AFI Fest: New Auteurs and American Independents Lineup Announced

Courtesy of TIFF
'Bodied'

AFI Fest is set to run Nov. 9-16.

AFI Fest has announced the lineups for the New Auteurs and American Independents sections.

Both sections will debut up-and-coming filmmakers, one drawing from global talent and the other highlighting projects from the U.S.

The Charlotte Rampling-starrer Hannah is among the films in the Auteurs section, which includes selections from South Africa, China, Germany, Spain and France.

The Independents section will screen 11 films, including Noël Wells' Mr. Roosevelt, the Wyatt Cenac-starring Fits and Starts and Joseph Kahn's rap satire Bodied, which made a splash at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Dee Rees' Mudbound will open this year's AFI Fest, which is set to run Nov. 9-16.

See the full list of New Auteurs and American Independents below.

NEW AUTEURS

AVA – After an adolescent girl discovers she will soon go blind, she confronts the problem in her own way in this disturbing, visually bold debut. DIR: Léa Mysius. SCR: Léa Mysius, Paul Guilhaume. CAST: Noée Abita, Laure Calamy, Juan Cano. France

CLOSENESS (TESNOTA) – Controversial and beloved in equal measure, the film centers on a young woman eking out an existence in a remote region of Russia, and the choices she must face when her brother and his fiancée are kidnapped. DIR: Kantemir Balagov. SCR: Kantemir Balagov, Anton Yarush. CAST: Atrem Cipin, Olga Dragunova, Veniamin Kac, Darya Zhovnar, Nazir Zhukov. Russia

HANNAH – Charlotte Rampling gives another career-defining performance in this taut and layered film as a woman dealing with the fallout of an abhorrent crime committed by her husband. DIR: Andrea Pallaoro. SCR: Andrea Pallaoro, Orlando Tirado. CAST: Charlotte Rampling, Andre Wilms. Italy, Belgium, France

HAVE A NICE DAY (HAO JI LE) – This morbid, hilarious animated noir cuts deep into the greed fueling the Chinese economic miracle. DIR/SCR: Liu Jian. CAST: Zhu Changlong, Cao Kai, Liu Jian, Yang Siming, Shi Haitao, Ma Xiaofeng, Xue Feng, Zheng Yi. China

HIGH FANTASY – Four South African friends on a camping trip discover they've switched bodies in this found-footage sophomore feature that cathartically examines racial and gender issues. DIR: Jenna Bass. SCR: Jenna Bass, Qondiswa James, Nala Khumalo, Francesca Varrie Michel, Liza Scholtz, Loren Loubser. CAST: Qondiswa James, Nala Khumalo, Francesca Varrie Michel, Liza Scholtz, Loren Loubser. South Africa

I AM NOT A WITCH – A 9-year-old girl ignites a rebellion in the witch camp where she's been imprisoned in this bold debut that beautifully mixes satire, superstition and ambiguity. DIR/SCR: Rungano Nyoni. CAST: Margaret Mulubwa, Henry B.J. Phiri, Nancy Mulilo. France, U.K., Germany

MILLA – The happy but impoverished life-on-the-fringes of a young French couple is captured with observational care and quiet grace in this striking new work. DIR/SCR: Valérie Massadian. CAST: Severine Jonckeere, Luc Chessel, Ethan Jonckeere. France

PENDULAR – This intense and unforgettable debut melds sculpture, dance and film in a tale brimming with sexual passion. DIR/SCR: Júlia Murat, Matias Mariani. CAST: Raquel Karro, Rodrigo Bolzan, Neto Machado, Marcio Vito, Felipe Rocha, Renato Linhares, Larissa Siqueira, Carlos Eduardo Santos, Valeria Barretta, Martina Revollo. Argentina, Brazil, France

SUMMER 1993 – In this unforgettable and autobiographical debut, a 6-year-old girl goes to live with her extended family in the Catalan countryside following her mother's death from an AIDS-related illness. DIR/SCR: Carla Simón. CAST: Laia Artigas, Paula Robles, Bruna Cusí, David Verdaguer, Fermí Reixach. Spain

WHAT WOULD PEOPLE SAY (HVA VIL FOLK SI) – A Norwegian-Pakistani teenage girl must bear the consequences of her rebellious actions in this powerful sophomore feature. DIR/SCR: Iram Haq. CAST: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ekavali Khanna, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha, Lalit Parimoo, Jannat Zubair Rahmani, Nokokure Dahl, Trine Wiggen, Maria Bock, Sara Khorami. Norway, Germany, Sweden

WINTER BROTHERS (VINTERBRØDRE) – A loner in a snowy mining community is pushed to violent extremes in this hypnotic, beautiful debut out of Denmark. DIR/SCR: Hlynur Pálmason. CAST: Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Peter Plaugborg, Lars Mikkelsen. Denmark, Iceland

AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS

THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN – Bill Pullman gives a career-best performance in Jared Moshé's cleverly scripted, thrilling love letter to the Western. DIR/SCR: Jared Moshé. CAST: Bill Pullman, Kathy Baker, Jim Caviezel, Tommy Flanagan, Peter Fonda. USA

BODIED – A meek white-boy rapper wants to spit fire, but does cultural appropriate outweigh his desire? DIR: Joseph Kahn. SCR: Alex Larsen. CAST: Calum Worthy, Jackie Long, Charlamagne Tha God, Anthony Michael Hall, Rory Uphold, Dumbfoundead, Walter Perez, Shoniqua Shandai, Dizaster, Debra Wilson, Loaded Lux. USA

CALIFORNIA DREAMS – Beautiful and multilayered, Mike Ott's latest work of docufiction centers on struggling individuals in Valencia, California, and the profound chasm between their lives and dreams of stardom. DIR: Mike Ott. CAST: Cory Zacharia, Patrick Ilaguno, Carolan J. Pinto, Neil Harley, Kevin Gilger AKA K-Nine. USA

EL MAR LA MAR – A stunning new film from Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, EL MAR LA MAR dives into matters of life and death at the U.S.-Mexico border in the Sonoran Desert, where legions of immigrants are dying to cross. DIR/SCR: Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki. USA

THE ENDLESS – Filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead return with another fiercely original sci-fi horror film, this time set in a UFO death cult. DIR: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead. SCR: Justin Benson. CAST: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington. USA

FITS AND STARTS – Wyatt Cenac and Greta Lee star in this fantastic and funny debut centering on two married writers — one successful, the other not so much. DIR/SCR: Laura Terruso. CAST: Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia. USA

GEMINI – Lola Kirke stars as a personal assistant who must figure out who killed her famous employer (Zoë Kravitz) in this neon-drenched neo-noir from director Aaron Katz. DIR/SCR: Aaron Katz. CAST: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, John Cho, Greta Lee. USA

LIFE AND NOTHING MORE – AFI FEST alum Antonio Méndez Esparza's sophomore feature follows the day-to-day struggles of an African-American mother and her troubled son, who is getting ever closer to following in his imprisoned father's footsteps. DIR/SCR: Antonio Méndez Esparza. CAST: Andrew Bleechington, Regina Williams, Robert Williams, Ry’Nesia Chambers. USA

MR. ROOSEVELT – Triple-threat Noël Wells directs, writes and stars in this funny tale of a struggling comedian returning to her hometown to mourn an old pet and play third wheel to her ex and his new girlfriend. DIR/SCR: Noël Wells. CAST: Noël Wells, Nick Thune, Britt Lower, Daniella Pineda, Andre Hyland. USA

SOLLERS POINT – This moving portrait of one young man's frustrated attempts to rise above his obstacles after being released from prison is the latest film from indie director Matt Porterfield. DIR/SCR: Matthew Porterfield. CAST: McCaul Lombardi, Jim Belushi, Zazie Beetz, Everleigh Brenner. USA

THOROUGHBREDS – Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke star in this darkly comedic thriller that recalls films like Heavenly Creatures and Heathers. DIR/SCR: Cory Finley. CAST: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks, Francie Swift, Kaili Vernoff. USA

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