Bernardo Bertolucci Named American Film Institute Guest Artistic Director

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LONDON -- Oscar winning director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci will serve as its guest artistic director at AFI Fest 2012, the American Film Institute said.

The Italian filmmaker follows last year’s guest artistic director, Spain's Pedro Almodóvar.

David Lynch, an alumnus of the AFI Conservatory, held the role in 2010.

As guest artistic director, Bertolucci has selected four feature films for his special sidebar program at the festival: 42nd Street, by Lloyd Bacon, La Regle Du Jeu, by Jean Renoir, Sunrise, by F.W. Murnau and Vivre Ca Vie, by Jean-Luc Godard.

In addition, the festival will present Electric Chair, a behind-the-scenes film about the making of Bertolucci’s new movie, Me And You.

Bertolucci's resume boasts over 25 films, including The Last Emperor, Last Tango In Paris, The Conformist, The Sheltering Sky and Little Buddha. He has been honored with two Academy Awards Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay for The Last Emperor.

Other plaudits include an honorary Palm D’Or at the Festival de Cannes in 2011 and this December he will be receive the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Bertolucci also conducted Master Seminars at the AFI Conservatory about the craft of filmmaking and his particular visual style in 1974 and again in 1979.

“I am very excited and honored to be the Guest Artistic Director of AFI Fest this year,” said Bertolucci.

Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute described Bertolucci as "an artist of uncompromising vision."

Said Gazzale: "He’s an inspiration to emerging filmmakers at the AFI Conservatory, where he gave his first Master Seminar in 1974, and he continues to inspire artists and audiences around the world. It is an honor for the American Film Institute to celebrate his voice as Artistic Director at AFI Fest.”

The festival runs Nov. 1 through 8.

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