‘Moana’ to Debut Early at AFI Fest; ‘Lion,’ ‘Paterson’ and More Set for Special Screenings


The American Film Institute announced its AFI Festival Special Screenings today. Disney’s “Moana” will bow at the annual Los Angeles fest, which takes place from Nov. 10-17. The film releases in theaters a few weeks later on Thanksgiving.

Per the release:

The Special Screenings section of AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi includes three World Premieres and four additional highly anticipated films. The World Premiere of the CG-animated film MOANA (DIRS Ron Clements, John Musker) will play in the Special Screenings section, along with BRIGHT LIGHTS: STARRING CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS (DIRS Fisher Stevens, Alexis Bloom), LION (DIR Garth Davis), PATERSON (DIR Jim Jarmusch) and TONI ERDMANN (DIR Maren Ade). Also bowing as Special Screenings will be the World Premieres of MISS SLOANE (DIR John Madden) and, as previously announced, THE COMEDIAN (DIR Taylor Hackford).

“Moana” is a CG-animated film about an adventurous teen who sails out on a mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. Along the way they encounter enormous monsters and impossible odds. In addition, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Oscar hopeful “La La Land” will screen as part of the Centerpiece Gala at the fest, it was previously announced. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as an aspiring jazz pianist and actress, respectively. Damien Chazelle directed the film, which is an original musical.

The Warren Beatty-directed “Rules Don’t Apply” is opening the festival. That film releases in theaters nationwide Nov. 23.

Tell us: What do you think of the AFI Fest lineup? Let us know in the comments below!