AFI FEST turns 25 this year, and they’ve announced the film selections for the Young Americans and New Auteurs sections of the event running November 3-10, 2011, as well as a Spotlight on filmmaker Joe Swanberg. From the official press release:

AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi announced today the films that will be featured in the festival’s Young Americans, New Auteurs and Spotlight sections at the 25th edition this November. Young Americans features work by emerging U.S. filmmakers, while New Auteurs highlights first and second-time feature film directors from around the world. This year’s Spotlight section focuses on acclaimed independent American filmmaker Joe Swanberg, featuring presentations of films from his Full Moon Trilogy – SILVER BULLETS, ART HISTORY and the world premiere of THE ZONE. Swanberg’s intimate storytelling process centers on the intersection of art and life, and he has worked with a number of the actors and filmmakers featured in Young Americans and New Auteurs.

"The filmmakers in the Young Americans and New Auteurs sections have bold new stories to tell and they are telling them in ways that are unexpected – these are filmmakers who are taking risks," said Jacqueline Lyanga, Festival Director of AFI FEST. "And Joe Swanberg, whose intimate stories challenge conventionality, is one of the most prolific young independent filmmakers in America. He’s made five films just this past year, three of which we’ll be showing at AFI FEST."

"We’re showcasing a diverse group of American independent filmmakers, from award-winning documentarians to well-established experimental filmmakers, whose stories range from unusual comedies to intimate personal dramas," said Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming at AFI FEST. "We’re delighted to welcome this group of filmmakers to AFI FEST, including AFI Conservatory alumna Alison Bagnall and her film, THE DISH & THE SPOON." The AFI Conservatory was rated the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter for the quality of its instructors and speakers, and its "glittering parade of alumni."

The 2011 edition of AFI FEST will also mark the debut of a jury-selected New Auteurs Critics Prize, which will be awarded to one film in this section.

AFI FEST will take place November 3 through 10 in Hollywood, California, at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Free tickets are available for all films starting October 27. Festival attendees can avoid rush lines and gain access to all regular screenings without a ticket by purchasing an AFI FEST Cinepass for $250. AFI members and AFI Conservatory alumni have a one-day early access window to individual tickets on October 26 and receive a 10% discount on pass purchases. Priority access, reserved seating at galas and other benefits can be secured by purchasing a tax-deductible AFI FEST Patron Package. For more information, visit

The New Auteurs section highlights first and second-time feature film directors from around the world.

ATTENBERG: DIR/SCR Athina Rachel Tsangari. Greece.
BONSAI: DIR/SCR Cristián Jiménez. Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal.
BULLHEAD: DIR/SCR Michaël R. Roskam. Belgium.
HANAAN: DIR/SCR Ruslan Pak. Russia/South Korea/Uzbek.
MICHAEL: DIR/SCR Markus Schleinzer. Austria.
OSLO, AUGUST 31: DIR Joachim Trier. SCR Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier. Norway.
RESTLESS CITY: DIR Andrew Dosunmu. SCR Eugene Gussenhoven. USA.
SNOWTOWN: DIR Justin Kurzel. SCR Justin Kurzel, Shaun Grant. Australia.

The Young Americans section features work by emerging U.S. filmmakers.

THE COLOR WHEEL: DIR Alex Ross Perry. SCR Alex Ross Perry, Carlen Altman.
THE DISH & THE SPOON: DIR Alison Bagnall. SCR Alison Bagnall, Andrew Lewis.
DRAGONSLAYER: DIR Tristan Patterson. (Documentary)
GREEN: DIR/SCR Sophia Takal.
SPARK OF BEING: DIR Bill Morrison. (Experimental)
WUSS: DIR/SCR Clay Liford.


ART HISTORY: DIR Joe Swanberg. SCR Joe Swanberg, Josephine Decker, Kent Osborne.
THE ZONE: DIR/SCR Joe Swanberg. World Premiere.

AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi

ATTENBERG: Awaiting her father’s impending death, 23-year old Marina explores her newly awakened sexuality through lessons from her only friend Bella and with Spyros, a visiting engineer. DIR/SCR Athina Rachel Tsangari. CAST Ariane Labed, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou, Yorgos Lanthimos. Greece.

BONSAI: In Cristian Jimenez’s wry and nostalgic tale of love and literature, struggling writer Julio revisits and revises his memories of his college romance with Emilia. DIR/SCR Cristián Jiménez. CAST Diego Noguera, Natalia Galgani, Gabriela Arancibia, Trinidad González, Hugo Medina. Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal.

BULLHEAD: BULLHEAD is a gripping portrait of Jacky (Matthias Schoenaerts), a cattle farmer whose ‘juicing’ has transformed him into a bull of a man. DIR/SCR Michaël R. Roskam. CAST Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy, Barbara Sarafian, Frank Lammers. Belgium.

HANAAN: In this gritty crime drama, Stas, a drug-addicted cop, retreats to the Uzbek Mountains to kick his habit and plot revenge for a friend’s death. DIR/SCR Ruslan Pak. CAST Stanislav Tyan, Bahodir Musaev, Ilbek Faiziev, Dmitry Eum, Ruslan Pak. Russia/South Korea/Uzbek.

THE LONELIEST PLANET: Intensely in love and engaged to be married, a young couple finds their journey through the Caucasus Mountains abruptly spun off course by one crucial action. DIR/SCR Julia Loktev CAST Gael García Bernal Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, Bidzina Gujabidze. USA/Germany.

MICHAEL: In his debut film, director Markus Schleinzer crafts a superb thriller about seemingly normal Michael and his relationship with 10-year old Wolfgang. DIR/SCR Markus Schleinzer. CAST Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss, Viktor Tremmel, Gisela Salcher. Austria.

OSLO, AUGUST 31: REPRISE director Joachim Trier takes us on evening’s journey through the city of Oslo with Anders, a young man who is wrestling with the ghosts of the past and an uncertain future. DIR Joachim Trier. SCR Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier. CAST Anders Danielsen Lie, Malin Crépin, Aksel M. Thanke, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Øystein Røger, Tone B. Mostraum, Kjærsti Odden Skjeldal, Petter Width Kristiansen, Emil Lund, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang, Renate Reinsve, Andreas Braaten, Anders Borchgrevink. Norway.

RESTLESS CITY: New York City is gorgeously photographed in this story of an African immigrant in love with music and a beautiful woman he cannot have. DIR Andrew Dosunmu. SCR Eugene Gussenhoven. CAST Dania Gurira, Anthony Okungbowa, Sy Alassane, Sky Grey, Babs Olusanmokun. USA.

SNOWTOWN: In his feature film debut, director Justin Kurzel brings to the screen the horrifying true story of Australia’s most notorious serial killer. DIR Justin Kurzel. SCR Justin Kurzel, Shaun Grant. CAST Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris. Australia.

THE COLOR WHEEL: Bickering siblings JR and Colin embark on a comedic and cathartic road trip through the diners, motels and thrift stores of the Northeast. DIR Alex Ross Perry. SCR Alex Ross Perry, Carlen Altman. CAST Carlen Altman, Bob Byington, Kate Lyn Sheil, Ann Bak-Kvapil, Ry Russo-Young, Alex Ross Perry, Craig Butta, C. Mason Well, Roy Thomas. USA.

THE DISH & THE SPOON: Hellbent on revenge, rage-filled Rose seeks out her husband’s lover but is derailed when she strikes up an unlikely relationship with a quiet teenage boy. DIR Alison Bagnall. SCR Alison Bagnall, Andrew Lewis. CAST Greta Gerwig, Olly Alexander, Eleonore Hendricks, Amy Seimetz, Adam Rothenberg. USA.

DRAGONSLAYER: DRAGONSLAYER captures the life and times of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a local skate legend and new father, as his endless summer finally collides with the future. DIR Tristan Patterson. USA.

GREEN: Genevieve, an intellectual New Yorker, moves to the rural South with her boyfriend, where a friendship with a local woman sends her spiraling into jealousy. DIR/SCR Sophia Takal. CAST Kate Lyn Sheil, Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine. USA.

SPARK OF BEING: Award-winning experimental film director Bill Morrison masterfully retells the classic tale of Frankenstein, using meticulously repurposed found footage. DIR Bill Morrison. USA.

WUSS: Mega-dork Mitch is a substitute teacher who finds himself forced to take a stand when his students take their ridicule too far. DIR/SCR Clay Liford. CAST Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony, Alex Karpovsky, Jonny Mars, Tony Hale, Chris Gardner, Jennifer Sipes. USA.

SILVER BULLETS: In the first film of his Full Moon Trilogy, director Joe Swanberg explores autobiographical issues of filmmaking, sex and the collision of art and reality. DIR/SCR: Joe Swanberg. CAST Kate Lyn Sheil, Ti West, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Jane Adams, Larry Fessenden, Sean Price Williams. USA.

ART HISTORY: In the middle chapter of his Full Moon Trilogy, Joe Swanberg plays a filmmaker directing his wife and his friend in an intensely erotic film. DIR Joe Swanberg. SCR Joe Swanberg, Josephine Decker, Kent Osborne. CAST Josephine Decker, Joe Swanberg, Kent Osborne, Adam Wingard, Kris Swanberg. USA.

THE ZONE: A veritable Russian doll of films nesting within films, the final chapter of Swanberg’s trilogy pushes the boundaries of the fourth wall beyond reality. DIR/SCR: Joe Swanberg. CAST Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine, Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Dustin Guy Def. USA. World Premiere.

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