Ava DuVernay to discuss elevating BIPOC filmmakers
Riz Ahmed, Rachel Brosnahan, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan and Andy Samberg Among Panelists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 2, 2020, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the program for the AFI Summit that will take place at AFI FEST presented by Audi. The lineup includes a conversation with Academy Award® nominee, producer, director and writer Ava DuVernay in a conversation about elevating and supporting BIPOC filmmakers through her company Array; The Hollywood Reporter’s Indie Contenders Roundtable moderated by Scott Feinberg; EW’s The Awardist moderated by Maureen Lee Lenker; the Doc Roundtable moderated by producer and film festival curator Caroline Libresco; a panel led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith on the portrayal of characters with mental health conditions in film and television; a discussion with the director and cast of SOUND OF METAL with members of the Deaf community; and a conversation about grassroots activism and visual storytelling with directors Lisa Cortes (ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY and Samantha Knowles (TANGLED ROOTS).
CENTERING CHARACTERS WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS IN FILM AND TELEVISION
All too often in Hollywood movies or television programs, characters with mental health conditions are portrayed disparagingly, stereotypically or erased from the screen entirely. Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who has documented the gaps and shortcomings in these portrayals, leads a deep dive conversation with mental health experts, filmmakers and creative executives who are looking to center characters facing mental health issues and to portray their situations in more authentic and humane ways. Panelists include Kelly Oxford (SCR and DIR PINK SKIES AHEAD), Jessica Barden (PINK SKIES AHEAD), Noopur Agarwal, Vice President of Social Impact for the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group and Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Leading directors behind some of the most talked about and acclaimed documentaries of the year discuss the art of documentary and the creative challenges faced in bringing these extraordinary stories to light including Ramona S. Diaz (A THOUSAND CUTS), David France (WELCOME TO CHECHNYA), Liz Garbus (ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY), Ron Howard (REBUILDING PARADISE), Kirsten Johnson (DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD), Bao Nguyen (BE WATER), Dawn Porter (THE WAY I SEE IT), and Elyse Steinberg (THE FIGHT). Moderated by producer and film festival curator Caroline Libresco.
ELEVATING BIPOC FILMMAKERS: A CONVERSATION WITH ARRAY
When Ava DuVernay founded the collective that would become ARRAY in 2011, she and company president Tilane Jones set out to boldly, proudly and courageously set their endeavor apart from other distributors. Their commitment to amplify and advocate for independent films by Black artists, filmmakers of color and women directors of all kinds was the center of their mission — and still is. As the company approaches its 10th anniversary, DuVernay and Jones invite a group of ARRAY supported filmmakers to discuss the strong vision that has guided this Black women-led organization to shift the paradigm around media production and distribution.
EW’S THE AWARDIST: A CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR JULIA HART AND RACHEL BROSNAHAN
Entertainment Weekly continues their series of conversations with contenders for the year’s biggest awards with an in-depth discussion exploring this year’s unique film landscape with director Julia Hart and leading actress Rachel Brosnahan of the Amazon Original film I’M YOUR WOMAN. Moderated by EW’s Maureen Lee Lenker.
FINDING YOUR VOICE: SOUND OF METAL STRIKES A CHORD WITH THE DEAF COMMUNITY
A profoundly moving exploration of both the experience and culture of deafness, SOUND OF METAL (AFI FEST 2020) spotlights a powerful performance by Riz Ahmed as a heavy-metal drummer who loses his hearing. Rather than focus solely on the character’s isolation as a result of his loss of hearing, however, director/writer Darius Marder illustrates the support and belonging that is possible to find in the Deaf community. Darius Marder, Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Chelsea Lee, Paul Raci and Shaheem Sanchez from SOUND OF METAL engage in a spirited conversation with members of the Deaf community about the issues raised by the film and beyond.
FROM THE STREETS TO THE LEGISLATURE: A CONVERSATION WITH THE FILMMAKERS AND SUBJECTS OF ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY AND TANGLED ROOTS
On the eve of one of the most important elections in U.S. history, directors Lisa Cortes (ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY) and Samantha Knowles (TANGLED ROOTS) explore the powerful connection between social protest, citizen-led democracy and visual storytelling with two inspirational subjects from their films: Desmond Meade, Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and Rep. Attica Scott, the first Black woman elected to the Kentucky legislature in the 21st Century.
INDIE CONTENDERS ROUNDTABLE
Presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, this annual panel favorite features a discussion with talent from the AFI FEST 2020 lineup and recent releases. Panelists include Riz Ahmed (SOUND OF METAL), Rachel Brosnahan (I’M YOUR WOMAN), Winston Duke (NINE DAYS), Julia Garner (THE ASSISTANT), Vanessa Kirby (PIECES OF A WOMAN), Elisabeth Moss (THE INVISIBLE MAN and SHIRLEY), Carey Mulligan (PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN), Andy Samberg (PALM SPRINGS).
Dates and times for all AFI FEST screenings and events will be available at FEST.AFI.com.
AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED
AFI FEST 2020 will take place online October 15-22, 2020 and will open with the World Premiere of I’M YOUR WOMAN (DIR Julia Hart) and close with the World Premiere of MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY (DIR Errol Morris). Special Presentations include the World Premieres of PINK SKIES AHEAD (DIR Kelly Oxford), THE REAGANS (DIR Matt Tyrnauer) and REALLY LOVE (DIR Angel Kristi Williams), in addition to THE FATHER (DIR Florian Zeller), FIREBALL (DIR Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer) and A SUITABLE BOY (DIR Mira Nair). Sofia Coppola, Kirby Dick, Rita Moreno and Mira Nair will be honored with Tributes.
Audi returns for the 17th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.
Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2020. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and APPLE.
The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October. Passes are now available at FEST.AFI.com and individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members and for the general public on October 7.
About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, youtube.com/AFI, twitter.com/American Film and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
About AFI FEST presented by Audi
Now in its 34th year, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe. With an innovative slate of programming, the eight-day festival historically presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices to enthusiastic audiences in Los Angeles. This year’s edition takes place online October 15-22, 2020, and is a diverse program of cinematic excellence that drives progress in filmmaking and film viewing. The festival includes Special Presentations consisting of appointment viewings of high-profile films with live virtual Q&As featuring the films’ cast and crew and a robust lineup of fiction and nonfiction features and shorts presented in established AFI FEST sections. Additional information
About Audi of America
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.845 million vehicles globally in 2019. In the U.S., Audi of America sold just over 224,000 vehicles in 2019 and launched the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron – one of four fully electric models coming to the U.S. market in the next two years. Globally, the brand aims to be CO2 neutral by 2050. Visit audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.