Will King Smith starrer “King Richard” will close the AFI Festival at the TCL Chinese Theater on November 14, the American Film Institute announced Wednesday.
Directed by Rinaldo Marcus Green, the film portrays Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, and his life as champion athletes. AFI graduate Robert Elsuit is a Warner Bros. filmmaker.
After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival, “King Richard” quickly entered the award conversation, especially for Smith.
“AFI’s mission involves an inspiring audience, and‘ King Richard ’sets the bar for this year,” said Sarah Harris, AFI Festival’s programming director. “Movies provide what we need most, and the right time for this film is to remind young people that nothing is out of reach, and that with perseverance and determination they can influence future generations.”
Anjanuye Ellis, Sania Sydney and Demi Singleton co-star with Tony Goldwin and John Burnthal and the film is written by Jack Bailey and produced by Tim White and Trevor White’s Star Thrower Entertainment and Smith’s own banner Westbrook.
“King Richard” opens on November 19 at the Theater and HBO Max.
The 35th edition of AFI Fest takes place in a hybrid format from November 10 to 14, with Netflix’s “Tick, Tick … Boom!” It has a world premiere. Festival opening. The music debuted under the direction of Lynn-Manuel Miranda and starred Andrew Garfield and Alexandra Ship.
Julie Andrews will receive the AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala event at the Dolby Theater on November 11th. All festival goers must be fully vaccinated for the event and screening in person.