AFI Conservatory Alumna Mimi Leder’s Film
to Launch 32nd Edition of Festival
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 25, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that the 32nd edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi will open with the World Premiere of Participant Media’s ON THE BASIS OF SEX, in association with Alibaba Pictures and distributed by Focus Features. Directed by AFI Conservatory alumna Mimi Leder (AFI Class of 1973), the inspiring drama tells the story of young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The film stars Academy Award® nominee Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Jack Reynor and Cailee Spaeny, with Academy Award® nominee Sam Waterston and Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates. The film is produced by longtime AFI Conservatory lecturer Robert W. Cort and Participant Media’s Jonathan King. The screenplay is written by Daniel Stiepleman. The Opening Night Gala screening will take place Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.
“AFI was founded to celebrate excellence in the art form and to ensure it for future generations,” said Bob Gazzale, President & CEO, AFI. “ON THE BASIS OF SEX brings these dual mandates together as one — a story essential to our times and a triumph for one of the first female directors at the AFI Conservatory. It’s our honor to shine a proper light upon Mimi and this landmark film.”
“As one of the first women ever admitted to the AFI Conservatory, it’s particularly meaningful to me that ON THE BASIS OF SEX will open AFI FEST 2018,” said Mimi Leder. “My time at the Conservatory was a life-changing experience and informed my creative journey. I am forever grateful. The origin story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in this 25th anniversary year of her appointment to the Supreme Court, couldn’t come at a more important moment in our history nor be shown at a more relevant place than AFI FEST, a symbol of artistic integrity and the enduring power of cinema. I hope girls and young women in particular will see the film and find inspiration to realize their own unlimited potential.”
“This bold story of an incredible woman is the perfect film to launch this year’s AFI FEST in the backyard of Hollywood, and to a community of avid movie lovers,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Festivals. “Mimi Leder’s timely tale resounds with the themes of this year’s festival, a showcase for powerful films that speak to the here and now.”
ABOUT THE FILM
Inspired by a true story, ON THE BASIS OF SEX is the stirring and spirited film that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination.
The film will be released on December 25, 2018, in line with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court.
ABOUT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL
AFI FEST takes place November 8–15, 2018, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.
AFI FEST will once again bring the best in global cinema to Los Angeles thanks to the visionary support of Audi — now in its 15th consecutive year as Presenting Sponsor of the festival. Audi was born with a vision of boldly challenging the status quo and is bound by a promise to imaginatively innovate. That same progressive spirit drives Audi’s iconic partnership with the American Film Institute.
Audi has collaborated with AFI to celebrate the history of the motion picture, honoring filmmakers and their work and educating the next generation of storytellers. Inspired by a commitment to drive progress, Audi joined forces with AFI to expand the alliance by creating the Audi Fellowship for Women, which supports one female director for her entire two-year AFI Conservatory enrollment. The next Audi Fellow will be announced in 2019.
Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2018. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.
Patron packages ensure reserved seats for Opening Night. A limited number of individual tickets to Opening Night and other screenings are also made available at no charge thanks to the event sponsors. Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which can include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events. Individual tickets will be available on AFI.com beginning October 30.
About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI’s founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.
About AFI FEST presented by Audi
A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today’s Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. Celebrating its 32nd edition, AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. This year’s edition takes place November 8–15, 2018. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFI.
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