Sarah Harris talks about AFI FEST 2020


AFI FEST 2020 opened online on October and will continue until October 22nd. Festival  opened with the World Premiere of I’M YOUR WOMAN (DIR Julia Hart) and will close with the World Premiere of MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY (DIR Errol Morris).

To learn more about AFI FEST 2020 we had on camera interview with Sarah Harris is the Director of Programming for AFI Festivals:

Sarah Harris is the Director of Programming for AFI Festivals where she leads the curation of films and events for American Film Institutes’ three annual festival programs: AFI FEST in Los Angeles, AFI DOCS in Washington, D.C. and the NBC News-partnered Meet the Press Film Festival. She has been a film festival programmer for over fifteen years, working with AFI in various roles since 2012. Harris was part of the founding staff of the Dallas Film Society, host of the Dallas International Film Festival, where she was previously the Senior Programmer for over a decade and helped grow DIFF into a major cultural event. As a consultant, Harris programmed films with the Sundance Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Aspen ShortsFest, Los Angeles Film Festival and Vimeo. Harris became the Coordinating Producer for Cinema Eye Honors 2019, which celebrates the craft of non-fiction filmmaking, after serving many years on its nomination committee. Having spent much of her life in the South, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.


AFI FEST Program October 20 to October 22:
Tuesday 10/20
Special Presentation – THE FATHER (7pm PST)
Living alone in London and nearing 80 years old, Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) has refused another nurse that his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) has set up for him. Exuberant and independent, Anthony has struggled with his memory beginning to slip away. Anne announces she is moving to Paris with a new boyfriend, but later in the living room Anthony sees a stranger claiming to be Anne’s husband. Who is this man? Confusion sets in.

Academy Award®-winner Hopkins delivers a brilliant performance of a man with dementia, creating a powerful cinematic experience of memory and loss. Based on his award-winning play, Florian Zeller has crafted a moving and insightful portrait of a cruel disease and the heartbreak it brings. –Sarah Harris
Country: UK, France
Year: 2020
Director: Florian Zeller
Screenwriters: Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
Producers: David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, Philippe Carcassonne, Christophe Spadone, Simon Friend
Executive Producers: Héloïse Spadone, Alessandro Mauceri, Lauren Dark, Ollie Madden, Daniel Battsek
Director of Photography: Ben Smithard
Editor: Yorgos Lamprinos
Production Designer: Peter Francis
Music: Ludovico Einaudi
Cast/Featuring: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

Tribute to Rita Moreno (5pm PST)
AFI SUMMIT – EW’s The Awardist: A conversation with Director Julia Hart and Rachel Brosnahan (1pm PST)
Screenings all launching at 12noon PST
A pandemic is sweeping across Greece, but it’s not COVID-19. Suddenly, thousands of cases of amnesia are spreading. The malady isn’t deadly, but there is no cure, and no one has recovered. Therein lies the fascinating and surreal premise for this understated, poignant and visually stunning drama, the first feature of director Christos Nikou. The lucky amnesiacs are claimed by family members. The unclaimed ones are hospitalized indefinitely or offered a recovery program to help them establish a new identity. Taciturn Aris (Aris Servetalis) and ebullient Anna (Sofia Georgovassili) tentatively navigate the world, trying to piece together who they might have been before their memories were wiped clean. Imagine a jot of Yorgos Lanthimos and a dash of Charlie Kaufman amid a wry, absurdist commentary on selfie culture and a moving meditation on loss.
–Claudia Puig

Country: Greece, Poland, Slovenia
Year: 2020
Director: Christos Nikou
Screenwriters: Christos Nikou, Stavros Raptis
Producers: Angelos Venetis, Aris Dagios, Christos Nikou, Iraklis Mavroidis
Executive Producers: Mariusz Włodarski, Nikos Smpiliris
Director of Photography: Bartosz Świniarski
Editor: George Zafiris
Production Designer: Efi Birba
Music: The Boy
Cast/Featuring: Aris Servetalis, Anna Kalaitzidou, Argyris Bakirtzis, Sofia Georgovassili

Stories of dreamers seeking a better life are a cinematic staple. Yet this Nigerian immigration drama tells the engaging tale of two families in Lagos in a particularly inventive and strikingly compassionate fashion. Hard-working electrical engineer Mofe yearns to go to Spain while 20-something hairstylist Rosa strives to move to Italy. Charming and multi-layered, this richly humanistic saga evokes a vivid sense of place and presents a moving exploration of personal tragedies and triumphs. Fate consistently intervenes, as do bureaucratic entanglements and dodgy financial deals. Told with empathy by first-time filmmakers Chuko and Arie Esiri, this subdued narrative reflects the rhythms of daily life as it weaves a vital portrait of ordinary people struggling to rise above the daily grind in a vibrant African city. –Claudia Puig

Directors: Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
Screenwriter: Chuko Esiri
Producers: Melissa O. Adeyemo, Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
Executive Producers: Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Salman Zoueihed
Director of Photography: Arseni Khachaturan
Editor: Andrew Stephen Lee
Production Designer: Taisa Malouf
Music: Akin Adebowale
Cast/Featuring: Tomiwa Edun, Jude Akuwudike, Cynthia Ebijie, Temiloluwa Ami-Williams


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Realism and romanticism come together artfully in this poignant, decades-long story. Ivan (Armando Espitia) and Gerardo (Christian Vazquez) fall in love and must face homophobia, racism and injustice, while weathering the perils of undocumented immigration. Documentarian Heidi Ewing’s first narrative feature cleverly incorporates her non-fiction background, weaving in the real-life couple with the actors who play them in a lyrical, non-linear fashion. Clear-eyed and tender in equal measure, the film moves with fluidity and grace from the slower rhythms of Puebla, Mexico, to bustling New York City. Gerardo and Ivan face a series of hurdles in the course of their relationship. Comparisons can be made to TREE OF LIFE and MOONLIGHT in the way this sweeping saga glides forward and back in time, through memories and over hardships to the ultimate transcendence of love.
–Claudia Puig

Director: Heidi Ewing
Screenwriters: Heidi Ewing, Alan Page Arriaga
Producers: Mynette Louie, Heidi Ewing, Gabriela Maire, Edher Campos
Executive Producers: Norman Lear, Brent Miller, Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman, Michael Heimler
Director of Photography: Juan Pablo Ramírez
Editor: Enat Sidi
Production Designer: Sandra Cabriada
Music: Jay Wadley
Cast/Featuring: Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez, Ángeles Cruz, Raúl Briones, Arcelia Ramírez


Jessica Earnshaw’s debut film is penetratingly intimate. The camera follows Jacinta, mid-twenties, even at her lowest. We are there with her while she’s incarcerated with her mother, when in the sober house, and in the car driving around her town in Maine. Caylynn, her daughter, knows more about the world than a little girl should. Her family does their part to support. This slice-of-life documentary drama about generations of trauma, dependency, and recovery is a must see.

Please be aware that JACINTA contains some graphic imagery of active drug use. Viewer discretion is advised.
Director: Jessica Earnshaw
Producers: Jessica Earnshaw, Holly Meehl, Nimisha Mukerji
Executive Producers: Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Jamie Wolf, Patty Quillin, Regina K. Scully
Director of Photography: Jessica Earnshaw
Editor: George O’Donnell
Music: Gil Talmi

Dramas exploring adult brother-sister relationships are rare in cinema. And when told well, they resonate in powerful ways. Such is the case with Lisa and Sven in MY LITTLE SISTER, a graceful tale of a playwright (superbly played by Nina Hoss) and her twin brother, a Berlin-based stage actor (Lars Eidinger). Lisa has abandoned writing while living with her husband (Jens Albinus) and children in a small Swiss city. Bored by the way her cloistered existence revolves around the international school her husband heads, Lisa re-evaluates her life. When Sven develops leukemia, the pair bond even more profoundly over their shared passion for theater. Writer-directors Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond, both working actors, draw a compelling, raw and honest performance from Hoss which will stay with the viewer well after the credits roll. –Claudia Puig
Country: Switzerland
Directors: Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond
Screenwriters: Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond
Producer: Ruth Waldburger
Director of Photography: Filip Zumbrunn
Editor: Myriam Rachmuth
Production Designer: Marie-Claude Lang Brenguier
Music: Christian Garcia-Gaucher
Cast/Featuring: Nina Hoss, Lars Eidinger, Marthe Keller, Jens Albinus, Thomas Ostermeier

In 2003, Canadian filmmakers Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar teamed up with writer Joel Bakan on the penetrating and popular documentary THE CORPORATION, which posed the provocative question, “If the corporation is legally a person, what kind of person is it?” Analyzing the corporation as a patient, the filmmakers found the corporation to be “pathologically self-interested.” Now, almost two decades later, with the world in crisis, Abbott and co-director Bakan re-examine the “patient,” asking if the corporation has changed for the better, and, if not, what can be done about it.

Through insightful interviews with a wide range of critics, footage gathered at exclusive corporate events and illuminating news clips, the filmmakers expose the corporation’s new strategic playbook and make the disturbing diagnosis that this patient is as psychopathic as ever. –Ken Jacobson
Country: Canada
Directors: Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott
Screenwriter: Joel Bakan
Producers: Betsy Carson, Trish Dolman
Executive Producer: Joel Bakan
Director of Photography: Ian Kerr
Editor: Peter Roeck
Music: Matt Robertson
Cast/Featuring: Charles Officer (narrator)

Nestled deep in the remote Argentinian mountainside lives a llama herder with his family. He regularly travels the arduous route over the rugged terrain with his son to sell hides and meat in the nearest city, but their livelihood is threatened when the animals begin to die, attacked by an unseen puma. Following local custom, the father will present the puma with an offering, undertaking a spiritual journey that will connect him with his ancestors. With an incredible cast of indigenous non-actors and through immersive cinematography and sound design, Alejandro Telemaco Tarraf’s astounding feature debut combines documentary realism with the supernatural beauty of the landscape to weave a fantastic and enigmatic fable of majestic proportions. –Malin Kan
Country: Argentina, Mexico, Qatar, UK
Director: Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf
Screenwriters: Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf, Lucas Distefano
Producers: Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf, Alberto Balazs
Executive Producer: Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf
Director of Photography: Alberto Balazs
Editor: Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf
Production Designer: Eva Knutsdotter Vikstrom
Music: Eva Knutsdotter Vikstrom
Cast/Featuring: Lucia Bautista, Gregorio Ramos, Ricardo Fidel Tolaba, Maykol Tolaba

Wednesday 10/21
Screenings all launching at 12pm PST

Thursday, 10/22
Special Presentation: MY PSYCHEDELIC LOVE STORY 7pm PST
Tribute to Sofia Coppola 5pm PST


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Cinema Without Borders' reporters from around the globe search and find international cinema content for our audience. when an outside source is used, we provide you with a link to the original source at the end of the article

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