2006 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES
PREMIERE OF ?CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER?
ALSO ANNOUNCES ITS 2006 JURY PANELS
ANGELES, CA, October 11, 2006?AFI FEST 2006 presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles
International Film Festival announces that Zhang Yimou?s CURSE OF THE GOLDEN
FLOWER has been chosen as the Festival's Closing Night Gala presentation.
Written and directed by Zhang Yimou, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, stars Chow Yun
Fat, Gong Li and Jay Chou. The film is set during China?s Tang Dynasty of the
10th century on the eve of the Chong Yang Festival. The Imperial family
reunities as the volatile balance of power unfolds between the King (Chow Yun
Fat), the Queen (Gong Li) and their three sons. Pitting King against Queen and
father against sons, betrayal, deceit, passion, and secrets are revealed. This
presentation will mark the film's World Premiere.
THE GOLDEN FLOWER, which was recently announced as China?s official selection to
the 79th Oscar Best Foreign Film category and completed its qualifying run
there, will screen at ArcLight?s Cinerama Dome during the Festival?s Closing
Night, November 12. After the film, AFI FEST?s Rooftop Village, an
interconnected suite of hospitality pavilions adjacent to the theater, will be
transformed for a lavish gala event in keeping with the spirit and look of the
doubt, Zhang Yimou is one of the finest filmmakers of his generation. His
stories, characters and stunning imagery have captivated audiences worldwide. To
host the World Premiere of his newest masterpiece in our 20th year is truly an
honor,? said Christian Gaines, Director of AFI FEST.
thrilled to be presenting Zhang Yimou?s magnificent new epic drama CURSE OF THE
GOLDEN FLOWER as the Closing Night presentation at AFI FEST. This is one of
Zhang Yimou?s very best films and commemorates his reunion with actress Gong Li
in one of her finest performances as well,? said Michael Barker & Tom
Bernard, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics.
THE GOLDEN FLOWER begins on the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, a celebration of
family, ancestry and escape from evil fortune that is traditionally associated
with chrysanthemum blossoms. On the eve of the event, the Emperor (Chow Yun Fat)
returns unexpectedly with one of his sons under the pretext of celebrating the
holiday with his family. However, given the chilled relations between the
Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this appears disingenuous. The Emperor
and Empress both harbor equally clandestine plans. The Emperor senses a looming
threat and soon a tumultuous sequence of surprises and secrets are revealed amid
the glamour and grandeur of the festival.
directorial debut, RED SORGHUM (1987) won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin
Film Festival, Zhang Yimou has established his reputation as one of the most
talented and influential directors today. He began his film career as a student
of cinematography in his native China at the Beijing Film Academy. He became a
leading member of China?s Fifth Generation Filmmakers, the first group to
graduate following the turbulent Cultural Revolution. As a skilled
cinematographer, his credits include YELLOW EARTH (1984), OLD WELL (1986) and
THE BIG PARADE (1986).
received multiple honors as a director. He is the first Chinese filmmaker to
receive Motion Picture Academy recognition, being nominated for Academy Awards
in the Best Foreign Film category for JU DOU in 1990, RAISE THE RED LANTERN in
1991 and HERO in 2003. HERO went on to sweep the 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards,
winning awards for Best Action Choreography, Best Art Direction, Best
Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music, Best Sound and Best Visual
Effects. Yimou?s box office hit HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS is the recipient of
multiple international awards as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for
Best Foreign Film. Future projects go beyond the big screen to the stage of New
York?s Metropolitan Opera. In December 2006, he will direct Placido Domingo in
the world premiere of composer Tan Dun?s original opera The First Emperor. Yimou
has also been named chief director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the
29th Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008.
AFI FEST is
also pleased to announce its feature film jury selection. This year the Festival
has brought together a dynamic group of jurors that represent a diverse
cross-section of the entertainment international film community. The features,
documentaries and shorts of the International Competition programs at AFI FEST
have the opportunity to garner prizes awarded by a group of distinguished
jurors, who will be among the audience watching the Competition
of discovery at AFI FEST, the Competition films recognize first and second-time
filmmakers who present a distinctive cinematic voice. All AFI FEST Competition
films are U.S. or World premieres. Recent films in competition have included:
TSOTSI, NO MAN?S LAND and IN THE BEDROOM.
12 films in the International Feature Competition, 12 Documentaries in the
International Documentary Competition and four feature length shorts programs in
the International Shorts Competition. Three jurors in each category are invited
to select the winner of the Grand Jury Prize. Three audience awards are also
presented at the close of the festival. Past AFI FEST Award winners include Jim
Sheridan (IN AMERICA), Fernando Meirelles (CITY OF GOD), Stacy Peralta (DOGTOWN
AND Z-BOYS), Gavin Hood (TSOTSI), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (AMORES PERROS),
Kenneth Lonergan (YOU CAN COUNT ON ME), Eiji Okuda (AN ADOLESCENT) and Jean-Marc
International Narrative Competition sets out to discover the best and the
brightest upcoming talent in the world. The Documentary Competition celebrates
today?s newest voices using the power of film to engage, inspire and entertain
audiences with compelling true stories from around the world. In 30 minutes or
less, the shorts filmmaker is challenged with presenting a clear and developed
idea with a significant time limit. The AFI FEST Shorts Competition sets out to
present the most innovative films that best use this format to push the edge of
International Competition Jury:
Anderson, Film Critic
reviews and features appear regularly in Newsday, Variety, Screen International
and The New York Times. He has also contributed to the Los Angeles Times, the
Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, as well as
Film Comment, LA Weekly, Artforum, Interview, Out, Ms. and The Washington Post.
He is a past member of the selection committee of the New York Film Festival and
the author of Sundancing, Edward Yang and, with Laura Kim, I Wake Up Screening.
He is a member and two-time past chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, a
member of the National Society of Film Critics and a member of the National Book
Actor/director/screenwriter Vondie Curtis Hall has had success in
both film and television, and on both sides of the camera. His most recent
feature film as a writer/director was the summer hit WAIST DEEP, which earned
him a Black Film Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Motion Picture.
Hall?s previous film REDEMPTION: THE STAN TOOKIE WILLIAMS STORY, premiered at
the Sundance Film Festival. Hall was also the writer/director of the feature
film GRIDLOCK?D, starring Tim Roth and the late Tupac Shakur, for which he
received the National Board of Review Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. As an
actor he has appeared on television in SOUL FOOD and I?LL FLY AWAY, and as a
series regular on CHICAGO HOPE. Trained at Juilliard, Hall has appeared on
Broadway in a number of musicals including the original Broadway production of
Dreamgirls. Hall has appeared in many feature films such as, COMING TO AMERICA,
MYSTERY TRAIN, PASSION FISH, CROOKLYN, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE?S ROMEO + JULIET and
EVE?S BAYOU. Most recently Vondie has co-starred in Kasi Lemmons?s TALK TO ME,
and John Sayles?s HONEYDRIPPER.
of the Tisch School of the Arts and the Juilliard School of Drama, Hamilton?s
film credits include THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE and BELOVED for director Jonathan
Demme, Clint Eastwood?s TRUE CRIME, the independent films PALOOKAVILLE, DRUNKS
and as Ophelia in director Campbell Scott?s independent film version of HAMLET.
Hamilton?s latest film credit, NINE LIVES directed by Rodrigo Garcia, premiered
at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. She co-starred for seven years on the Emmy
Award winning, David Kelley drama THE PRACTICE. Hamilton made her prime-time
directorial debut on THE PRACTICE, and BEAH: A BLACK WOMAN SPEAKS marks her
documentary directorial debut. BEAH: A BLACK WOMAN SPEAKS is the recipient of
numerous prizes including the 2003 AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize in Documentary Competition.
Hannah?s career has spanned over a 20-year period appearing in over 40 feature
films. From her early start as a teenager in Brian De Palma?s THE FURY starring
Kirk Douglas, she set a pattern of working with some of the most talented and
accomplished actors and directors of our time including Woody Allen, Neil
Jordan, Oliver Stone, Robert Altman and John Sayles to name a few. As well as
the big studio films, Hannah has become a strong supporter and advocate of
independent cinema, not only with her acting, but also by producing many films.
Hannah can be seen in Quentin Tarantino?s highly successful KILL BILL Vol. 1
& Vol. II, in which she played the one eyed samurai assassin ?Elle Driver.?
She recently completed John Sayles?s political satire SILVER CITY. Hannah wrote,
directed and produced a 12-minute short, entitled THE LAST SUPPER which received
the Berlin International Film Festival?s Jury Award for Best Short. Hannah also
directed, produced and shot the documentary STRIP NOTES ? inspired while
researching her role for DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA?which was shown on HBO and
UK?s Channel 4. Hannah is an environmental activist, living on solar power,
adopting animals and driving a clean-burning vehicle.
acclaimed stage, screen and television actress Christine Lahti has left an
indelible mark on the theater and film community with her bold, inspiring and
very rich performances. For her role in JACK & BOBBY, the acclaimed WB
series in 2004, Lahti earned both a SAG and a Golden Globe nomination and
received a Prism Award. In 2000, she directed her first feature film, MY FIRST
MISTER. The film, which stars Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski, was chosen as
the opening night presentation at the Sundance Film Festival that year. In 1995,
Lahti won an Academy Award for her direction of the Live Action Short Film
LIEBERMAN IN LOVE, in which she also starred. She has also directed several
episodes of CHICAGO HOPE, in which she starred for four years as Doctor Kathryn
Austin. For her work on CHICAGO HOPE, Lahti was awarded both the Emmy and Golden
Petersen is an internationally recognized leader in short film distribution.
Petersen has over 15 years media experience in television research and
marketing, traditional and new media advertising, as well as corporate business
development. Currently, Petersen is the Vice President of Global Film Sales and
Acquisitions for SHORTS INTERNATIONAL, the largest short film entertainment
company with a library of over 3000 films that includes the prestigious American
Film Institute short film library. Her responsibilities include film sales,
business development, overseeing acquisitions, and programming the company?s
iTunes short film channel SHORTS. She handles selling films to TV, Broadband,
Mobile, VOD, DVD, and new media channels around the world including HBO,
Sundance, Canal+ France, and Comedy Central. Prior to SHORTS INTERNATIONAL,
Petersen developed the short film distribution division for HYPNOTIC films into
a successful and renown entity.
Don Roos is
the screenwriter of LOVE FIELD, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, BOYS ON THE SIDE, and the
1996 remake of DIABOLIQUE. In 1998 he made his directorial debut with THE
OPPOSITE OF SEX, and won two Independent Spirit Awards for best first feature
and best screenplay. He recently directed his script, HAPPY ENDINGS, which
starred Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal and opened the 2005 Sundance Film
Festival. He is currently adapting the New York Times bestseller Marley and Me
for Fox Films.
Westmoreland wrote and co-directed QUINCEANERA, which screened at the Berlin
International Film Festival following its Sundance Film Festival world premiere,
where it won both the dramatic grand jury prize and the narrative audience
award. It was subsequently acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and released in
theatres this past summer. Westmoreland previously directed the documentary GAY
REPUBLICANS, about the dilemma faced by gay Republicans considering President
Bush's opposition to gay marriage.
for his role as ?Fez,? on the hit series THAT 70?s SHOW, Wilmer will be seen on
the big screen this year in multiple upcoming feature films and as creator,
producer and host of the hit MTV show, YO MOMMA which is currently filming its
second season. Valderrama can be seen in Richard Linklaters FAST FOOD NATION,
which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year. In early December,
Valderrama will star in UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. Valderrama was recently seen in
the Sundance 2006 hit film THE DARWIN AWARDS. Additionally, Valderrama will star
in the feature film version of CHIPS in which he?ll play ?Ponch? and the
independent feature EL MUERTO based on the successful comic book. In April 2005
Wilmer performed in the Actor?s Fund of America one-performance only all-star
reading of the Paramount Pictures screenplay SUNSET BOULEVARD opposite Anjelica
Huston and Sir Ben Kingsley. He recently completed filming the Wim Wenders
produced short film LA TORCEDURA in which he plays the lead.
and Audience Awards will be announced at the Filmmaker Awards Presentation on
Sunday, November 12 at the AFI FEST Rooftop Village, located at the Festival?s
Headquarters, the ArcLight. More than $70,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to
the winning filmmakers of the International Jury and Audience Awards. AFI FEST
acknowledges those sponsors who generously support the Festival filmmakers by
providing award prizes including: Eastman Kodak Company, Avid Technology, Best
Buy, DALSA Digital Cinema, Entertainment Partners, IndieWire and Variety. The
Aquafina Pure Vision International Documentary Grand Prize of a $10,000
unrestricted grant will go to the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize in that
previously announced, AFI FEST will open with the US premiere of BOBBY, host the
Gala premieres of VOLVER, INLAND EMPIRE and THE FOUNTAIN, before closing with
CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER.
2006 will also be celebrating 20 years in 2006, with plans to celebrate AFI FEST
and 15 years of FILMEX through a series of commemorative events, series and
special programs throughout the 11-day Festival.
2006 presented by Audi will run November 1-12, 2006. Passes are on sale now and
individual event tickets go on sale on Friday, October 13, 2006. AFI Members
enjoy a special pre-sale window for tickets from October 9-13, in addition to
significant ticket/pass discounts, two free daytime screening tickets and an
invitation to a members-only party held at the Festival. To order passes,
tickets or for more information, visit www.AFI.com or call 1.866.AFI.FEST.
AFI is a
national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition
and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.
Celebrating 20 years as a program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST 2006
presented by Audi will span 11 days in November, featuring international
competitions of brand new films from emerging filmmakers, global showcases of
the latest work from the great film masters and nightly red-carpet gala
with 129 films from 44 countries, AFI FEST was host to 522 filmmakers and guests
from 35 countries. More than 60,000 attendees gathered at the AFI FEST Village
in the heart of Hollywood for hundreds of screenings, receptions and special
events, with the majority of activity headquartered at the state-of-the-art
ArcLight Hollywood complex.
American Film Market (AFM), November 1 ? 8, 2006 is the market partner of AFI
FEST. Together, AFI FEST and AFM provide the only concurrent festival/market
event in North America. As the largest motion picture trade event in the world,
AFM draws film community leaders from around the globe. Each year over 8,000
attendees converge on Santa Monica for deal making, screenings, seminars,
networking and parties. For more information, visit www.americanfilmmarket.com.
2006 presented by Audi is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Department of
Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign Trust. AFI FEST is
proud to continue its collaborative partnership with the Skirball Cultural
PROJECT: 20/20 is presented in cooperation with the President's Committee on the
Arts and the Humanities, supported by a partnership of the Department of State,
the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities
and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
2006 presented by Audi is sponsored in part by American Airlines, ArcLight
Hollywood, Absolut Vodka, Aquafina, Best Buy, Charriol, Eastman Kodak Company,
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Midway Car Rental, Moviefone, NEC and Stella Artois.
The Los Angeles Times is the Festival's Presenting Media Partner. Additional
media partners include Current TV, Indie 103.1, LA Weekly and
information about AFI FEST is available at www.afi.com.