Stars Shine at AFI Fest: Clooney, Hanks, Thompson and More!

AFI Fest is a gift to film lovers in Los Angeles. Taking place in over three different theatre venues and in the span of a week, AFI Fest brings all of the films that have previously only been seen within film festivals and makes them available to the public. The bonus to AFI Fest is that many films are actually skipping the festival circuit and opting to premiere during the week. Who can blame them? The energy is electric, all of the stars are in town, and movie goers are on your side and in the mood to see something special.

Robbie Brenner from Relativity Media is part of the team that decided to have the premiere Out of the Furnace at AFI Fest. Brenner says, “Playing at AFI was always something that was very much at the top of the list, because you have a nice pause after some of the other festivals and everybody’s taken a little bit of a breath.” Opening at AFI Fest was probably the smart thing for this film. Based on early reviews, the gritty film is not a typical commercial movie and will need word of mouth and great reviews to make it succeed. (Scott Foundas, from Variety, has already posted his review if you want to know more about this film.)

One of the things that makes AFI Fest so incredibly special is that the tickets are free and available to anyone. This was important to festival director Jacqueline Lyanga. “Giving free tickets to the public to see this caliber of film is quite rare. It enables us as programmers to work with a mix of films that have broad appeal and ones that are more challenging, where an audience member doesn’t feel like they have to take a chance with their pocketbook to experience a film.”

Of course the films with the huge stars are the big tickets to get. Who doesn’t want to watch Saving Mr. Banks in the same theatre with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks?

Clooney, Hanks, Thompson – oh my! Look who sparkled at AFI Fest!

  • Bringing the sparkle to AFI Fest 1 of 15
    Clooney, Hanks, and More at AFI Fest

    AFI Fest has been around for a while! According to the festival's website, it 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."

  • George Clooney 2 of 15

    George has been at AFI Fest to support August: Osage County, a film he produced with an amazing star line up. Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Meryl Streep, and Juliette Lewis are just a few of the powerhouses in the cast. 

  • Rachel Griffiths 3 of 15

    Rachel walked the red carpet to support Saving Mr. Banks. She plays the part of Aunt Ellie in the Disney film.

  • Colin Farrell 4 of 15

    Colin was also on hand to support Saving Mr. Banks. Colin is going to have a busy season, as a lot of attention is being given to the new trailer of the time-traveling film he is starring in, Winter's Tale.

  • Julianne Nicholson 5 of 15

    Julianne plays Julia Robert's sister in August: Osage County. I have been a fan of Julianne for ages, so it is wonderful to see her starting to really get some recognition for her talent. (By the way...I feel the need to make sure you realize: she is 41! She looks AMAZING!)

  • Brie Larson 6 of 15

    Brie attended AFI Fest as part of a panel. This is the 4th year the LA Times has sponsored the Young Hollywood roundtable, and Brie was one of the five rising stars selected to be a part of it. Brie is rumored to be one of the actresses being tested for Terminator 5.

  • Tom Hanks 7 of 15

    Tom Hanks portrayed Disney in the Disney film Saving Mr. Banks. The LA Times says Tom has been downplaying his performance in the film, calling it "so much Emma's thing."

  • Stana Katic 8 of 15

    Stana looked absolutely stunning at the Saving Mr. Banks AFI Fest premiere. Just one more step, and it would have been an Angelina dress tribute.  

  • Elisabeth Rohm 9 of 15

    Elisabeth was part of a David O. Russell tribute at AFI Fest. David's film, American Hustle, had a peek at AFI Fest, and Elisabeth played Dolly Polito. 

  • Juliette Lewis 10 of 15

    Juliette is another member of the impressive cast of August: Osage County. Juliette looked stunning in red.

  • Bradley Whitford 11 of 15

    Bradley was part of the cast of Saving Mr. Banks and was one of the loudest voices joining in at the special dinner after the premiere. Walt Disney Pictures hosted a 'Sing a-long with Richard Sherman' (he was a cowriter for the songs in Mary Poppins).

  • David O. Russell 12 of 15

    The film is not yet finished, but David allowed 6 minutes of American Hustle to be viewed at AFI Fest this year. Variety says, "You can't judge a film from just a glimpse, but the segment offered reasons for high hopes."

  • Emma Thompson 13 of 15

    Emma Thompson had a long night! Before the showing of Saving Mr. Banks, Emma's hands and feet were immortalized in cement at a ceremony at The Chinese Theatre.

  • Jane Fonda 14 of 15

    Jane wowed everyone at the David O. Russell tribute. Next year, AFI will honor Jane with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony will be broadcast on TNT and Turner Classics.  

  • B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman 15 of 15

    B.J. and Jason crack me up. These guys were at AFI Fest to support Saving Mr. Banks, but don't you dare expect "typical" red carpet poses from them. 

All images, unless noted otherwise, are from PR Photos.

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