Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

While much of the FSR family is busy in our hometown of Austin, Texas, gorging themselves on equal parts barbeque and genre films at dear old Fantastic Fest, the rest of us must attempt to extract some joy from future festivals that we’ll be able to attend – like Los Angeles’ own AFI FEST. To that end, the Hollywood-based festival has just announced their Closing Night Film: the world premiere (swank!) of Steven Spielberg‘s Daniel Day-Lewis-starring Lincoln.

The film will close out the festival on the evening of November 8 at the “historic” (and historically beautiful) Chinese Theatre. “Steven Spielberg epitomizes American filmmaking,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST, “and who better to tell the story of one of the most significant figures in our country’s history. In this important presidential election year, Spielberg’s Lincoln reminds us that the challenges of the past remain as relevant today.” Spielberg has previously been the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award (in 1995) and, just last year, his The Adventures of Tintin closed that year’s festival.

Lincoln comes complete with a massive supporting cast, including Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, and Tommy Lee Jones (and his wig). It is based (in part) on Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.”

Lincoln will open in limited release on November 9, with expansion following on November 16.

Past AFI FEST Closing Night films have included The Adventures of Tintin, Black Swan, and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Just last year, the festival also included screenings of Shame, The Artist, Melancholia, and Haywire. It really does just get better and better with each passing year.

AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi will take place November 1st through November 8th in Hollywood, California, with events and screenings taking place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre, and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. As ever, the intrepid Ms. Allison Loring and myself will again be on the ground at the festival, all the better to cover one of our favorite hometown festivals. Catch up on last year RIGHT HERE.

AFI FEST, quite notably, features free ticketing for all attendees. While paid packages are available now (and often provide the best tickets), free tickets for all films (including Lincoln, though those nifty packages provide snazzy reserved seating for buyers) will be made available on October 25th.

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