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Eight performers currently garnering awards buzz for their work in 2020 independent films will appear on AFI Fest’s seventh annual Indie Contenders Panel to discuss the challenges and rewards of making independent movies: Riz Ahmed (lead actor, Amazon’s Sound of Metal), Rachel Brosnahan (lead actress, Amazon’s I’m Your Woman), Winston Duke (lead actor, Sony Classics’ Nine Days), Julia Garner (lead actress, Bleecker Street’s The Assistant), Vanessa Kirby (lead actress, Netflix’s Pieces of a Woman), Elisabeth Moss (lead actress, Universal’s The Invisible Man and Neon’s Shirley), Carey Mulligan (lead actress, Focus’ Promising Young Woman) and Andy Samberg (lead actor, Hulu’s Palm Springs).
The panel will take place on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 1pm PST – 2:30pm PST. As always, it will be presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by yours truly — only this year, due to the ongoing pandemic, it will take place virtually, allowing more people to view it live than ever before.
Tickets will soon go on sale on the AFI Fest website. Video of the panel will subsequently appear exclusively on this blog.
AFI Fest, the biggest film festival based in Hollywood, is set to take place earlier than ever this year, from Thursday, Oct. 15 – Thursday, Oct. 22. It will open with the world premiere of I’m Your Woman, close with Errol Morris‘ My Psychedelic Love Story and also feature, among other titles, Florian Zeller‘s The Father, Werner Herzog‘s Fireball, Kelly Oxford‘s Pink Skies Ahead, Angel Kristi Williams‘ Really Love, Matt Tyrnauer‘s The Reagans and Mira Nair‘s A Suitable Boy.
The 2019 edition of the Indie Contenders Panel, which you can watch here, featured Awkwafina (lead actress, The Farewell); Sterling K. Brown (supporting actor, Waves); Cynthia Erivo (lead actress, Harriet); Jimmie Fails (lead actor, The Last Black Man in San Francisco); Jon Hamm (supporting actor, The Report); Florence Pugh (lead actress, Fighting With My Family and Midsommar); Kerry Washington (lead actress, American Son); and Alfre Woodard (lead actress, Clemency).
The 2018 edition, which you can watch here, featured Willem Dafoe (lead actor, At Eternity’s Gate); Richard E. Grant (supporting actor, Can You Ever Forgive Me?); Kathryn Hahn (lead actress, Private Life); Felicity Jones (lead actress, On the Basis of Sex); Joanna Kulig (lead actress, Cold War); Thomasin McKenzie (supporting actress, Leave No Trace); Rosamund Pike (lead actress, A Private War); and John C. Reilly (lead actor, Stan & Ollie and The Sisters Brothers).
The 2017 edition, which you can watch here, featured Sean Baker (co-writer and director, The Florida Project); Richard Gere (lead actor, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer); Salma Hayek (lead actress, Beatriz at Dinner); Diane Kruger (lead actress, In the Fade); Kumail Nanjiani (co-writer and lead actor, The Big Sick); Robert Pattinson (lead actor, Good Time); Margot Robbie (lead actress, I, Tonya); and Lois Smith (supporting actress, Marjorie Prime).
The 2016 edition, which you can watch here, featured Kate Beckinsale (lead actress, Love & Friendship); Adam Driver (lead actor, Paterson); Sally Field (lead actress, Hello, My Name Is Doris); Rebecca Hall (lead actress, Christine); Margo Martindale (supporting actress, The Hollars); Viggo Mortensen (lead actor, Captain Fantastic); Ruth Negga (lead actress, Loving); Chris Pine (lead actor, Hell or High Water); and Miles Teller (lead actor, Bleed for This).
The 2015 edition, which you can watch here, featured Ramin Bahrani (writer/director, 99 Homes); Blythe Danner (lead actress, I’ll See You in My Dreams); Saoirse Ronan (lead actress, Brooklyn); Jason Segel (supporting actor, The End of the Tour); Sarah Silverman (lead actress, I Smile Back); Lily Tomlin (lead actress, Grandma); and Olivia Wilde (lead actress/producer, Meadowland).
And the 2014 edition, which you can watch here, featured J.C. Chandor (writer/director, A Most Violent Year); Damien Chazelle (writer/director, Whiplash); Marion Cotillard (lead actress, Two Days, One Night); Jake Gyllenhaal (lead actor, Nightcrawler); Bill Hader (lead actor, The Skeleton Twins); Michelle Monaghan (actress, Fort Bliss); Kristen Stewart (supporting actress, Still Alice and Clouds of Sils Maria); and Tilda Swinton (lead actress, Snowpiercer).
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