LOS ANGELES, CA, September 20, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that LINCOLN, directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg, and released by DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox, in association with Participant Media, will have its Official World Premiere on Thursday, November 8, as the Closing Night Gala of AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi. The film stars Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role; Academy Award® winners Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones; Academy Award® nominees David Strathairn, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes and Hal Holbrook; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader and Jared Harris. Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams scored the film, with 2012 marking a collaboration between Spielberg and Williams that has enriched 26 of their films together. From an original screenplay by Academy Award® nominee Tony Kushner based in part on the best-selling book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the revealing drama explores our 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office during the Civil War.
”Steven Spielberg is an American master, enriching the cultural legacy of our nation with each new film in his extraordinary career,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. ”We are honored he has chosen AFI FEST for the World Premiere of LINCOLN, an historic cinematic event in itself as it brings the most dramatic American history to life for new generations.”
“Steven Spielberg epitomizes American filmmaking,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST, “and who better to tell the story of one of the most significant figures in our country’s history. In this important presidential election year, Spielberg’s LINCOLN reminds us that the challenges of the past remain as relevant today.”
Spielberg has an impressive history with AFI. He was the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995, the highest honor for a career in film; five of his movies rate among the greatest films of all time on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list: SCHINDLER’S LIST (#8), E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (#24), JAWS (#56), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (#66) and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (#71); and last year he completed a one-hour special at the AFI Conservatory with friend and collaborator John Williams entitled TCM PRESENTS AFI’S MASTER CLASS: THE ART OF COLLABORATION that explored the four-decade friendship and working relationship between the two artists, among the most prolific and influential collaborations in film history. In addition, both Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy serve on the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees, which is chaired by Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sony Corporation, and is comprised of leaders of the motion picture and television communities and leaders from global goods and services companies. Spielberg has been an AFI Trustee since 1986, Kennedy since 1994.
LINCOLN stars acclaimed actor Day-Lewis, who has been honored with two Academy Awards® for his lead performances in THERE WILL BE BLOOD and MY LEFT FOOT. His film credits also include GANGS OF NEW YORK, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE AGE OF THE INNOCENCE and THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS.
For the fourth 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 will provide reserved seating at the Official World Premiere closing night gala of LINCOLN. These and other AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes – which can include 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.
Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Wednesday, October 24 in a 24-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on October 25. In addition, AFI members Two Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all Patron Packages and Passes. Information about AFI Membership is available at AFI.com/membership.
AFI FEST, celebrating its 26th year, will take place November 1 through 8 in Hollywood, California, at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Audi is the festival’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; AT&T; Hewlett-Packard (HP); Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Levi’s; Stella Artois; New Amsterdam Vodka; The American Film Market (AFM); and The Chinese Theatre, among many others.
Film stills are available for press use only and can be downloaded at: flickr.com/photos/afifestpublicity/collections.