AFI Fest 2012

AFI Fest officially ends today. 8 days and 133 films from across the globe, screening in some of Hollywood’s most historic theaters. From November 1st though November 8th, hundreds of people waited in lines in front of The Egyptian Theater, The Chinese 6 Theater, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater in an effort to celebrate the undeniable magic of cinema.

Perks of attending this festival: free films, hanging among film enthusiasts and industry “hot shots” alike, enjoying the chaos that is Hollywood, and engaging in some of the most compelling storytelling collectively curated under one umbrella.

Not so great parts: standing in line for up to 2 hours to see a film, getting terrible seats because half the theater is already reserved for said “hot shots,” spending tons of money on parking, and my personal favorite – not being able to see the subtitles on the screen because someone’s head is blocking them. Happened to me twice!

{Personal highlight? Hot Tamales in the old school packaging!}

I appreciate what the American Film Institute aims to do with this festival and was very happy with all 6 films that I saw over the last week. They were excellent stories that brought up injustices in our legal system, shared insight into the wrongly accused, the bullied; and even added a bit of humor to the life of an icon.

Naturally, I have my complaints: the lack of organization with lines and people not knowing where to stand; the strange method of giving a ticket, to receive another ticket, to then get another ticket into a screening seemed wasteful; and consistently starting films late, while expected in a festival atmosphere, didn’t help matters after you’d already been waiting in line for hours.


I do want to acknowledge that it’s not easy coordinating and pulling off a festival. I can only imagine the amount of planning, scheduling, and rescheduling that went into such a feat and I commend that. However, I’m looking forward to get back to seeing movies the old-fashioned way. Where you pay for a seat, can sit wherever you want, and not a 2 hour-long line in sight! 🙂

My grades on this year’s films I saw:

Hitchcock – Grade: B
The Central Park Five – Grade: A-
West of Memphis – Grade: B
After Lucia – Grade: A
The Hunt – Grade: A
Rust and Bone – Grade: B+