“On the Basis of Sex” will open the 2018 AFI Film Festival.
The film tells the story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who would eventually go on to be named the second woman ever to serve on the US Supreme Court. Felicity Jones plays a younger Ginsberg, when she was a fierce young attorney who spent her career fighting for equal rights for women. Armie Hammer plays her husband, Martin Ginsberg. Justin Theroux also stars in the film directed by Mimi Leder.
In the AFI statement announcing the film’s World Premiere for AFI’s opening night, Leder said:
“As one of the first women ever admitted to the AFI Conservatory, it’s particularly meaningful to me that ‘On the Basis of Sex’ will open AFI FEST 2018. My time at the Conservatory was a life-changing experience and informed my creative journey. I am forever grateful. The origin story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in this 25th anniversary year of her appointment to the Supreme Court, couldn’t come at a more important moment in our history nor be shown at a more relevant place than AFI FEST, a symbol of artistic integrity and the enduring power of cinema. I hope girls and young women in particular will see the film and find inspiration to realize their own unlimited potential.”
Festival organizers also announced the fest’s Closing Night film, “Mary, Queen of Scots.”
That film stars Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as the titular Mary and as Queen Elizabeth I in a rivalry fueled by men who wished to pit the two women against each other and further instability in the region.
“Mary, Queen of Scots” is directed by Josie Rourke. With opening and closing night films directed by women, AFI is pushing forward on its commitment to amplify the voices of women in film.
Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI Festivals said:
“This commanding story of powerful women and political rivalry that shaped world history will close AFI FEST on a high note. This year’s festival showcases compelling women-directed narratives that challenge the status quo, and ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ is no exception.”