AFI Fest's Gala Lineup Includes "Buster Scruggs," "Bird Box," "Green Book," "Widows"
A scene from Steve McQueen's "Widows" (Twentieth Century Fox)
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The American Film Institute (AFI) has unveiled the full lineup of Galas that will screen at AFI Fest 2018. The titles screening are: the world premiere of Bird Box (director Susanne Bier) on Monday, November 12; the world premiere of the episodic series The Kominsky Method (created by Chuck Lorre) on Saturday, November 10; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (directors Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) on Sunday, November 11; Green Book (director Peter Farrelly) on Friday, November 9; and Widows (director Steve McQueen) on Wednesday, November 14. All Gala screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Bird Box – When a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, only one thing is certain: if you see it, you take your life. Facing the unknown, Malorie finds love, hope and a new beginning only for it to unravel. Now she must flee with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary. But to survive, they’ll have to undertake the perilous two-day journey blindfolded. Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock leads an all-star cast in this Netflix film that includes Trevante Rhodes, with Sarah Paulson, and John Malkovich in this compelling new thriller from Academy Award® winner Susanne Bier.

The Kominsky Method – The sun isn’t setting on the once famous Sandy Kominsky and his longtime agent Norman Newlander. Academy Award® winners Michael Douglas (Kominsky) and Alan Arkin (Newlander) star as two friends tackling life’s inevitable curveballs as they navigate their later years in Los Angeles, a city that values youth and beauty. Both comedic and emotional, The Kominsky Method is an eight-episode, half-hour single camera show created by eight-time Emmy® nominee Chuck Lorre. The Netflix show is written by Al Higgins, David Javerbaum and Lorre, who also directed the first episode. AFI Fest will present the first three episodes of the series.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – A six-part Western anthology film, a series of tales about the American frontier told through the unique and incomparable voice of Joel and Ethan Coen. Each chapter tells a distinct story about the American West.

Green Book – Academy Award® nominee Viggo Mortensen and Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali star in Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures’ Green Book.  In his foray into powerfully dramatic work as a feature director, Peter Farrelly helms the film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line. When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans.  Confronted with racism, and unexpected humanity and humor, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.

Widows – From Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. Widows is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

As previously announced
AFI Fest takes place November 8–15, 2018, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of On The Basis of Sex (directed by AFI Conservatory alumna Mimi Leder), and the Closing Night Gala will be the World Premiere of Mary Queen of Scots (directed by Josie Rourke). The festival will also present An Evening With Nicole Kidman, which includes a conversation with the actress and a Gala screening of her latest film, Destroyer (director Karyn Kusama). Additionally, the New Auteurs and American Independent sections have already been announced. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.


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