6 November 2013 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Attention, Hollywood Boulevard drivers. The AFI Fest presented by Audi will likely tie up the blocks around the Chinese Theater even worse than usual.

From Nov. 7 through 14, films from 42 countries (up from 28 last year) will be presented on eight screens, including more contenders for Academy kudos than ever before and a host of galas, tributes and special guests. It all amounts to, in the words of fest director Jacqueline Lyanga, “a window into the year in contemporary world cinema.”

Once again, thanks to the largess of longtime AFI supporter Audi, that window will be opened 100% gratis. As Lyanga points out. “There is no other festival of this size and scope, and with this kind of curation, that is free to the general public.”

Films of the past were a central factor in 2013’s curation, Lyanga reports. “People are in the mood to revisit classics.” To complement Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, »

- Bob Verini

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