AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi Announces Dates and Call for Entries‏

Los Angeles, CA – AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi officially announced its dates and call for entries today. The American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings the audience and the entertainment community together to explore the year in global cinema through the new works of film masters, moving image icons and breakthrough talents, and is the only film festival of its stature that is free to the public. AFI FEST will take place November 1 through 8 in Hollywood, California, the movie capital of the world, at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres at the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Egyptian Theatre of the American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

AFI FEST mixes nightly red carpet galas of Hollywood films with new auteur works from around the world, ensuring that an extraordinary array of foreign filmmaker voices is heard. Last year brought the newest films from established foreign filmmakers to Los Angeles – including Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Asghar Farhadi, Werner Herzog, Hong Sang-soo, Jafar Panahi, Béla Tarr, Lars von Trier and Wim Wenders – so that the city’s film-lovers can access this remarkable body of work.

Emerging in 1987 as a program of the American Film Institute, the festival has paid tribute to numerous influential filmmakers and artists over the years, including Pedro Almodóvar and David Lynch as Guest Artistic Directors, as well as top film talent such as Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, to name a few. In addition, AFI FEST has screened scores of films that have produced Oscar wins including, more recently, The Artist, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, Precious, A Separation and Slumdog Millonaire.

“Each year, the festival brings over a hundred filmmakers from around the world to Los Angeles to present their films, and to spend eight days with among the most discerning public audiences of movie-lovers in the world and leaders in the entertainment community. We bring filmmakers to Los Angeles, some for the first time, and it all begins with the call for entries,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST.

Submissions are now open and filmmakers are invited to submit narrative, documentary, experimental, animated and short films at AFI.com/AFIFEST or through Withoutabox.com. The final submission deadline for short films (under 30 minutes) is July 27, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®. The final deadline for feature-length films is August 10. Films found solely through the submissions process are presented in the festival’s “Breakthrough” section, providing an opportunity for new filmmakers to share their vision with the world and receive a $5,000 cash award.

“As a programmer, the thrill of watching a blind submission new entry and discovering a new filmmaker is such a rewarding experience. Through our submission process last year, we found new filmmakers in every corner of the globe, including Chile, Iran and Sweden, and we look forward to the talent that awaits us this year,” said Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming, AFI FEST.

Filmmakers can e-mail programming@AFI.com or call 1.866.AFI.FEST for more information about the submissions process.