Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Myha'la Star
Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that the World Premiere of “Leave The World Behind,” written and directed by AFI Conservatory Alum Sam Esmail (AFI Class of 2004), will open the 37th edition of AFI FEST. 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, and is produced by Esmail Corp, Red Om Films and Higher Ground Productions from Netflix Studios. The Opening Night Red Carpet Premiere screening will take place Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
“Sam Esmail is a commanding voice in the new generation of cinematic storytellers, and we are proud to present the World Premiere of his new film at AFI FEST,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “That he is a graduate of the AFI Conservatory only adds to the pride we feel in celebrating this accomplishment – which is both powerful and profound.”
About “Leave The World Behind”
In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”), Amanda (Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.
AFI FEST will take place on October 25-29, 2023, at the TCL Chinese Theatres in the heart of Hollywood. The five-day festival will once again include a curated selection of Red Carpet Premieres, Special Screenings, World Cinema, Documentaries and Short Films.
As previously announced, AFI FEST film festival passes are now on sale. Festivalgoers have the opportunity to select either a FEST Pass or a Premium FEST Pass. The Premium FEST Pass includes access to all screenings including Red Carpet Premieres, priority screening selection and theater access, access to the AFI FEST Festival Lounge and Festival Mixer, and AFI FEST merch. The FEST Pass features access to all screenings (excluding Red Carpet Premieres), early screening selection and theater access, access to AFI FEST Festival Lounge and AFI FEST merch. The number of available passes is limited. Learn more at https://fest.afi.com/passes/.
AFI is a nonprofit, member-powered organization. Join AFI’s Premiere Circle to support the American Film Institute and enjoy access to FEST passes and exclusive one-of-a-kind opportunities at AFI FEST. To learn more, email Advancement@AFI.com.
For sponsorship opportunities at AFI FEST 2023, contact Jack Trompeter at JTrompeter@AFI.com.
To learn more about AFI FEST, visit FEST.AFI.com.
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 AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
About AFI FEST
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 FEST.AFI.com. Connect with AFI FEST at Facebook.com/AFIFEST, Twitter.com/AFIFEST, Instagram/AmericanFilmInstitute, TikTok/@AmericanFilmInstitute and YouTube.com/AFI.