AFI Fest 2017 to Feature New Films from Guillermo del Toro, James Franco and More

Despite the unseasonably hot weather, summer is over in Los Angeles and awards season is about to commence, and kicking things off is the AFI Fest 2017, which will once again be held in the heart of Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre Nov. 9-16. The festival will kick off with the Netflix film “Mudbound,” a period drama set in the American South during World War II featuring Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige.

This year’s AFI Fest will feature three centerpiece galas, the first being “Call Me By Your Name” on Nov. 10. This coming-of-age drama about a 17-year-old boy (Timothée Chalamet) who experiences first love with a dashing scholar (Armie Hammer) has already made waves earlier this year at Sundance, as well as the recent New York Film Festival. “The Disaster Artist,” the much anticipated James Franco-directed film about the making of the legendary awful cult classic “The Room,” will be the next centerpiece gala on Nov. 12. James Franco stars as Tommy Wiseau, a Hollywood outsider who played by his own rules to bring his vision to life. “Hostiles” (Nov. 14) sees Christian Bale journey to the American West as a soldier ordered to escort an Native man (Wes Studi) home to Montana to die.

Other films that can’t be miss include “I, Tonya,” the biographical drama in which Margot Robbie transforms herself into controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” tells the true story of actress Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) and her relationship with a younger man (Jamie Bell). Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland unite in “The Leisure Seeker,” a tale about a couple on a cross-country journey. Jessica Chastain stars in “Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut set in the world of underground poker games. Guillermo del Toro’s latest “The Shape of Water” features Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning lady during the height of the Cold War.

AFI Fest will also pay tribute to the late Robert Altman with a retrospective that will feature screenings of 12 of his classic films, including “Nashville” and “The Player.”

UPDATE: The festival was set to come to a close with the world premiere of Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” a crime thriller about the mob starring Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Spacey and Christopher Plummer, but amid the growing Kevin Spacey Scandal the film has been pulled from this year’s fest. No replacement title for the festival’s closing night has been announced. 

AFI Fest 2017 will take place in Hollywood, CA Nov. 9-16.