About Town: American Film Institute
Los Angeles, Nov. 4-7
During its first five days, AFI Fest -- the American Film Institute's annual celebration of movies -- offered major star power as well as free screenings (Audi picks up the tab).
Opening night, partygoers packed the Hollywood Roosevelt for Fox 2000's Viagra-salesman tale Love and Other Drugs' post-screening bash. Helmer Ed Zwick said of directing: "The more you work on a movie, the less it becomes yours. But you see it with an audience, and they give it back to you."
The Weinstein Co.'s royal drama The King's Speech and stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush took the spotlight Friday. But scripter David Seidlerdownplayed the film's seemingly unstoppable Oscar talk. "Everybody tells me it's rather good, and I don't want to jinx it," he said.
Two more films with awards buzz screened Saturday. Derek Cianfrance, director of the dysfunctional romance Blue Valentine, said his challenge was "just getting the film made. It took 12 years, like we were cursed and then there were rainbows."
Later, while Sony Classics' Barney's Version screened at the Egyptian, the company's Tom Bernard and Michael Barker took 14 agents, producers and investors to Mozza. The film, Barker said, is "a satisfying meal. It's like you've seen a person's complete life unfold."
On Sunday, Will Ferrell, Zoe Saldana and Gael Garcia Bernal were among those wishing actor Diego Luna well on his directorial debut, Abel.