After opening the Venice Film Festival and continuing on to the New York Film Festival, Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers from Sony Pictures Classics will have a red-carpet premiere at this year’s AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 13.
In the movie, two women, Janis and Ana, played respectively by Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way. Cruz won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice. Parallel Mothers to date is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In total, AFI Fest counts 115 titles (48 Features, 1 Episodic, 49 Short Films and 17 Conservatory Showcase Shorts) of which 51% are directed by women, 40% directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 13% are directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. This year’s program represents 50 countries and includes six World Premieres. The festival runs from Nov. 10-14.
“We are excited to celebrate AFI Fest 2021 in person at the historic TCL Chinese theater and showcase both master filmmakers and emerging voices,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals. “In a time when we need movies more than ever, we look forward to audiences being inspired by the best films from around the world screening at this year’s AFI Fest.”
Returning filmmakers to AFI Fest are Hany Abu-Assad (Huda’s Salon), Andrea Arnold (Cow), Jacques Audiard (Paris, 13th District), Sean Baker (Red Rocket), Michel Franco (Sundown), Miguel Gomes (The Sugua Diaries), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Lingui, The Sacret Bonds), Céline Sciamma (Petite Maman), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria), and Zhang Yimou (One Second).
Internationally acclaimed and award-winning films include Ahed’s Knew, (dir. Nadav Lapid), Costa Brava, Lebanon (dir. Mounia Akl), Drive My Car (dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi), The Girl and the Spider (dir. Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher), Good Madam (dir Jenna Bass), Great Freedom (dir. Sebastian Meise), Happening (dir Audrey Diwan), Jockey (dir Clint Bentley), Memoria (dir Apichatpong Weerakethakul), Prayers for the Stolen (dir. Tatiana Huezo), Unclenching the Fists (dir Kira Kovalenko), What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (dir. Aleksandre Koberidze) and The Worst Person in the World (dir. Joachim Trier).
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