With AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi rapidly approaching, the festival has just announced their first slate of film selections, including the full line-up for three of the festival’s most unique and important sections – Young Americans (which features film from up-and-coming American filmmakers), New Auteurs (which gives a platform for first and second features from around the world), and Spotlight (which picks one filmmaker for special recognition and screenings of their work). This year’s AFI FEST is already shaping up to be a fine festival for the fall season (alliteration is so choice), and the announcement of these selections only highlights that.

Today’s announced films include a bevy of already buzzed-about titles from the festival circuit, including Sophia Takal’s Green, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg, Michaël R. Roskam’s Bullhead, Markus Schleinzer’s Michael, Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown, Clay Liford’s Wuss, Alison Bagnall’s The Dish & The Spoon, and many more. This year’s Spotlight will also shine on filmmaker Joe Swanberg, who will show all three films of his Full Moon Trilogy, including the World Premiere of the final chapter, The Zone.

AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. The best part? Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting October 27).

After the break, check out the full list and descriptions of the films to be featured in AFI FEST’s New Auteurs, Young Americans, and Spotlight sections.

NEW AUTEURS SELECTIONS

ATTENBERG: Awaiting her father’s impending death, 23-year oldMarinaexplores 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, HugoMedina. 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 theUzbekMountainsto 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 theCaucasus Mountainsabruptly 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 ofOslowith 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 Cityis 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 ofAustralia’s most notorious serial killer. DIR Justin Kurzel. SCR Justin Kurzel, Shaun Grant. CAST Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris.Australia.

YOUNG AMERICANS SELECTIONS

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.

SPOTLIGHT ON JOE SWANBERG

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,LawrenceMichael Levine, Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Dustin Guy Def. USA. World Premiere.


Check out more about AFI FEST at their official website.


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