Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film follows Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, and his life raising the champion athletes. AFI graduate Robert Elswit is cinematographer on the Warner Bros. film.
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After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival, “King Richard” quickly entered the awards conversation, particularly for Smith.
“AFI’s mission includes inspiring audiences, and ‘King Richard’ sets the bar for this year,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming at AFI Festivals. “Movies often deliver when we need them most, and now is the perfect time for this film to remind young people that nothing is out of reach, and that with perseverance and determination they can influence future generations.”
Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton co-star with Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal, and the film is written by Zach Baylin and produced by Tim White and Trevor White’s Star Thrower Entertainment and Smith’s own banner, Westbrook.
“King Richard” opens in theaters and on HBO Max on Nov. 19.
The 35th edition of AFI Fest takes place from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14 in a hybrid format, with the world premiere of Netflix’s “tick, tick…BOOM!” opening the festival. The musical marks Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directing debut and stars Andrew Garfield and Alexandra Shipp.
Julie Andrews will receive the AFI Life Achievement honor at a gala event on Nov. 11 at the Dolby Theater. All festivalgoers for in-person events and screenings must be fully vaccinated.
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