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  • Originally published on
  • Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
Apple's "The Banker" Named Closing Night Film For AFI Fest

Apple’s feature The Banker will make its world premiere as the closing night film for the AFI Fest 2019.

The festival’s closing night gala is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. The Banker opens in theaters on December 6, 2019, before it debuts on Apple TV+, a new home for the world’s most creative storytellers, in January 2020. 
Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI Festivals, said, “The Banker joins a remarkable group of films being released this year that openly confront centuries of racism and injustice in our country, while celebrating the brave individuals whose activism has created real change.”

Based on a true story, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream.  Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire--while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur.  Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.  The drama is directed by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) and produced by Joe Viertel.  Brad Feinstein produced under his Romulus Entertainment banner, along producers Nolfi, Mackie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Baker and David Lewis Smith  The executive producers are Jackson, Joseph F. Ingrassia, Will Greenfield, David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri. The Banker was written by Nolfi, Smith, Niceole Levy and Stan Younger from a story by Smith, Stan Younger and Brad Caleb Kane.

AFI Fest 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles.  Screenings, galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt, and will open with the world premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.

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