March 28, 2017

AFI Fest to open with Zwick’s “Drugs,” close with Aronofsky’s “Swan”


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It looks like AFI Fest is going to provide us with our first glimpse of Ed Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs.” The director’s romantic drama has been named Opening Night film for the annual fest, which will be held Nov. 4-11, in Los Angeles.

“AFI is where it began for me, and where I return as often as possible, to teach and to learn,” said Zwick. “I’m honored to open the festival, and to join Darren, David, and so many alumni for whom this marks a kind of coming home.”

The Darren he refers to is Aronofsky, who will close this year’s fest with his searing ballet drama “Black Swan.”

”As an alumnus of the AFI Conservatory, it’s always a thrill to partake in the wonderful festival AFI puts on,” said Aronofsky. “The fact that we get to show at my favorite theater in the world, the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, adds to the honor.”

This year’s festival will be held at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Mann Chinese 6 theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from Nov. 4 to 11. David Lynch will serve as the festival’s Guest Artistic Director. He’s also a graduate of the AFI Conservatory.

”These two films are a perfect pair to open and close AFI FEST because they tell extraordinary stories from unique and very personal points of view,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Festival Director and also a graduate of the AFI Conservatory. “We are proud to offer them as the frame to a program of cinema that embraces both mainstream and experimental voices and seeks to engage the audience in the discourse around the year’s most significant new films.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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