Tom Cruise & Meryl Streep + Robert Redford to Open AFI FEST

Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise in Lions for Lambs

The AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival – in press releases referred to as “AFI FEST 2007 presented by Audi” – has announced that Lions for Lambs (see trailer below) will be its Opening Night Gala screening on Thursday, November 1, 2007, at the ArcLight Hollywood's Cinerama Dome Theatre.

Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan and directed by Robert Redford, the film stars Redford, Tom Cruise, and Meryl Streep in a tale of political intrigue involving an idealistic college professor (Redford), a TV journalist (Streep), an ambitious senator-cum-presidential hopeful (Cruise) with a big story to tell, two U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan (Derek Luke and Michael Pena), and the roles they all play in the so-called “war on terror.”

Lions for Lambs also happens to be the first production from the new United Artists, the moribund studio that was resurrected last year through a partnership involving Tom Cruise, his longtime collaborator Paula Wagner, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Earlier in 2006, Viacom / Paramount's honcho Sumner Redstone made (ugly) headlines when he, in a calculated move, badmouthed by-then-former Paramount megastar Cruise in the media. Cruise, however, was smart. He kept mum – as he probably should have done in a few previous occasions – and went on to become a mogul on his own right at UA.

Cruise has surely picked his first UA vehicle with care, as Lions for Lambs is the sort of prestige production that a 45-year-old star needs following the sort of negative publicity he received in '06. The AFI FEST 2007 opening night slot is equally prestigious, as a number of AFI FEST gala films – e.g., Walk the Line, Bad Education, Volver – have gone on to receive multiple awards and nominations.

The AFI FEST Opening Night Gala will be held on the same date that Bob Gazzale officially takes over from Jean Picker Firstenberg to become AFI's new President and CEO. According to the AFI press release, Gazzale is the third person to hold that position since U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson announced the institute's creation in 1967.

AFI FEST 2007 will run November 1-11, 2007. Passes go on sale September 5 and individual film and event tickets go on sale to the public on October 12. To order passes and tickets and to get ore information, visit www.AFI.com or call 1.866.AFI.FEST.

Sarajevo Film Festival winners

The 13th Sarajevo Film Festival was held between Aug. 17-25, 2007.

The winners at the 13th Sarajevo Film Festival were announced on Aug. 25, 2007.

In Ozer Kizitans A Mans Fear of God, a devout Turkish Muslim discovers that religious dogma can be bad for your (mental) health and that religious hypocrisy is all around.

BEST FILM:
A Mans Fear of God / Takva
Director: Ozer Kiziltan

BEST ACTOR:
Saa Petrovic, Its Hard to Be Nice, director Srdan Vuletic

BEST ACTRESS:
Saadet Isil Aksoy, Egg, director Semih Kaplanoglu

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE:
Im from Titov Veles director Teona Strugar-Mitevska

SPECIAL MENTION:
Actress Maria Varga, Iszkas Journey

SPECIAL HEART OF SARAJEVO AWARD: Steve Buscemi

COMPETITION PROGRAMME DOCUMENTARIES

BEST DOCUMENTARY:
Interrogation
Director: Namik Kabil

HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD:
The mosquito problem and other stories
Director: Andrey Paounov

SPECIAL MENTION:
Echo
Director: Marko Popovic

COMPETITION PROGRAMME SHORTS

BEST SHORT FILM:
The Waves
Director: Adrian Sitaru

SPECIAL MENTION:
Tripe and Onions
Director: Marton Szirmai

SPECIAL MENTION:
The Hole
Director: Marko antic

The EFA / UIP Award
This Award for the Best Short Film, presented by United International Pictures, offers its recipient a direct nomination for the European Film Academy (EFA) Award.
Tokyo Jim, directed by Jamie Rafn

The EDN Talent Grant
The EDN Talent Grant was established through the cooperation of the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) and the European Documentary Network (EDN), and is aimed at providing support to talented directors of documentary films from the Balkans. 
In 4 Years, directed by Neboja Slijepcevic

The CICAE Award
The International Confederation of Artistic Cinemas (CICAE) award to a film in the Competition Programme. The chosen film will receive special CICAE support in its distribution, screening, and the reaching of an audience through a network of 3000 cinemas.
Mans Fear of God, directed by Ozer Kiziltan

Audience Award:
The Bands Visit, directed by Eran Kolirin

International Competition Jury: Jeremy Irons; Meinholf Zurhorst; Frederick Maire; Ozgu Namal; Andrea taka

Documentary Jury: Tarik Samarah; Stefan Haupt; Adela Peeva;

Short Film Jury: Namik Kabil; Frederic Boyer; Balint Kenyeres

EFA / UPI Jury: Michele Ohyion, Dalibor Matanic and Nikolaj Nikitin

EDN Jury: Tarik Samarah, Stefan Haupt and Adela Peeva

CICAE Jury: Francois Ayme, Katarzyna Boratyn and Rita Linda Potyondi

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2 Comments to Tom Cruise & Meryl Streep + Robert Redford to Open AFI FEST

  1. sarong

    I love TOM CRUISE!

  2. Kurt Schirmer

    LIONS FOR LAMBS: Excellent questions and comments.One answer suggested:The last scene should have two takes: One that you showed and then immediately following a rerun second: The two soldiers throwing their weapons away with hands up.Suggested reading:The brave Soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hasek.