FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 25, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST presented by Audi will close with the World Premiere of Focus Features and Working Title’s MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. Directed by Josie Rourke and written by Academy Award® nominee Beau Willimon, the historical drama is based on John Guy’s biography, “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart.” The film stars Academy Award® nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, along with Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, Martin Compston, Ismael Cordova, Brendan Coyle, Ian Hart, Adrian Lester, James McArdle, David Tennant and Guy Pearce. The Closing Night Gala will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.
“This commanding story of powerful women and political rivalry that shaped world history will close AFI FEST on a high note,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Festivals. “This year’s festival showcases compelling women-directed narratives that challenge the status quo, and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS is no exception.”
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones — and change the course of history.
AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED
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 Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of ON THE BASIS OF SEX (directed by AFI Conservatory alumna Mimi Leder). 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 Closing Night. A limited number of individual tickets to Closing 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.
For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, and youtube.com/AFI.
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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