A film festival, especially one that's associated with splashy red carpet premieres, can often out-exclusive every other exclusive thing in town.
And actually getting in? And sitting down to watch a film that's showing in the vicinity of popping flashbulbs and high couture? "Beaucoup bucks," as in a lot of cash, is the first thing that springs to a movie lover's mind.
Sometimes, though, there's an exception to that general rule, and, when November arrives, you don't have to search too hard to find it. It's AFI FEST, presented by Audi, and once again tickets to the huge assortment of high-profile screenings will be free, free, free.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Seriously, though. Don't pat your pockets, looking for your wallet, or dig in your purse. The price is zero dollars to attend. Popcorn cash is all you'll need, and parking, too, if you're parking in Hollywood.
Tickets for the festival, which runs from Thursday, Nov. 9 through Thursday, Nov. 16, will be made available to the public on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
"Go on sale" isn't the right phrasing here, for they're free, as mentioned. We did mention they're free, yes?
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, TCL Chinese Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre, and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel are the busy venues at the center of the hubbub. And it is hubbub, of the highest order: Drive down Hollywood Boulevard any evening during the run and you're bound to get a glimpse of the red carpet and a line-up of luminaries.
As for the 2017 selections?
"Hostiles" with Christian Bale, "Call Me by Your Name" with Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, and "The Disaster Artist" with James Franco are all on the schedule, as are several other works, both of the centerpiece gala assortment and of the underrated gem variety.
Eye the entire roster of top-notch flicks, the kind of works you'll be reading about during awards season. And, really, AFI FEST can be seen as the doorway to awards season, if you were wondering when all of that glitz would rev up.