The Los Angeles event will open on Nov 7 with the North American premiere of John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr Banks - one day before the world premiere of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher.
The Coen Brothers’ Cannes hit Inside Llewyn Davis will close AFI FEST on Nov 14, while Agnès Varda is named guest artistic director.
Saving Mr Banks stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks and the berth provides Disney with another slot to profile its awards season hopeful about the making of Mary Poppins. The film will receive its previously announced European premiere when it closes the London Film Festival on Oct 20.
Miller’s psychological drama Foxcatcher recounts the bizarre true story of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz and their relationship with the eccentric heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune John du Pont that led to murder.
Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller star. Sony Pictures Classics will distribute in North America and Panorama Media handles international sales.
CBS Films holds US rights and StudioCanal orchestrated international sales on Inside Llewyn Davis starring Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan.
“The American Film Institute honours the past, the present and the future of the motion picture arts,” said AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale. “Now in its 27th year, AFI FEST remains the place to experience Hollywood now – a place that lives in the mythology of the movies, but also the dynamic global stories of today.”
“Our line-up of programming, from opening to closing, reflects what Hollywood is today: a broad spectrum of stories from studio and independent filmmakers, and having Agnès Varda as guest artistic director was a conscious decision to recognise the global influence of an icon of the French New Wave,” said festival director Jacqueline Lyanga.
“The blending of studio, independent, foreign and auteur films and the artists who made them is the embodiment of AFI FEST.”