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By Film Threat Staff | October 24, 2008

AFI FEST 2008 presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival announces Miramax Films’ “Doubt” as the Festival’s Opening Night Gala presentation, replacing the previously announced “The Soloist.” The festival will screen an unfinished version of “Doubt” when it opens AFI FEST on Thursday, October 30, 2008, at ArcLight Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome Theatre. The Opening Night Gala is the film’s World Premiere and is presented by Audi of America.

Directed and adapted by John Patrick Shanley from his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, “Doubt” is a gripping story about the quest for truth, the forces of change, and the devastating consequences of blind justice in an age defined by moral conviction. The film stars Academy Award-winners Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams, and Viola Davis. It is produced by Scott Rudin and Mark Roybal. The Miramax Films release is due in theaters on December 12.

Meryl Streep received the 2004 AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film.

“The movie is still being finished, but we were so excited to show ‘Doubt’ and help our friends at AFI FEST and the American Film Institute at the same time. We couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity,” said Miramax president Daniel Battsek.

“We are grateful to Miramax Films and producers Scott Rudin and Mark Roybal for providing AFI the honor of premiering this highly anticipated, unfinished version of “Doubt.” There is no doubt that bringing together Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams in concert with the extraordinary talents of writer/director John Patrick Shanley promises an evening that will celebrate the finest in American film,” said Rose Kuo, AFI FEST Artistic Director.

In a joint statement, Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks Pictures and Participant Media explained the reasons behind “The Soloist” dropping out as the Opening Night film: “Due to the change in ‘The Soloist’ release date, we unfortunately had to withdraw from the AFI FEST Film Festival. It was an honor to be invited as the Opening Night film and we are very grateful to the festival for their support and understanding. ‘The Soloist’ filmmakers, DreamWorks, Universal, Participant and Paramount are very proud of this film and we are excited and committed to bring it to the world in March.”

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