J. EDGAR TO OPEN AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi

25th Edition of AFI FEST Kicks Off on November 3 With Opening Night Gala

Patron Packages to Ensure Gala Seating Now Available

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that J. EDGAR, directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood, will have its world premiere as the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi.  The film stars Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, along with Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Oscar winner Judi Dench.  It is produced by Academy Award winners Eastwood and Brian Grazer, and Oscar nominee Robert Lorenz.  From an original screenplay by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, the film explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century, J. Edgar Hoover, founding director of the FBI.

"Clint Eastwood is an American icon – one whose work as a director, actor, producer and composer not only stands the test of time, but also continues to add new, rich chapters with each passing year," said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute.  "What a gift it is to be going to the movies when Clint Eastwood is making them, and what an honor it is for the American Film Institute to premiere his latest contribution to America's cultural legacy."

J. EDGAR stars Leonardo DiCaprio, one of today's most acclaimed actors, who recently headlined the worldwide blockbuster INCEPTION.  He has been honored with three Academy Award nominations for his performances in BLOOD DIAMOND, THE AVIATOR and WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE.  His impressive credits also include THE DEPARTED, SHUTTER ISLAND, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and TITANIC.

Eastwood has a long history with AFI.  He was the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1996 – described as "an actor who doesn't waste words and as a director who doesn't waste images" – and his films have appeared on the annual AFI AWARDS top ten list four times since 2000 – GRAN TORINO (2008), LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (2006), MILLION DOLLAR BABY (2004) and MYSTIC RIVER (2003).

For the third consecutive year, AFI FEST will continue its unprecedented offer of free tickets to all screenings, but only the Star Patron Package and Marquee Patron Package provide reserved access to the J. EDGAR world premiere Opening Night Gala.  These and other AFI FEST Patron Packages – which ensure access to sold-out galas and other high-demand films and events – are on sale now at AFI.com/AFIFEST.  The American Film Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and cultural organization, and Patron Packages are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Wednesday, October 26 in a 24-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on October 27.  In addition, AFI members receive a 10% discount on all Patron Packages.  Information about AFI membership is available at AFI.com/membership.

AFI FEST – celebrating its 25th year – will take place November 3 through 10 in Hollywood, California, at the historic Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

For the complete version of this press release, visit http://www.afi.com/AFIFEST/releases.aspx.

About J. EDGAR
As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered.  But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

Clint Eastwood directed J. EDGAR from a screenplay by Dustin Lance Black.  Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role.  The film also stars Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Judi Dench.  Produced by Eastwood, Brian Grazer and Robert Lorenz, J. EDGAR will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in limited markets on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 and expand to a wide release on Friday, November 11, 2011.  The film has been rated R by the MPAA for brief strong language.

SOURCE American Film Institute



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