AFI FEST 2019 Presented by Audi Announces World Cinema and Documentary Sections

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The American Film Institute (AFI) announced the films that will play in the inaugural Documentary and World Cinema sections, showcasing the most celebrated international films of the year with 16 features representing 19 countries at the AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi.   

The section includes five official International Feature Film Oscar® submissions screening at this year’s festival:  Sweden's AND THEN WE DANCED (DIR Levan Akin), Canada's ANTIGONE (DIR Sophie Deraspe), Poland's CORPUS CHRISTI (BOŻE CIAŁO) (DIR Jan Komasa), Italy's THE TRAITOR (DIR Marco Bellocchio), and Romania's THE WHISTLERS (DIR Cornlieu Porumboiu).


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The section also includes the Los Angeles premiere of Terrence Malick's A HIDDEN LIFE. The film, a historical drama about Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter who refused to fight for the Nazis during World War II, is set to be released in the United States on December 13, 2019. 

The AFI FEST Documentary section presents some of the most engaging and powerful real-life stories depicted in global non-fiction cinema. With subjects and themes both profound and impactful, the section includes two-time Academy Award®-winning director Barbara Kopple’s DESERT ONE, a film that revisits the 1980 secret mission by the Army’s elite Delta Force to rescue US hostages held captive in Tehran.  Additional documentaries include BIKRAM: YOGI, GURU, PREDATOR(DIREva Orner)CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE (DIR Rosine Mbakam), CITIZEN K (DIR Alex Gibney), THE HUMAN FACTOR (DIR Dror Moreh), I AM NOT ALONE (DIR Garin Hovannisian), PRESENT.PERFECT. (WAN MEI XIAN ZAI SHI) (DIR Shengze Zhu) and SEARCHING EVA (DIR Pia Hellenthal). 

WORLD CINEMA

AND THEN WE DANCED
While training at the National Georgian Ensemble, the arrival of preternaturally talented Irakli awakens a sense of friendly competition in Merab, along with more complicated feelings between the two boys. This twirling, rhythmic romance sees the profundity of first love intensified by the risk that exposure could threaten career, familial and community support. DIR Levan Akin. SCR Levan Akin CAST Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Tamar Bukhnikashvili. Georgia, Sweden, France


ANTIGONE
An immigrant family is ripped apart by a police shooting in Québécois writer/director Sophie Deraspe’s original and propulsive drama that takes its inspiration from Sophocles’ tragedy and centers it on a daughter’s painful choices that could determine the family’s fate. DIR Sophie Deraspe. SCR Sophie Deraspe CAST Nahéma Ricci, Nour Belkhiria, Rawad El-Zein, Hakim Brahimi, Rachida Oussaada, Antoine Desrochers, Paul Doucet. Canada

BACURAU
The inhabitants of a remote Brazilian village realize that their town has been erased from the map. When the water supply is cut, cell-phone coverage fades and a local family is murdered, it becomes clear they are under attack. Tension explodes into war as the community bands together, determined to survive the assault. DIR Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho. SCR Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles. CAST Bárbara Colen, Sonia Braga, Udo Kier. Brazil, France

BALLOON (QI QIU)
Shepard Dargye and his wife, Drolkar, live a simple life with their sons and patriarch on the family farm in rural Tibet. When a death in the family occurs, the family must make decisions as faith and political realities collide in this delicate and beautiful film from Pema Tseden. DIR Pema Tseden. SCR Pema Tseden. CAST: Sonam Wangmo, Jinpa, Yangshik Tso. China


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CORPUS CHRISTI (BOŻE CIAŁO)
After he is released from a brutally violent juvenile detention center, a young man, disguised as a priest, finds himself hiding out in a small town with a dark past. As the townspeople grieve and the priest attempts to help them heal, he moves towards grace in a most unexpected way. DIR Jan Komasa. SCR Mateusz Pacewicz. CAST Bartosz Bielenia, Eliza Rycembel, Aleksandra Konieczna, Tomasz Ziętek, Leszek Lichota, Łukasz Simlat. Poland

DEERSKIN
In Quentin Dupieux’s surreal, dark comedy, Georges (Jean Dujardin) buys his dream jacket — vintage, fringed and 100% deerskin —in the French Alps. As George’s madness spirals from existential midlife crisis to violent psychotic breakdown, he attempts to document his new mission of ensuring that the jacket is the only one left in existence. DIR Quentin Dupieux. SCR Quentin Dupieux. CAST: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel. France

A HIDDEN LIFE
Terrence Malick returns with this harrowing true-life tale of conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter, eliciting comparisons in scope to his Academy Award-nominated TREE OF LIFE. When the Third Reich shatters Franz’s simple life, he is forced to reconcile the prevailing beliefs of his church and country with his own personal convictions. DIR Terrence Malick. SCR Terrence Malick. CAST August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Tobias Moretti, Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Karin Neuhäuser, Ulrich Matthes. USA, Germany

I WAS AT HOME, BUT... (ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER...)
In Angela Schanelec’s cryptic, disjointed and enigmatic winner of Best Director at the 2019 Berlinale, familial trauma is premise to a series of defiantly fragmented vignettes. Astrid attempts to purchase a second-hand bicycle, her son and his classmates stage Hamlet, two teachers discuss their relationship, a dog, a rabbit and a donkey. DIR Angela Schanelec. SCR Angela Schanelec. CAST Maren Eggert, Franz Rogowski, Clara Möller, Jakob Lassalle, Lilith Stangenberg, Alan Williams, Jirka Zett, Dane Komljen. Germany, Serbia


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LIBERTÉ
In a small clearing in the woods somewhere between Potsdam and Berlin, over the course of one extended night of debauchery, a band of exiled Libertines seeking support from the German Duc de Walchen (Helmut Berger) will revel in the freedom to take sexuality to its darkest places. DIR Albert Serra. SCR Albert Serra. CAST Lluís Serrat, Marc Susini, Théodora Marcadé, Helmut Berger, Alex Duttman, Xavier Perez, Baptiste Pinteaux, Laura Poulvet, Iliana Zabeth, Cătălin Jugravu. France, Portugal, Spain
 
PROXIMA
Sarah, a French astronaut, earns her dream job: a spot on a year-long mission to Mars. During training, Sarah wrestles with the stress of separation from her daughter and earning respect from her male colleagues. Shot on location in real training facilities, PROXIMA is a poignant, thoughtful journey through the complexities of parenthood. DIR Alice Winocour. SCR Alice Winocour. CAST Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Zélie Boulant-Lemesle, Aleksey Fateev, Lars Eidinger. France, Germany.

THE SLEEPWALKERS (LOS SONÁMBULOS)
While preparing to spend the summer at her mother-in-law’s cottage, Luisa discovers her teenage daughter Ana sleepwalking naked. In the countryside, each woman becomes alienated by repeated attempts to connect and be understood and, with surmounting feelings of entrapment, will be pushed beyond complacency in Paula Hernández’s elegant and bold debut. DIR Paula Hernández. SCR Paula Hernández. CAST Érica Rivas, Ornella D’elía, Marilú Marini, Luis Ziembrowski, Daniel Hendler, Valeria Lois, Rafael Federman. Argentina, Uruguay


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SON-MOTHER (PESAR-MADAR)
A single mother of two faces a terrible dilemma whether to: marry a single father who will provide for her and her daughter but, who, due to Iranian custom, refuses to also take in her 12-year-old son. Director Mahnaz Muhammadi brilliantly navigates this unsentimental critique of Iranian traditions and the impossible choices that they can impose. DIR Mahnaz Mohammadi. SCR Mohammad Rasoulof. CAST Raha Khodayari, Mahan Nasiri, Reza Behboodi, Maryam Boubani. Iran.

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Facing production difficulties and confrontations amid language barriers and uncomfortable misunderstandings, the on-camera host of a Japanese crew shooting a travelogue in Uzbekistan begins to spiral into untapped anxieties, alienation and loneliness, leaving her to wander the streets of the unfamiliar landscape alone, where fears of the unknown are all-consuming. DIR Kiyoshi Kurosawa. SCR Kiyoshi Kurosawa CAST: Atsuko Maeda, Ryo Kase, Shota Sometani, Adiz Radjabov, Tokio Emoto. Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar

THE TRAITOR
Celebrated Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio (FISTS IN THE POCKET, 1965) steps behind the camera with one of the most compelling modern dramatic stories of our time. THE TRAITOR is the ultra-widescreen true story of the Sicilian Mafia and Tommaso Buscetta, who makes a fateful decision that will permanently transform the Mafia. DIR Marco Bellocchio. SCR Marco Bellocchio, Ludovica Rampoldi, Valia Santella, Francesco Piccolo. CAST Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido​, Nicola Calí​, Luigi Lo Cascio​, Fabrizio Ferracane, Fausto Russo Alesi​​. Italy

THE TRUTH
In his first film outside of Japan, Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (SHOPLIFTERS) casts legendary actresses Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche as a fading screen star and her daughter in this witty and touching battle of wills between two women coming to grips with the movie business and each other. DIR Hirokazu Kore-eda. SCR Hirokazu Kore-eda CAST Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Ludivine Sagnier. France, Japan

THE WHISTLERS
An epically proportioned heist plot unravels when corrupt police officer Cristi is drawn into an elaborate money laundering scheme and ubiquitous hidden cameras threaten to expose him. A departure for Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu, this tremendously entertaining and inventive crime thriller flashes a droll sense of humor under its stone-faced seriousness. DIR Corneliu Porumboiu. SCR Corneliu Porumboiu CAST Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi, George Pisterneanu. Romania, France, Germany

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