Film Threat archive logo


By Film Threat Staff | September 17, 2008

AFI FEST 2008 presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival has announced that Paramount Vantage’s DEFIANCE has been selected as the Festival’s Closing Night Gala presentation. DEFIANCE will have its World Premiere at the Festival on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at ArcLight Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome Theatre. The Closing Night Gala is presented by Audi of America. DEFIANCE will be in theaters this December.

Directed and co-written by Edward Zwick, DEFIANCE is based on a true story of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense woods they have known since childhood. There they begin their desperate battle against the Nazis. At first it is all they can do to stay alive. But gradually, as whispers of their daring spreads, they begin to attract others – men and women, young and old – willing to risk everything for the sake of even a moment’s freedom. As a brutal winter descends, they work to create a community, and to keep faith alive when all humanity appeared to be lost. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell star as brothers who turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential – a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones by saving thousands of others.

An AFI alumnus and Vice-Chair AFI Board of Trustees, Zwick was accepted as a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute in 1975. Zwick made his feature film directorial debut on ABOUT LAST NIGHT. He then went on to direct such films as the multiple Academy Award-winning GLORY, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, THE SIEGE, THE LAST SAMURAI and most recently, BLOOD DIAMOND. In addition, Zwick was one of the producers of TRAFFIC, the winner of four Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, as well as producing the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Zwick is also a past recipient of AFI’s prestigious Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.

This will mark Zwick’s second appearance at AFI FEST, having previewed scenes and discussed his work on BLOOD DIAMOND, prior to the film’s opening in 2006.

“As part of the AFI family, I am deeply honored they have chosen DEFIANCE, a ten year labor of love, as their closing night film,” stated Zwick. “As a student at the AFI, I was encouraged to tell stories with meaning and purpose and I have tried to hold onto that belief in my career.”

“AFI FEST is honored to host the World Premiere of DEFIANCE at AFI FEST. The event symbolizes the very heart of the American Film Institute – to train the next generation of filmmakers and then have them come home to premiere a film of the highest artistic ideals,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI’s President and CEO.

DEFIANCE featured the work of five American Film Institute alums, including Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz (Executive Producer), Pieter Jan Brugge (Producer), Steven Rosenblum (editor) and Scott Jacobs (Prod. Asst.).

AFI FEST 2008 will run October 30-November 9, 2008. Passes are on sale now and individual film and event tickets go on sale to the public on October 10. To order passes and tickets and to get more information, visit or call 1.866.AFI.FEST.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon