Spielberg's Lincoln to Close AFI Fest

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Spielberg's <i>Lincoln</i> to Close AFI Fest

The American Film Institute announced today that the highly anticipated film Lincoln, directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, will have its official world premiere on Nov. 8 at the closing night gala of AFI Fest 2012.

The film stars Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role; Academy Award winners Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones; Academy Award nominees David Strathairn, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes and Hal Holbrook. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader and Jared Harris also appear in the film. Academy Award-winning composer John Williams scored the film, which marks his 26th collaboration with Spielberg. From an original screenplay by Academy Award nominee Tony Kushner based in part on the best-selling book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the revealing drama explores our 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office during the Civil War.

”Steven Spielberg is an American master, enriching the cultural legacy of our nation with each new film in his extraordinary career,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. ”We are honored he has chosen AFI Fest for the World Premiere of Lincoln, an historic cinematic event in itself as it brings the most dramatic American history to life for new generations.”

Spielberg has an impressive history with AFI. He was the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995; five of his movies rate among the greatest films of all time on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list: Schindler’s List (#8), E.T. The Extraterrestrial (#24), Jaws (#56), Raiders of the Lost Ark (#66) and Saving Private Ryan (#71); and last year he completed a one-hour special at the AFI Conservatory with friend and collaborator John Williams entitled The Art of Collaboration that explored the four-decade friendship and working relationship between the two artists, among the most prolific and influential collaborations in film history. In addition, both Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy serve on the American Film Institute’s board of trustees.