AFI Fest Adds ‘The Two Popes,’ ‘Aeronauts,’ Alan Pakula Tribute

Dave McNary

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The American Film Institute has added “The Two Popes” and “The Aeronauts” as galas during the upcoming AFI Fest along with a tribute to the late director Alan Pakula.

AFI had previously announced that the romantic drama “Queen & Slim” would launch the 33rd annual festival on Nov. 14 and close with the world premiere of Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson’s drama “The Banker” on Nov. 21. All galas will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

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Inspired by a true story, “The Two Popes” stars Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis in a verbal battle of wits over the future direction of the Catholic Church. It will screen at the Chinese on Nov. 18. The film is produced by Netflix, which has scheduled a limited theatrical release on Nov. 27 in the U.S. prior to its release on streaming on Dec. 20.

“Aeronauts,” starring Felicity Jones as a daredevil balloon pilot and Eddie Redmayne as a pioneering meteorologist, is set in 1862 as the duo attempt to break records and further scientific discovery. Tom Harper directed the film, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and will be released by Amazon on Dec. 6.

The tribute to Pakula will include a screening of Matthew Miele’s documentary “Alan Pakula: Going for the Truth” and showings of Pakula’s “Klute,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Sterile Cuckoo.”

The festival’s special screening include “Atlantics,” “Just Mercy,” “Blackbird,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “The Song of Names,” and “Troop Zero.”

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