The 33rd edition of AFI FEST will open with the world premiere of Makeready and Universal Pictures’ Queen & Slim.
The opening-night gala screening is set to take place November 14 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, followed by an afterparty at the Roosevelt Hotel.
The film, written by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe from a story by Waithe and James Frey, stars Academy Award® nominee Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Academy Award® nominee Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson, and Indya Moore.
The film is produced by Frey, Waithe, Melina Matsoukas, Michelle Knudsen, Andrew Coles, Brad Weston and Pamela Abdy. The executive producers are Pamela Hirsch, Kaluuya, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth.
Two-time Grammy® winner Matsoukas, who directed HBO’s Insecure and the Emmy-winning “Thanksgiving” episode of Masters of None, hopes her feature film directorial debut gets people talking. “My mission as an artist is to create change in the world… and I hope that Queen & Slim sparks dialogue, leaving viewers thinking about themselves and the world long after leaving their seats,” said Matsoukas.
Queen (Turner-Smith), a criminal defense lawyer, and Slim (Kaluuya), a retail employee, are on a forgettable first date together in Ohio when they are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates with sudden and tragic results when Slim kills the police officer in self-defense. Afraid for their lives, the couple is forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and Queen and Slim are labeled "cop killers" and unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.
These two unlikely fugitives discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances and forge a deep and powerful love that reveals their shared humanity and shapes the rest of their lives in a narrative that Matsoukas called a “beautiful, modern black love story.”
Learn more about the film: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8722346
About AFI FEST: Each year, AFI FEST showcases more than 125 of the best films from across the globe in Los Angeles. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming in several sections including Galas, Special Screenings, New Auteurs, Documentary, World Cinema, Cinema’s Legacy and Shorts, the eight-day film festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. Special events at the festival take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Films categories of the annual Academy Awards®. This year’s festival is scheduled to take place November 14 – 21.