AFI FEST 2023 Announces Full Festival Lineup


World Premieres of "Freud's Last Session" and "Albert Brooks: Defending My Life" directed by Academy Award Nominee Rob Reiner to Screen at Festival

Los Angeles ( September 28, 2023 ) -

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the lineup for this year’s AFI FEST, taking place in Los Angeles from October 25 to October 29. Highlights include the World Premiere of “Albert Brooks: Defending My Life” directed by Academy Award nominee Rob Reiner, “All Of Us Strangers” directed by Andrew Haigh, “American Fiction” directed by Cord Jefferson, “The Bikeriders” directed by Jeff Nichols, “The End We Start From” directed by Mahalia Belo, “Fingernails” directed by Christos Nikou, the World Premiere of “Freud’s Last Session” directed by Matthew Brown, “Memory” directed by Michel Franco, “Quiz Lady” directed by Academy Award winner Jessica Yu, and “Society of the Snow” directed by J.A. Bayona, which will all screen in the Special Screenings section. Passes are now available at AFI FEST 6-Ticket Bundles will be available starting October 2, and individual tickets for all screenings will be available starting October 3.

This year’s AFI FEST program is set to feature an expanded selection of features and shorts compared to last year, offering 141 titles for the public to enjoy across five days. The program includes 3 Red Carpet Premieres, 10 Special Screenings, 15 Luminaries, 12 Discovery, 16 World Cinema, 13 Documentary, 42 Short Film Competition, and 30 films in the AFI Conservatory Showcase presented by AMC Networks. Of the official selections, 44% are directed by women, 37% are directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 18% by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. There are 4 World Premieres, 3 North American Premieres and 4 U.S. Premieres. This year’s program represents 49 countries and includes 18 Best International Feature Oscar submissions, including “About Dry Grasses” (Turkey), “Me, Captain” (Italy), “Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World” (Romania), “Fallen Leaves” (Finland), “Four Daughters” (Tunisia), “Inshallah A Boy” (Jordan), “The Peasants” (Poland), “Perfect Days” (Japan), “Pictures of Ghosts” (Brazil), “The Promised Land” (Denmark), “The Settlers” (Chile), “Shayda” (Australia), “Slow” (Lithuania), “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” (Estonia), “Society of the Snow” (Spain), “The Taste of Things” (France), “The Teachers’ Lounge” (Germany) and “Tótem” (Mexico).

“Everyone on the AFI FEST team is proud to share this year’s selection of outstanding films from around the world with the audiences of Los Angeles,” said Todd Hitchcock, Director of AFI FEST. “Cinema is truly a global language, and the diversity of screen artistry represented here will widen the horizons for all moviegoers.”

The program will also feature a panel celebrating the greatest film books of all time moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg. Some 300 of the world’s most noted filmmakers, film executives, authors and cultural tastemakers have cast ballots to determine a list of the 100 greatest books about film, which The Hollywood Reporter will reveal in a special issue on October 11. AFI FEST will gather many of them on October 28 for an historic, engaging discussion.

AFI FEST 2023 will take place exclusively in person in Los Angeles from October 25 to October 29. AFI members receive discounts on tickets and other exclusive benefits. To become an AFI member, visit

Top Sponsors for AFI FEST 2023 include Apple Original Films, Canva, AMC Networks and Participant.

As previously announced, the World Premiere of “Leave The World Behind,” written and directed by Sam Esmail (AFI Class of 2004), will open AFI FEST on October 25. Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, the highly anticipated apocalyptic thriller stars Academy Award winner Julia Roberts, Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali, Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans and Kevin Bacon.

Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” will close AFI FEST 2023 on October 29. “Maestro” is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan). A love letter to life and art, MAESTRO at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love. The film reunites Cooper with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (AFI Class of 1992) and is co-written by Cooper and Oscar winner Josh Singer (“Spotlight”). Producing alongside Cooper and AFI Life Achievement Award recipients Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are Fred Berner, Amy Durning and Kristie Macosko Krieger.

The World Premiere of “Maxine’s Baby” The Tyler Perry Story” will screen as the Centerpiece film. Directed by Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz, the film grants the audience unfettered access to the inner world of Tyler Perry, whose story has never fully been told, as he becomes a father and a media mogul with a mission to pave his own road to the top. The film is a profound lesson on remembering where you came from to know where you want to go. Bekele produced the film under her Bekele Films banner alongside Jasmine K. White and Asante White.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. The Conservatory, which counts Deniese Davis, Affonso Gonçalves, Susannah Grant, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison as Alumni, is ranked the #1 film school in America. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FEST and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. AFI Movie Club is a destination for movie lovers from around the world to celebrate and engage with the art form every day. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including AFI DWW+ and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, and

Now in its 37th year, AFI FEST is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe. This year’s edition takes place in Los Angeles from October 25-29, 2023. With an innovative slate of programming, the five-day festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new cinematic voices. AFI FEST includes high-profile films with Q&As featuring the films’ cast and crew and a robust lineup of fiction and nonfiction features and shorts, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for movie fans. Additional information about AFI FEST is available Connect with AFI FEST at,, Instagram/AmericanFilmInstitute, TikTok/@AmericanFilmInstitute and