HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 05: Audi and AFI signage is seen during the after party for the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures’ “By the Sea” during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
  • Festivals

AFI Fest launches By The Sea with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

The annual American Film Institute Festival got off to a stellar start on Thursday, November 5, with a gala screening of By The Sea at the iconic Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Written, starring and produced by Angelina Jolie an Brad Pitt, By The Sea was presented by its director, Angelina Jolie, to a packed theater. She called By The Sea “a tiny little art film” and thanked the AFI for having it as the opener of their festival, a yearly must-attend gathering of film fans and industry players, and an informal starter of the busy Fall/Winter/Awards season. The HFPA is a proud supporter of both the American Film Institute and its festival.

Writer-director-producer-actress Angelina Jolie Pitt (L) and actor-producer Brad Pitt attend the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures' By the Sea during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

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This year’s edition of the AFI fest has gala screenings of Peter Landesman’s sports drama Concussion, starring Will Smith, Patricia Riggen’s The 33, about the Chilean miners’ ordeal, and Michael Moore’s new documentary, Where To Invade Next. A selection of favorites from the festival circuit will have special screenings at the AFI Fest: Todd Haynes’s Carol, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Anomalisa, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, Yorgos Lanthimos’ s The Lobster, Rodrigo Garcia’s Last Days in The Desert, Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years and Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert.

International cinema is well represented with 29 titles including Son of Saul, The Clan, Our Little Sister, The Club, Neon Bull, In the Shadow of Women, Dheepan and Embrace of the Serpent.

The AFI Fest is Los Angeles' longest running international film festival and has been bringing the best in world cinema to the film capital of the world since its launch as FILMEX in 1971. The festival is partnered with the American Film Market (AFM) , createing a marketplace and forum for exchanges and connections between filmmakers, distributors and investors. Together, AFI Fest and AFM represent the largest gathering of its kind in North America.

The American Film Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and development of filmmakers, and the preservation of the heritage of American cinema. Founded in 1965 by a mandate of then president Lyndon Johnson, the AFI is supported by the National Endowmnet for the Arts, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Ford Foundation and several other donors, including the HFPA. Illustriuous allumini of the AFI’s filmmaking courses include David Lynch, Darren Aronofsky, Janusz Kaminski and Terrence Malick.

Ana Maria Bahiana