The American Film Institute today unveiled its full lineup of galas that will screen at this year’s AFI Fest, and judging from the list it looks like Netflix is conquering yet another fall film festival with no less than three of the five screenings announced this morning.
The Netflix list includes the world premiere of Bird Box, from Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier and starring Sandra Bullock in a powerful dramatic turn in a thriller set in a world where the population is facing extinction and only a few are left to try and survive. Also from Netflix is the latest and one of the greatest (if you ask me) from the Coen Brothers, the Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which won them the screenplay prize at Venice and recently played the New York Film Festival.
Finally, the streaming giant is offering the world premiere of its episodic series The Kominsky Method, in which Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin navigate their later years in contemporary Los Angeles. The eight-episode single-camera series comes from Chuck Lorre; AFI Fest will show the first three episodes.
Continuing their fall fest travels are a couple of films that made their debuts at the Toronto Film Festival including that fest’s prestigious and often Oscar-predictive People’s Choice audience award winner Green Book, from director Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Also on tap for an AFI gala slot is the Steve McQueen heist drama Widows.
The titles revealed today join previously announced Focus Features movies On the Basis of Sex, which will open AFI Fest on November 8, and Mary Queen Of Scots which will close it November 15. Other gala screenings include Annapurna’s Destroyer, which will be presented together with a tribute to its star Nicole Kidman.
The fest will announce the complete lineup of all sections later this month.