AFI FEST, theLos Angeles International Film Festival, will open on Nov 4 with the USpremiere of Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin biopic Beyond The Sea.
In addition theorganisers of the event have announced a presenting sponsor deal with Audiyesterday (23) and a name-change to AFI FEST 2004 presented by Audi,
The centrepiece gala screening on Nov 9 will be TheMerchant Of Venice, directed by MichaelRadford and starring Al Pacino, while the festival will close on Nov 14 withthe US premiere of Alejandro Amenabar's euthanasia drama The SeaInside, featuring a star turn by JavierBardem.
The other galasare Zhang Yimou's martial arts picture House Of Flying Daggers and the North American premiere ofJean-Pierre Jeunet's wartime romance A Very Long Engagement.
PedroAlmodovar's Bad Education, an exploration of Franco-era religious schooling, also gets thegala treatment as part of a tribute and retrospective to the Oscar-winningSpanish filmmaker.
The sponsorship deal with Audi marks the second majorchange announced by AFI FEST organisers this year after the strategic alliancewith the AFM, which is set to run in Santa Monica in its new November slot fromNov 3-10.
The deal willalso cover AFI's year-round film programming activities at ArcLight Hollywood.