer Florian Zeller and the film’s stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. Hopkins recounts what drew him to the film: “One of those rare (screenplays) that grab you….Those scripts come along once in awhile. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, REMAINS OF THE DAY, NIXON, THE EDGE and this one.”


In March 2020, director Shaka King spoke to AFI Conservatory Fellows about making his film JUDAS AND THE MESSIAH. “One of my favorite parts of directing is leaving space for surprise. For me to be surprised, for the actors to surprise each other, to surprise themselves, because that’s the stuff that feels real.”


MANK was honored at AFI AWARDS 2020 as one of the most outstanding films of the year and cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt sat down to talk to AFI about the film, which is about the making of the greatest film of all time.


MINARI was honored at AFI AWARDS 2020 and writer/director Lee Isaac Chung talked to us about the scene he almost cut – and, in the end, why he kept it the film. “The reason why I felt like we needed to have is that, ultimately, this film is about a marriage. To me that’s the heart of this movie. That moment of the kiss at the end, the failed kiss, is, in some way, setting that idea up.”


NOMADLAND Writer/director and Best Director Oscar® nominee Chloé Zhao on making the AFI AWARDS 2020 honoree, starring Frances McDormand, including one long shot that was filmed in one take. “I like the kind of video games where you just walk through beautiful landscapes,” she explains. “We talked a lot about video games and how immersive it is and to just follow a character and walking through this space and the camera drifts and there’s a lot to discover in the frame. That’s the conception of this shot.”


In December 2020, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN writer/director and Best Director Oscar® nominee Emerald Fennell spoke to AFI Conservatory Fellows ahead of the release of her new film, which stars Carey Mulligan. “Although this is a very specific film about a very specific woman,” explained Fennell, “it’s also kind of allegory.”


Oscar® nominee nominee Riz Ahmed on making AFI AWARDS honoree SOUND OF METAL and talks about how the film relates to all of us during the pandemic: “This film is about a workaholic who’s suddenly hit by a health crisis and that health crisis forces him into a kind of lockdown and reasses what really matters.”


Aaron Sorkin talks about making his historical AFI AWARDS 2020 honoree THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, and how it has become even more culturally relevant since its release last year. “Events in the world changed to mirror what was going on in the film.”



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